Facebook has announced that architecture firm OMA will masterplan a new residential village and public realm facilities for the Menlo Park area in California.
The social media giant has enlisted the help of OMA's New York office to redevelop the former Menlo Science & Technology Park, a 56-acre property that the Facebook acquired in 2016.
According to Facebook, the Willow Campus neighbourhood will provide "long-needed community services", including housing and transportation solutions. In addition, amenities covering approximately 11,600 square metres will feature several retail spaces, including restaurants, grocery stores, a pharmacy, and office spaces.
"It's exciting to collaborate with Facebook, whose innovation in networking and social media extends to urban ambitions for connectivity in the Bay Area," said OMA partner Shohei Shigematsu, who leads the firm's New York office.
"The Willow Campus masterplan creates a sense of place with diverse programming that responds to the needs of the Menlo Park community," he added.
With this in mind, the Facebook masterplan for the residential village will comprise a total of 1,500 homes, with 15 percent of these houses to be offered at below San Francisco’s current market rates. By providing affordable housing in the area, the team hopes to cap the growth in traffic from commuters.
Realistically, however, it is projected that the increase in the density of housing that will result from this project will spur on the new east-to-west transport connections and the development of a transit centre in the area.
“Working with the community, our goal for the Willow Campus is to create an integrated, mixed-use village that will provide much-needed services, housing and transit solutions as well as office space. Part of our vision is to create a neighbourhood centre that provides long-needed community services,” said Facebook’s VP of Global Faculties and Real Estate, John Tenanes.
The plan will be filed with the local government for approval this month, and it is expected that conversations with officials that are expected to last two years. Hence shops, housing and offices included in the first phase of the works are projected for completion in early 2021. Subsequent phases are will aim for completion in 2023.