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30 November 2017, 01:05 | Dawn Berry
Microsoft plans upgrade for Redmond headquarters
Microsoft has announced plans to radically overhaul its existing campus in Redmond, Washington, and replace it with a bigger and more modern headquarters. "Overall, Microsoft said, it will add "$150 million in transportation infrastructure improvements, public spaces, sports fields and green space". The project would take about five and seven years to complete.
Microsoft's modern campus overhaul isn't as futuristic as the Apple Park, but the company says it's a major step forward for its culture, substantially expanding its headquarters with modern workplaces and creating 2,500 construction and development jobs in the area.
Staff will work in "team neighborhoods" that are informal, creative, and make good use of natural light, Microsoft said. As 18 new buildings would be constructed on the Microsoft Redmond Campus, 12 older buildings would be bulldozed. They will surround expanses of soccer and cricket fields, running trails, and a central plaza capable of hosting farmers' markets, music performances, and up to 12,000 people for corporate events.
Microsoft will embark on a significant modernization of its global headquarters, with a goal of 18 new buildings by the end of 2024.
The growth plan marks a continued shift away from the car-dependent campus of the last 30 years, made possible by the 2023 arrival of a light rail line that will make travelling to and from the campus without a vehicle easier than ever.
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With the announcement, Microsoft is seeking to match the workplace upgrades many of its biggest rivals are pursuing.
Buildings on the campus will be closer together than before and its focus is more on pedestrianising Microsoft's headquarters, rather than turning it into a sprawl navigable only by vehicle.
Our new buildings will focus on inclusive design and accessible technology to empower all of our employees. The bridge will also tie into a forthcoming Link Light Rail station set to arrive in 2023. It expects the project will create 2,500 construction and development jobs.
Microsoft's video shows how the campus will develop and what it will feature. "As Microsoft continues to create the tools and services that are shaping the future of work, we can't think of a better time to modernize our campus into a model of ingenuity and innovation", explained Smith.
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