Who’s got the best tech office space?

Facebook unveils splashy new digs, but Google was the cool kid first

Dec.December 01, 2014 07:00 AM
From left: Frank Gehry and Facebook's New York City-based headquarters at 770 Broadway

From left: Frank Gehry and Facebook’s New York City-based headquarters at 770 Broadway

While most 9-to-5 employees count on coffeemakers or watercoolers as basic workplace amenities, two Downtown tech titans are taking perks to a whole new level.

Last month, Facebook finally unveiled its latest digs at 770 Broadway. The 185,000-square-foot space, which is owned by Vornado Realty Trust, will be used not just as a home base for the social-media giant’s N.Y.-based employees, but also as a recruiting tool to attract those looking to take a bite out of the Big Apple’s growing tech scene.  

Though Facebook relocated its office from 335 Madison Avenue to a much hipper Astor Place, it’s not like the employees need to venture outside to get what they need.

The Frank Gehry-designed office features an open floor plan with exposed ceilings and an assortment of custom-made art installations. Employees and engineers can blow off some steam on one of the company’s many gaming tables.

The office also includes a full-service cafeteria with locally-sourced food and international cuisine, as well as a library where employees can work on the site’s latest products in peace. 

Long before Facebook made its push into Midtown South, of course, another Internet company cemented its place as one of the coolest kids on the block.

111 Eighth Avenue

111 Eighth Avenue

Google expanded its New York City headquarters in 2010 after reportedly paying nearly $1.9 billion for 111 Eighth Avenue, where it had previously leased space. Not only is it one of the city’s largest buildings in terms of square footage, but is one of the largest technology-owned buildings in the world, as well.

Like Facebook, the search giant offers free food to its employees via several cafés located throughout the building. Engineers can work off a big lunch courtesy of free yoga and Pilates classes.

New York City-themed conference rooms with names like “Astroland” and “Bryant Park,” compliment custom-made workspaces, where Google staff design and build their own desks. 

The building is so big, staffers use “hallway scooters” to zip around. And when they need to catch a break, employees can head over to a two-story lounge that’s connected by a slide.


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