Science

Microsoft to Spend Billions Modernizing Redmond Campus

Microsoft to Spend Billions Modernizing Redmond Campus

Microsoft is planning to overhaul its Redmond (Seattle), Washington campus in a multibillion-dollar operation that will take between five and seven years to complete. Microsoft now employs 47,000 at its Redmond headquarters.

In total, the new campus will house the 47,000 employees who work at Microsoft's existing Redmond campus, and add capacity for 8,000 more. Under the plan, the company will tear down 12 of the buildings now used by employees and build 18 new facilities in their place that are expected to be up to twice as tall. Cars will be stored in an underground parking facility. The campus will be divided into "team neighborhoods".

Several of the new Microsoft buildings will be four stories tall and centered on a new 2-acre plaza where events can be held - giving the campus a bit of an urban vibe, Smith said.

The construction of the new campus should require 2,500 construction and development jobs, and Smith explained that it should be a boon for the Puget Sound area.

Microsoft plans upgrade for Redmond headquarters

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. The layout of those buildings is so confusing that employees used to joke that finding an office was an intelligence test to see if you were fit to work at Microsoft. Having been the bane of many Microsoft employee for their confusing corridors, it's unlikely they'll be missed. A bridge across WA-520, which will link both sides of its campus, will be for cyclists and walkers only.

Microsoft isn't looking to relocate, unlike its fellow Washington-based tech company Amazon.

When complete, Microsoft expects the 500-acre campus to have a green carbon footprint with an energy monitoring service run by the Azure cloud computing service, which Microsoft owns. Microsoft said this will foster creativity and innovation.

The developer of the Spring District, by the way, is Wright Runstad, which back in 1986 built the first six X-shaped buildings that will be replaced as part of this latest renovation.

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