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June 21, 2019

Microsoft unveils new renderings of its giant campus renovation

Images provided by Microsoft [enlarge]
The projects will add 2.5 million square feet of offices and 500,000 square feet of amenities space. Another 6.7 million square feet will be renovated.

Microsoft says it wants to accommodate another 8,000 workers on its Redmond campus.

Microsoft recently released renderings of a modernization that will add almost 3 million square feet on 72 acres of its Redmond campus.

That includes 2.5 million square feet of office space and 500,000 square feet of amenities space.

Seventeen new buildings are planned on the East Redmond campus. The buildings — four to five stories tall — will be centered on a new 2-acre plaza that can accommodate events for up to 12,000 people, giving the campus more of an urban vibe. The new construction will also include a Microsoft company store along with retail shops and restaurants.

The plan by the technology company calls for 13 older buildings to be removed to make room for new buildings. And about 6.7 million square feet of existing space will be renovated.

The goal is to accommodate another 8,000 workers on the campus, which will be organized for pedestrians and bicyclists. Vehicular traffic — including drop-off and parking areas — will be relegated to the campus periphery and underground structured parking.

There will also be multiuse outdoor spaces including running/walking trails, sports facilities and green space.

Fronting 156th Avenue Northeast, the primary corridor of access to East Campus, a future gateway will serve people arriving via Sound Transit's Redmond Technology Center light rail station. It will also welcome arrivals from a pedestrian-and-cyclist-only bridge over state Route 520, which will connect to the west campus. Microsoft has said it is kicking in $33.3 million for the station and bridge.

Lake Bill will remain on the campus, the company said in a presentation to the Redmond Design Review Board.

Deconstruction of older buildings began earlier this year and Microsoft said the first new building is expected to be available for occupancy in late 2022 to early 2023.

Microsoft announced the moderization in 2017. It has not released the cost of the campus refresh.

The team includes architecture firms LMN Architects, NBBJ, WRNS Studio and ZGF Architects; general contractors Skanska, Balfour Beatty, GLY and Sellen; and lead landscape architect Berger Partnership with OLIN. Project management is being handled by CBRE, JLL and OAC Services.

Microsoft said that due to the large size of the project and its timeline, it divided the project into five zones, and assigned a general contractor and architect to each zone, according to a Microsoft spokesperson.

One architect, Gensler, oversees all five of the designs to ensure consistency, with a unique twist, according to the spokesperson. The company wanted each zone to have a unique, yet cohesive feeling with the rest of the design, and by having five architects, it felt it could best achieve that.

The now 502-acre campus opened in 1986.

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