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Facebook's new digs

Facebook held an off-the-record media event here last night at its new headquarters. The company moved from a smaller space in Palo Alto to a more rural part of town in what's known as the Stanford Research Park. A reception with company executives, including CEO Mark Zuckerberg, was held on the roof (great views) of a building abandoned years ago by HP spinoff Agilent.

In this economy, Facebook likely got a great deal.

An A list of tech press media folks showed up for the meet-and-greet. The only thing on-the-record was the 15 minute tour of the facility which emphasizes big, open spaces.

"We took all the cubicles out which were practically wall-to-wall," said Facebook designer Aaron Sittig, who helped spearhead the remodel.

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Ironically, while it's a much bigger facility, Facebook kept its preference for keeping personal space to a minimum.

Sittig said the industry average is about 200 square feet per employee. In the old headquarters, Facebook staff had about 100 square feet each, an area bumped just slightly to 110 square feet in the new locale that houses over 500 employees. The closeness brings "more intensity and collaboration" said Sittig. There are still some enclosed offices favored by some of the engineers.

Facebook sponsored a Hack the Building event where employees were free to paint the walls, or post their favorite artwork. "As long as they don't punch any holes in the wall, it's all good," said Sittig.

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