Microsoft Silicon Valley Campus

Architect: WRNS Studio

Owner: Microsoft

Location: Mountain View, California

Project site: Previously developed land

Building program type(s): Office - 100,001 or greater

Silicon Valley is constrained by access, resources, and competition for talent. A refresh to Microsoft’s Silicon Valley (MSV) campus meant thinking differently about its region and people. At the project start, two key drivers converged: California was experiencing a serious drought; Microsoft needed to increase campus capacity to address business demand. These drivers revealed the opportunity to reflect Microsoft’s mission with a new kind of workplace (in form, function, aesthetic, and connection) that makes evident the symbiotic well-being of people and place. The team employed a holistic, ambitious approach: driving out and using waste; investing in resilient strategies (blackwater system, thermal storage); designing with reduced carbon through reuse and mass timber; and putting wellness, equity, and community front and center.

The renovation and expansion will house 2,000+ employees in 643,000 sf, a 20% increase in area supporting a 40% increase in employees, all while improving work spaces, supporting the broader community, and revitalizing site health. Potable water is reduced by 57%, while landscape increases threefold. A high-performing envelope improves comfort and reduces energy demand by 55%. All systems, besides main cooking functions, are electric, including four thermal energy storage tanks that reduce the central plant size while lowering grid demand during non-peak cooling days.

At two stories, with an expansive occupiable living roof, MSV is organized around a series of courtyards accessed from every work neighborhood, encouraging movement to the green roof and decks, amenities, and views. From operable windows and ceiling fans to movable walls and furniture, every aspect of design puts user comfort first. The project invites interaction and modification to its spaces, recognizing the importance of diversity and choice. MSV is targeting LEED Platinum, LBC Petal, WELL v2 Pilot, and ILFI Net Zero Carbon certifications.

Given the 2020 pandemic, some construction stretched out resulting in some photos showing construction debris.

Additional information

Project attributes

Year of design completion: 2019

Year of substantial project completion: 2020

Gross conditioned floor area: 643,000

Number of stories: 2

Project climate zone: ASHRAE c3

Annual hours of operation: 3,600

Site area: 1,430,273

Project site context/setting: Suburban

Cost of construction, excluding furnishing:

Number of residents, occupants, visitors: 2150

Project team

Architect: WRNS Studio

Consultant - Acoustics: Charles M. Salter Associates Inc

Consultant – Art/Environmental Graphics: Acrylicize  

Consultant – Environmental Graphic Design: EGG Office

Consultant – Exhibit Design and Audiovisuals: Downstream

Consultant - Food Service Consultant: Ricca Design Studio

Consultant – Parking: Walker Consultants Consultant – Specifications: Richard C. Hubble

Consultant – Retail Design: Gensler

Consultant – Theatre: Shalleck Collaborative, Inc.

Engineer - Electrical: Integral Group

Engineer - Mechanical and Plumbing: Interface Engineering, Inc

Engineer - Structural: Holmes Structures

Engineer - Civil: Sandis, Sherwood Design

Engineers Landscape Architect: WRT

General Contractor: Rudolph and Sletten

Lighting Designer: Luma Lighting Design


Erica Cochran Hameen, Assoc. AIA, Carnegie Mellon University

Lynn Simon, FAIA, Google

Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, Marlon Blackwell Architects

Michelle Amt, AIA, VMDO Architects

Renee Cheng, FAIA, University of Washington

Image credits

3_Hub Courtyard

Bruce Damonte


Bruce Damonte

15_East Garden Connection

Bruce Damonte


Bruce Damonte

4_Aerial Overall Campus

WRNS Studio

Large two story walkway with wood finish on the ceiling and a seating area on the left.

Bruce Damonte