Microsoft plans to expand Redmond campus

The campus will include space for up to 55,000 employees-Microsoft now employs 47,000 people in the Redmond area. When this project is complete, our main campus will be comprised of 131 buildings-including the equivalent of 180 football fields of new and renovated space-of modern workspace for the 47,000 employees who work here every day, plus room to expand operations and add up to 8,000 more people.

"We are not only creating a world-class work environment to help retain and attract the best and brightest global talent, but also building a campus that our neighbors can enjoy, and that we can build in a fiscally smart way with low environmental impact", Microsoft president Brad Smith wrote in a blog post.

In total, Microsoft will add 18 new buildings, along with updating existing workspaces. The space will be divided into what it calls "team neighborhoods". 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.

The campus will primarily be built for pedestrian and bike traffic as all vehicles will be moved to an underground parking facility. A redesign and expansion a decade ago began to change that, with an emphasis on open floor plans and flexible, collaborative spaces, but the vehicle was still king-as evidenced by a 5,000-spot underground parking garage that underpinned the company's last big expansion, begun a decade ago.


Microsoft stated that the redevelopment of the campus would create over 2,500 new construction and development jobs. They will surround expanses of soccer and cricket fields, running trails, and a central plaza capable of hosting farmers' markets, music performances, and up to 12,000 people for corporate events. However, with the new buildings, the company plans to take a different approach.

Microsoft's project is somewhat more traditional in comparison. This will connect with a planned Redmond Technology Transit Station where the Link Light Rail is expected to arrive in 2023.

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.

  • Kara Saunders