Samsung breaks ground on futuristic Silicon Valley campus

As the South Korean electronics manufacturer continues to grow, it's expanding operations in the U.S. This means a 1.1 million-square-foot modern campus with space for 2,000 employees.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read
Architectural rendering of Samsung's upcoming San Jose, Calif. headquarters. NBBJ

Samsung is putting down roots in Silicon Valley. The South Korean tech manufacturer will be breaking ground in San Jose, Calif., this week on a massive research and development headquarters designed by the renowned NBBJ architecture firm.

The central 10-story building has an ultra-modern design, complete with a glass and white-metal covered exterior and two open-air floors. The parking garage is covered in a folding green-colored wall that looks like a vertical garden. When complete, the campus will be 1.1 million square feet.

In addition to the massive amounts of space, the campus will also provide a gym, cafes, dining areas, and gardens. The facility will be constructed to LEED Gold environmental standards.

"The design seeks to encourage interaction among staff, foster connections with the community and provide a space to attract employees in the highly competitive tech market," reads NBBJ's statement on the building. "A central campus green space unifies the whole campus much like a traditional academic campus."

Samsung said it's setting up a Silicon Valley headquarters to facilitate its U.S. growth.

"Headquartered in South Korea, it's not surprising that most of our employees are based there. But we realize that innovation is by no means geographically limited, so we are continuing to expand the extent of our operations elsewhere," Samsung said in a statement. "Clearly, a critical part of our expanding identity needs to be housed in the U.S. We looked at Silicon Valley and states beyond California as possibilities, but when all was said and done, we selected Silicon Valley as a much larger home base for housing some of the best minds in the country."

Samsung already has an office in the area, but it only has about 350 employees. The company expects to employ 2,000 workers in the new building, which will be divided between research, development, and sales.

According to the Silicon Valley Business Journal, the San Jose City Council approved the new building in March and offered Samsung roughly $7 million in fee reductions, tax rebates, and capital equipment reimbursements. In exchange, Samsung will be providing San Jose with about $23 million in new city revenue.

With its futuristic new campus, Samsung is joining the ranks of Apple, Facebook, and Amazon for eschewing the typical office park. Apple is working on getting designs for a low-level, circular, spaceship-like headquarters approved in Cupertino, Calif., and Facebook is in the process of breaking ground on its swanky Frank Gehry-designed second campus in Menlo Park, Calif. Amazon recently unveiled drawings for its new Seattle campus that is made up of a series of colossal, mirrored, biosphere-like domes also designed by NBBJ.

Samsung will break ground on its new facility on Wednesday and plans for the entire campus to be complete by mid-2015.

Here are more images of its upcoming campus: