The old saying “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” might ring true for Samsung’s latest endeavor. Later this week, the South Korean electronics giant is set to begin construction on a new American headquarters, nestled in the heart of Silicon Valley. Completion is anticipated for 2015.
“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 regarding the new construction.
The 10-story building is being designed by architecture firm NBBJ at a cost of $300 million. It will employ roughly 2000 staff members in the R&D and sales departments. The San Jose campus will effectively place Samsung next to its biggest rival, Apple. Google and Facebook will also become new neighbors.
“Samsung’s headquarters is meant to help it carve out a more significant presence in Silicon Valley, where it plans to compete with other tech giants like Apple and Google for talent,” said Tech Crunch. “Its new headquarters are also part of Samsung’s efforts to establish a reputation as a technology innovator by transforming the company’s culture and strategies, which previously meant that most of its tech and products were developed internally, by partnering with tech entrepreneurs.”
According to NBBJ, the new building will be made using white metal, glass, and terracotta. It will be situated near the street and incorporate courtyards housing fitness facilities, artwork, and cafes. Samsung’s future headquarters will also be “highly energy-efficient,” utilizing rooftop solar panels above the parking garage and a special façade that can reduce cooling costs in the warmer months. The building will also provide an abundance of trees and water features.
“In a rarity for high-rise workspace, each Samsung employee will be no further than one floor away from green space. Amenities such as grab-and-go dining facilities and a fitness center will also be centrally located,” said the official NBBJ press release.
On Monday, Fortune released its latest Global 500 list, which may have given Apple a good reason to further resent its soon-to-be neighbor. Samsung ranked 14th, while the Cupertino native trailed in 19th place. Last week, South Korean news outlets were reporting that Samsung shipped 20 million Galaxy S4 handsets since launching in late April.