Hundreds of the 2,000 employees of Microsoft Israel have begun moving into the tech company’s new 46,000 square meters Herzliya campus over the past few days. Sales and marketing staff have already moved and soon to follow are the company’s development center employees. Sources in the industry estimate that the campus, which took 18 months to build, cost about NIS 350 million.
Microsoft operates in Israel through two divisions – Microsoft Israel headed by general manager Ronit Atad and Microsoft Israel RD led by CVP and general manager Michal Braverman-Blumenstyk.
Microsoft Israel RD was set up in 1991 and was one of the company’s first-ever development centers outside of the US. In recent years, the RD center has focused on cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. The vast majority of Microsoft Israel employees work in development with half of them in cybersecurity.
Microsoft Israel says that the new campus includes an innovation center for demonstrating the company’s technologies to customers and partners, a center for meeting customers and advanced laboratories for the innovation center development staff.
Microsoft Israel’s innovation laboratory is called “The Garage” and is designed to nurture creativity in in information security, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence. It will offer employees free access to advanced technological equipment, to create prototypes of their new ventures and technological creations. The innovation lab will include a demonstration center to showcase the company’s technologies for visitors, bringing Microsoft closer to the local ecosystem, developers’ community, local partners, and customers. M12, Microsoft’s Venture Fund – will also be located in the campus.
The workstations in the buildings are divided into “neighborhoods”, fostering teamwork and creating opportunities for employees to meet with people outside their group. An abundance of natural light, ergonomic furniture and natural vegetation is integrated into the interior spaces.
The building has playrooms, nursing rooms, working balconies, a basketball and volleyball court, a yoga room, a 1,000-square meter gym, music room, and a dog park. Additional amenities include postal services, laundry service, and a convenience store. Haim Cohen’s Feed Your Mind group is responsible for the catering services in the six dining zones and the two cafes, with meal delivery and takeaway services.
In keeping with Microsoft’s sustainability targets, the campus has been designed using several innovative green technologies including WaterGen, which generates water from air moisture, thirty-two test and control points of Wint water leak detection technology, a GreenWall platform that nurtures vegetation growth.
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The building is designed with energy efficiency in mind, making use of enVerid, an air-filtration, and energy-saving patent. Its 800 square meters of photovoltaic cells will provide power to the building.
Yashar Architects designed the new campus, Vered Gindi Architects and Ami Szmelcman were responsible for the building’s interiors, and Tidhar Group was responsible for the construction. Campus artworks are from Israeli artists curated by the Gordon gallery with an installation by designer Ron Arad.
Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on November 22, 2020
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