An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar T.D., was today joined by Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President, Microsoft Corporation; Cathriona Hallahan, MD, Microsoft Ireland and Martin Shanahan, CEO, IDA Ireland at the official opening of the company’s new 34,000sqm campus, One Microsoft Place, in Leopardstown, Co. Dublin. The opening of the building marks an important milestone in the company’s ongoing cultural transformation. This new workspace facilitates team members from different parts of the business, with a diverse range of skill sets and roles, to come together as ‘One Microsoft’ to work together on behalf of local and global customers.
The new campus provides an environment that will drive further innovation and creativity by the Microsoft team on behalf of businesses, governments, non-profit organisations and society as a whole. The building design has led to the creation of ‘neighbourhoods’, numerous open spaces and relaxation zones all of which provide endless opportunities for people to work, think, create and problem solve together. This is central to the company’s continued cultural change programme which, under CEO, Satya Nadella, aims to bring everyone in the company together to work on a common mission – helping every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more.
Commenting at the launch event the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD said: “The opening of this campus is a landmark day for Microsoft, which first came to Ireland 33 years ago, and a testament to the calibre of our tech talent who have contributed so positively to Microsoft’s global growth. As a flagship multinational investor, Microsoft has strongly endorsed Ireland as an investment location for the world’s top tech firms. The Government is determined to ensure that Ireland continues to harness emerging technologies for social and economic benefit. We are aiming to be a European leader in STEM education by 2026 and our enterprise policy is based around supporting research and innovation. Ireland is now ranked 10th globally for the overall quality of its scientific research, an increase of 26 places in 13 years. With this focused and ambitious approach, I believe we can make Dublin the tech capital of Europe.”
Speaking at the opening of the building Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President, Microsoft said: “Technology is rapidly changing how we live, work and play and Microsoft is a major force in driving this change. Working together as One Microsoft we are bringing our talents together to achieve more – for our customers, our partners and our own employees. This wonderful new building creates the opportunity for the Irish based team to do more together by facilitating development, innovation and creativity. Our Data Scientists, AI Bot builders and Mixed Reality Game developers will work alongside our sales and marketing professionals to help bring the benefits of digital transformation to our customers, helping them to achieve more.”
As part of today’s celebration, Cathriona Hallahan, MD, Microsoft Ireland, detailed the local ambition that the Irish team has set itself: “As a team, we have the opportunity – and the responsibility – to educate and inform people and organisations about the greater impact they can have if they embrace digital transformation. Importantly, we have a responsibility to equip young people in Ireland with the skills and ambition they need to imagine, create and navigate their own future.
“As part of the development of the new campus, we invested over €5m in the creation of a dedicated innovation and education hub, DreamSpace, with a supporting digital skills programme. We plan to bring 100,000 young people and their teachers to our campus over the next four years to give them an understanding of the transformational nature of technology, equip them with the digital skills they need to engage fully with technology and encourage them to use their imagination to create their own future. Working with young people, the building’s legacy will be about cementing Ireland’s position as a global digital leader, while continuing to support our customers today and tomorrow.”
The building creates a new standard in workplace design: this includes formal and informal workspaces; a range of facilities including a music room, a yoga pod, a gym, treatment rooms, a mother’s room, a podcast room, a number of restaurants with varied cuisine types, hang out areas, play areas, relaxation rooms and the latest and greatest Microsoft technology. All of this is complemented by views of the mountains, the race track, the sea and a walking trail around the perimeter of the building.
Cathriona concluded, “For those who have the privilege of working here every day, it will be an inspiring space – designed to meet professional and lifestyle needs. Combine all of the physical elements with the talented people that come in through the door every morning, bringing life into the physical space each day and this truly becomes one of the most inspiring places to work in the country.”
The design and layout of the building has been based around the theme of mountains and lakes – at the centre of the atrium space is a wood carved mountain and a digital lake with an LED waterfall flowing into it. Microsoft employees are already making use of the different rooms, open spaces and relaxation areas to work together formally and informally to solve and anticipate customer challenges. People can choose to meet at the bleacher seating, can have quiet time in one of the many phone booths, or can have lunch at the beach cafe or Italian pizzeria before picking up a loaf of Microsoft bread baked daily by the in-house baker.
Lead designers for the building were RKD Architects and Gensler. Mace and CBRE provided project management services with BAM as the lead contractor working with its key MEP partner, Jones Engineering.
To get a glimpse of One Microsoft Place, please see https://www.microsoft.com/en-ie/aboutireland or follow @MicrosoftIrl & #MicrosoftLifeIreland.