20,076 sq. ft. - Menlo Park, CA 2011
Roman and Williams describe their ethos as a combination of their parents’ ’60s rebellion and their grandparents’ Depression-era rigor and hard work. In their Facebook project, a mess hall in the Menlo Park, California headquarters, they found kindred spirits. Both Roman and Williams and Facebook expressed an interest in “anti-design”, or anti-style. Rather, they were focused on stripping things down to their essence. As Stephen describes, “With the Facebook guys we shared an interest in all things analog—the reliability of it, the common sense of it, the simplicity of it.”
Instead of design, Roman and Williams strove for simplicity and transparency. For example, they preferred to use an exposed screw rather than a glistening glass wall, and worked to get to the essential needs of a great place to eat. The firm’s goal with the mess hall was to undermine the formality of the typical corporate cafeteria. They deconstructed the ceiling and exposed the framing to create a camp-like vibe, or a work in progress. Slick black tables and the bar level booths fill the space, along with print art, exposed light bulbs, and exposed rivets galore.