Microsoft begins demolishing buildings in Redmond campus remodel

Key Points
  • Microsoft is getting rid of a dozen buildings and constructing new ones, along with space for businesses and recreation areas.
  • The first buildings on the campus opened in 1986.
Microsoft begins demolition of Building 1 on its campus in Redmond, Wash., on Jan. 8, 2019.

Microsoft on Tuesday said that it's begun demolishing buildings as part of a revamp of its headquarters in Redmond, Wash.

Amazon, Apple and other technology companies have been expanding geographically. Microsoft, which ceded the title of most valuable public company to Amazon earlier this week, is taking a different route, seeking to make the most of the property it already owns.

All four of the X-shaped buildings Microsoft erected to handle its relocation to Redmond from nearby Bellevue in February 1986 are being torn down, although Lake Bill, named for Microsoft cofounder and former CEO Bill Gates, will remain. Altogether, Microsoft is tearing down a dozen buildings in the refresh. When the project is done in 2022, there will be 18 new buildings, along with open space, a "fitness loop" and a boardwalk.

In recent months employees and interested outsiders have been able to explore a virtual version of the redesigned campus in recent months in "Minecraft." That hasn't stopped some people from reminiscing about the structures that are going away.

Microsoft shared photos of the demolition as it got underway.

A sign is removed in Building 2 on the Microsoft campus.
Some drywall is gone from Building 2 on the Microsoft campus.
Microsoft employees and contractors pose for a photo in the company's Building 2 as demolition begins.

Microsoft wants to reuse, recycle or donate remnants of the buildings that are going away.

"From concrete and steel framing to carpets, ceiling tiles, electronic and networking gear, interior debris and loose assets like furniture, chairs and whiteboards, to even the artificial turf outside — most of the materials in the old spaces will find a new life," the company said in a statement.

WATCH: Microsoft built its new campus in Minecraft

Microsoft built its new campus in Minecraft