Microsoft Ireland's €134 million new campus opened by Taoiseach, Leo Vradkar
"One Microsoft" strategy brought to life in new campus
Announced as part of Microsoft's 30th anniversary of operations in Ireland, Microsoft's massive new campus in Sandyford was officially opened by an Taoiseach, Leo Vradkar.
The glistening building - known as One Microsoft Place - brings all of Microsoft different product teams under one roof for the first time in Ireland. Floor space in the new building is larger than four football pitches and taller than five Dublin Buses stacked on top of each other.
The development includes an investment of over €5 million in the creation of a dedicated innovation and education hub, DreamSpace, with a supporting digital skills programme. The company plans to bring 100,000 young people and their teachers to DreamSpace over the next four years to give them an understanding of the transformational nature of technology and inspire the digital skills to image how technology can be used to create and design their own future.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Vradkar 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 it's scientific research."
The building creates a new standard in Workspace Design, including formal and informal workspaces, music rooms, yoga pods, a gym, treatment rooms, mothering rooms and a number of restaurants with various cuisine types. All of this is with great views of the Dublin mountains, Leopardstown racetrack and a healthy walking trail around the perimeter of the building.
"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 coe 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"
- Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director, Microsoft Ireland
Nature inspires much of the design of the building with the theme of mountains and lakes - a carved mountain is a central feature at the of the complex, with an LED waterfall spilling into the digital lake. Microsoft Employees are already making use of the different meeting and focus rooms for planned an impromptu meetings at the bleacher seating or before picking up a loaf of bread, baked fresh on-site daily by the in-house baker.
Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President of Business Development at 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."
Highlighted by an Taoiseach as an embodiment of the progress made possible through technology and Microsoft's journey in Ireland, Managing Director of Microsoft Ireland, Cathriona Hallahan, was actually one of the first employees of Microsoft in Ireland. Starting her career in the accounting department, as employee number 24, she has worked through many different roles before eventually becoming Managing Director.
In 1985 the first 20 employees were involved in localisation (translating Software into one of the many supported languages) and also copying Floppy Diskettes of Microsoft software in preparation for distribution. 33 years later, with Floppy Disks a thing of the past and over 2,000 people from 72 different nationalities, many of Microsoft's key operations in Europe and the Middle East are housed in Irish locations - from Windows to Office, and Sales to Azure, Cloud and Data Centre Services.
This new building is symbolic of the progress made through technology and , when prepared and applied correctly, that it is possible to use technology to boost jobs rather than take employment from a country or a community.
Image Credits: Michael Ryan, Naoise Culhane