The ensemble of office buildings was erected near the town of Holmdel (New Jersey) in 1957-1962. Its considerable size (six floors, almost 200,000 sq. M of usable area) still makes it one of the largest administrative buildings in the state.
The size is the reason why the new owners want to demolish "Bell Labs": the building is designed for 5,600 employees, and before the sale there were only 1,200.
At the same time, Saarinen in his project for the first time used several elements of the architectural solution that are fundamental for an office building today.
For the external glazing, mirrored glass specially designed for this building was used: it successfully reflects a significant part of the sun's rays, thereby reducing the temperature in the rooms.
The complex consists of seven buildings under one roof, located around an extensive courtyard, which has now also become a permanent motive for many similar buildings. To get from one part of Bell Labs to another, employees had to walk along glazed corridors along the outer perimeter of the building, admiring the rural New England landscape, or along the walls of the atrium where the garden was set up. They highly appreciated the openness of the complex of offices and laboratories: before that, the interiors of most such structures were dark and cramped, there was no talk of greenery.
The building, rectangular in plan, was inscribed in the circle of the site bounded by the bypass road. The area not occupied by buildings was used for parking.
The Bell Labs ensemble is complemented by a 40 m high water tower at the entrance to the office complex. Due to its unusual shape (a bowl on three high supports), reminiscent of an alien spaceship, this household structure has become very popular with local residents.
The Saarinen complex impresses with its monumental scale, and this is facilitated by its idyllic natural surroundings. But the fate of this most interesting architectural monument has now been determined: the firm "Preferred Real Estate Investments", which deals with real estate transactions, plans to create in its place another faceless office-park, despite the fact that "Bell Labs" has not only an architectural, but also a historical value. It was there that the foundations of modern cellular telephone communications were laid, new ways of using the laser were proposed, many physicists - Nobel laureates - worked within the walls of these laboratories.
UPD 2006-20-09: After spreading information about the upcoming demolition of the building, hundreds of physicists from the United States and other countries of the world turned to the current owners of the complex with a request to preserve this monument of architecture and history of science. As a result, it was decided that only the later annexes would be dismantled, and the main building according to Saarinen's design would be supplemented with two new buildings.