Today Google announced their exciting proposal to redevelop four sites in Mountain View, California. Designed by Bjarke Ingels at BIG and Thomas Heatherwick at Heatherwick Studio, the new headquarters will be the first time Google will design and build their offices from scratch. The concept is simple and genius: instead of building permanent structures with a single purpose, Google’s new headquarters will be designed with flexibility in mind. From their self-driving car program to their engineering labs and tech offices, Google has an urgent need for flexible workspaces as they continue to innovate.
The sites will be covered by large translucent geodesic canopies instead of permanent walls and ceilings. Inside, the large spaces will be filled with a wide variety of beautiful modular block structures that can be easily rearranged and repurposed as needed. Beautiful landscapes, trees, cafes and bike paths will weave throughout. In an effort to move away from Silicon Valley automotive-infastructure, Google plans to make many areas of the campus accessible to the public.
“Of course, this project is about much more than just office space; it’s about doing more with the local community as well. So we’re adding lots of bike paths and retail opportunities, like restaurants, for local businesses. We also hope to bring new life to the unique local environment, from enhancing burrowing owl habitats to widening creek beds. And we’re committed to do everything we can to save energy—our recent agreement to offset our energy consumption in North Bayshore with renewable energy includes the development of this proposal.”
Hopefully Mountain View City Council approves this request and allows Google to move into the future. Way to go Google!
Photos and Video:
The building’s translucent canopy lifts up to allow the public Green Loop to go through the center of the building, with cafes and local shops on the lower levels..
Large, translucent enclosures blur the boundaries between inside and out. These canopies regulate climate, pollution, and sound, while freeing spaces from traditional architectural limitations like walls, windows and roofs. Cafes and local shops on the lower levels open into interior open walkways under the canopy.
The canopies along Shoreline Boulevard open onto a public plaza with retail spaces. Along the street, buildings are 2 or 3 stories, with taller areas toward the center of the structures.
Within the canopy, building segments operate like furniture—light, tactile and reconfigurable. These segments form small villages where employees can work or relax. The Green Loop goes through the building. The rim of the canopy provides structure as well as biking and walking paths.
Consolidated parking sits below the building, helping us reach our goal of Net-Zero parking. Once at Landings, visitors can easily connect to the rest of campus through one of several walking and biking paths.
At ground level, the environment is newly restored. Employees will be drawn from offices to the outdoors, to work alongside waterways and under trees. Mountain View residents can walk or ride along green corridors, eat at cafes, shop, play in parks, or work in the public community gardens.
You can’t tell, but a consolidated parking structure is hidden below this landscaped garden. By consolidating parking, traffic congestion is reduced in the area, making it safer and more attractive for people to walk and bike.
In place of parking lots and other underutilized sites, we will establish revitalized native ecosystems, including re-oaking and wetlands.
Mountain View’s Precise Plan encourages the creation of a diverse network of public and private open spaces such as plazas, parks and trails. This rendering shows the Green Loop, a circuit for bikes and pedestrians that weaves through urban and natural areas. A solar canopy produces energy and also protects bicyclists from the rain.