After halting plans for an expansion of its Mountain View, California, headquarters in 2012, Google has returned to the drawing board. The tech giant is partnering with Seattle-based architectural firm NBBJ to design a new home base, known as Bay View. The 1.1 million-square-foot complex calls for nine buildings shaped as rectangles with a bend in the middle. These “bends” will create spaces for courtyards and pathways. Bridges connect the structures, some of which will showcase green roofs—with one of them housing a gathering area and outdoor café. The campus’s design also will place cars out of sight.
The new complex is a shift from Google’s usual real estate patterns, which typically involve the company moving into existing offices and filling them with cafés, billiards tables, video games, and bowling alleys for employee respite. These ever-desirable perks for which Google is known will find a home in the new campus—the design of which still needed to focus on other important aspects of the work environment.
In communicating its wants for the new headquarters to NBBJ, Google first studied how its employees work—considering factors such as brainstorming tendencies, preferred work spaces, and proximity to other groups within the company. To that end, the bent rectangles of this “inside-out” design allow for a floorplan that keeps workers with a two-and-a-half-minute walk from each other. Just as it’s done in its existing buildings, Google will create an environment that incorporates private and communal work spaces. Bay View also will be built with sustainable features.
Image courtesy of NBBJ