Remember Pauly Shore's and Stephen Baldwin's futuristic living space in Biodome? Google matches that, and raises you a babbling brook, running paths, and thousands of tech-savvy geniuses. Swooping buildings offering canopy-style roofs and a surrounding natural landscape, gives the future Googleplex a leg-up in the corporate office world.
"The idea is simple," David Radcliffe, Google's vice president real estate, writes on the company's blog. "Instead of constructing concrete buildings, we'll create lightweight block-like structures which can be moved around easily as we invest in new product areas."
With Bjarke Ingels Group and Thomas Heatherwick Studio at the helm, both known for some of the most innovative architecture on the map, Google wants to make its North Bayshore offices a part of Mountain View's urban life, instead of an isolated work space. Contrary to Silicon Valley's usual boring office-building-riddled landscapes, the Googleplex will feature serene meadows, crystal-clear creeks, an underground garage (keeping its grassy-green exterior untouched by asphalt), and a centralized plaza with retail space for cafes and local shops.
"Together with Heatherwick Studio and Google we have set out to imagine the work environments of future Googlers to be as adaptable, flexible and intelligent as the rest of Google's wide spanning portfolio," BIG founder Bjarke Ingels said in a press statement. "Rather than an insular corporate headquarters, Google North Bayshore will be a vibrant new neighborhood of Mountain View."
Although most tech companies tend to remain private within their corporate cities, Googleplex plans to be open to its outlying Mountain View inhabitants. But is Mountain View open to Google's newest architectural vision? Referencing current tension between the city and its greatest employer (sluggish traffic from morning commuters and rising real estate prices are just two issues facing the onetime sleepy town), many question if the Mountain View denizens will respond positively to this expansion.
But, whether or not this expansion is fully welcomed by locals, it could be one of the most inventive, environmentally-friendly, and playful corporate headquarters in the Bay Area. With an estimate date of completion hinting at 2024, all the tech mammoth needs now is approval from the city of Mountain View.
[Renderings via Silicon Valley Business Journal]