Architecture Lab

Google’s New Campus Has Light, Fresh Air, Low Power Use

Google has begun construction of a new 1.1-million-square-foot headquarters that is just minutes by bicycle from its current Googleplex in Mountain View, California.
Google’s New Campus Has Light, Fresh Air, Low Power Use

An architectural rendering of the new Google headquarters campus under construction in Mountain View, California. Architect NBBJ links the nine buildings with raised pedestrian and bicycle bridges that cross landscaped courtyards and restored salt marshes. // NBBJ/Google via Bloomberg

It’s the first time the company is building offices for itself rather than occupying an existing structure, and Google has promised to break new ground in environmental sustainability.
The goal of the complex is “to provide the healthiest environment possible,” said David Bennett, head of Google’s Green Team Operations and Innovations, in an interview.

The proposed campus of boomerang-shaped structures will occupy a 42-acre site called Bay View.
The design is by NBBJ of Seattle, a prolific but not notably innovative firm.
It has produced 9 ordinary-looking, glass-clad buildings of three-to-five stories. They snuggle around a network of intimate but messily arranged courtyards.

Though the buildings seem to wander aimlessly, their narrow ends face west and east to minimize heat and glare from the morning and afternoon sun.

Google hopes staffers will hatch new ideas while communing with elements of native habitat reintroduced by local landscape architect Cheryl Barton. She will also restore eight acres of bayside salt marshes that Google will open to the public.
The company has said it will clean all of its storm-water runoff as well as some waste water before releasing it into the bay. It’s a low-lying location. I hope they are thinking about rising sea levels.

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