Computational creativity and the future of AI

Google to build green-roof California HQ


February 27, 2013

NBBJ's Bay View Google HQ design (Image: NBBJ)

NBBJ's Bay View Google HQ design (Image: NBBJ)

An image has been released of what looks set to become Google's new California HQ. Named Bay View, the nine-building campus is designed to maximize the likelihood of innovation-friendly chance encounters between the workforce.

"You can't schedule innovation," Google's David Radcliffe tells Vanity Fair. "We want to create opportunities for people to have ideas and be able to turn to others right there and say, 'What do you think of this?'"

This philosophy has fostered the design's angular office blocks, arranged back to back like nodding clergy. Despite the 1.1 million sq ft (102,000 sq m), employees will be a maximum of a 2.5-minute walk away from one another, Vanity Fair reports.

Perhaps most remarkable is that this is Google's first build. In its 15-year history, Google has only ever occupied buildings previously used by others. "We've been the world's best hermit crabs: we've found other people's shells, and we've improved them," Radcliffe told the magazine.

For now, NBBJ isn't releasing additional information, and not being a technology publication, Vanity Fair's article, as interesting as it is, is relatively light on specifics. The big picture, though, is that Bay View will be shaped in the mold of Google's existing Mountain View Googleplex, with cafes and social space abound. There are some new details, though. The buildings will be connected by bridges, and it appears that five of the buildings will have green roofs, complete, Vanity Fair reports, with the ubiquitous cafes.

It'll be fascinating to see if Google and NBBJ push the sustainability envelope with the detailed design.

Sources: Vanity Fair and NBBJ

About the Author
James Holloway James lives in East London where he punctuates endless tea drinking with freelance writing and meteorological angst. Unlocking Every Extend Extra Extreme’s “Master of Extreme” achievement was the fourth proudest moment of his life.   All articles by James Holloway
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