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March 2, 2015

Google Plans to Out Sci-Fi Apple With New Headquarters

Company Submits Plans to Mountain View City Council for Approval

Google has unveiled its plans for a futuristic new headquarters in Mountain View, California — and the plans give Apple’s new campus, which is currently under construction, a run for its money.

Google on Friday submitted a plan to redevelop four sites to the Mountain View City Council. The four locations already have offices, but Google wants to significantly increase its square footage at each site.

“It’s the first time we’ll design and build offices from scratch,” said Google real estate vice-president David Radcliffe.

“The idea is simple. Instead of constructing immoveable concrete buildings, we’ll create lightweight block-like structures which can be moved around easily as we invest in new product areas. (Our self-driving car team, for example, has very different needs when it comes to office space from our Search engineers.)”

Huff_Exterior_West Entry

This rendering shows the west side of the proposed Huff project. 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.

Google has hired Bjarke Ingels at BIG and Thomas Heatherwick at Heatherwick Studio out of London to design the new headquarters.

Large adjustable and translucent canopies made of metal and glass will cover each site to let in light and air while also controlling the climate inside. Trees, landscaping, cafes and bike paths will be interwoven throughout the structures to take advantage of the natural environment.

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.

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.

It is not yet known how much the project will cost Google, but it is safe to say that the price tag will be in the billions of dollars.

The Silicon Valley Business Journal is reporting Google’s planned expansion will cover 3.4 million square feet across all four locations. It is thought the first site will be completed by 2020.

Sill, according to the Journal, there are some snags Google must smooth before the project can go ahead, such as a lack of new housing in the proposal. Google, according to the report, has indicated it would like to add housing near the new headquarters. To encourage city officials to give the project the green light, Google has also proposed a $200-million public benefits package which would include a new public safety building and a bike bridge across a nearby highway.

This rendering shows the west side of the proposed Shoreline building. 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.

This rendering shows the west side of the proposed Shoreline building. The canopies along Shoreline Boulevard open onto a public plaza with retail spaces. Along the street, buildings are two or three stories, with taller areas toward the center of the structures.

As Radcliffe pointed out in his blog post, the project is not just about benefitting the company, but the community as well. To do that, Google plans to add 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,” he said. “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.”

This rendering shows the inside of the proposed Charleston South building looking west. 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.

This rendering shows the inside of the proposed Charleston South building looking west. 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.

“We chose Mountain View for our headquarters 15 years ago because we love the beauty of the bay, the close proximity to great universities, the family-friendly environment and the chance to work in a city at the heart of Silicon Valley,” he added.“Today, we want to create office spaces that don’t just provide a great home for Google, but which also work for the city that has given us so much.”

http://youtu.be/z3v4rIG8kQA


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Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

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