Google reveals plans for vast new California campus
Google has teamed up with global architecture firm NBBJ to design a new 100,000-square-metre campus for San Francisco Bay, California. The new Bay View campus marks the first time Google has designed its own offices from scratch rather than taking over existing offices and refurbishing them to meet its own needs. It will be more than twice the size of the company's existing headquarters at the nearby Mountain View Googleplex. The initial rendering, which the internet giant previewed in US publication Vanity Fair this week, shows a cluster of bent rectangles organised to form large and small courtyards. The nine structures are all connected by bridges, one of which leads to a green roof with a cafe and meeting space, while all cars are hidden from view. To convey its needs to architects NBBJ, Google gathered masses of information on how its employees work and what kind of spaces they want. "We started not with an architectural vision but with a vision of the work experience," according to David Radcliffe, a civil engineer who oversees Google's property. "So we designed this from the inside out." No employee will be more than a two-and-a-half minute walk from any other to encourage a "casual collision of the workforce" and the spread of ideas throughout the company, said Radcliffe. Social media giant Facebook is also planning a new campus in the Bay Area, which has been designed by architect Frank Gehry to be the largest open-plan office in the world, while Apple is currently constructing its own hoop-shaped headquarters by Foster + Partners in Cupertino, California. Last month Google purchased nearly a hectare of land in London's King's Cross Central development, where it plans to build an enormous headquarters for its UK operations. Sources told Reuters that Google's £650 million investment in the site could be worth up to £1 billion when the building is complete in 2016. This week Google posted a video preview of its new Google Glass technology, the voice-controlled wearable headset that can take pictures, record movies and search the web, and invited "creative individuals" to apply to get their hands on one. Other Google campuses we've featured on Dezeen include the firm's garden-themed London headquarters where staff can grow vegetables in allotments and its Tel Aviv campus where slides connect the different floors.