Google unveils plans for opulent new headquarters

Not to be outdone by Apple's spaceship-like blueprints, Google has some futuristic digs in the pipeline as well.


One could argue Google already revolutionized the traditional workplace environment with open floor plans and colorful office spaces resembling playgrounds versus cubicle farms.

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Now the Internet giant is poised to deliver another disruption to both interior and exterior office design.

Google has unveiled a bevy of splashy new renderings for an opulent and futuristic redevelopment of four sites at its Mountain View headquarters in Silicon Valley.

An exclusive by the San Francisco Business Times published on Friday detailed the planning process, which has been in the works for a few years now -- starting by assembling a team of some of the world's best architects.

Not able to decide between the top two competing visions, Google tapped both Danish architect Bjarke Ingels of Bjarke Ingels Group and Thomas Heatherwick at London's Heatherwick Studio to spearhead the design strategy. San Francisco's CMG Landscape Architecture firm has also been enlisted.

But there will be more than just a human touch involved in getting the palatial office off the ground, so to speak.

Opting for more glass than concrete, canopies and interiors have been designed for the purpose of reproducing new workspaces through the deployment of cranes and robots, referred to together as "crabots."

David Radcliffe, vice president of Google's real estate team, quipped in a blog post that the "idea is simple."

Radcliffe elaborated:

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.) Large translucent canopies will cover each site, controlling the climate inside yet letting in light and air. With trees, landscaping, cafes, and bike paths weaving through these structures, we aim to blur the distinction between our buildings and nature.

Google still has a long way to go before even breaking ground on this ambitious development, starting by getting approval from the Mountain View City Council.

Google's sumptuous new home follows avant-garde construction projects already in the pipeline, such as Amazon's expanding footprint in Seattle's South Lake Union district as well as London along with Apple's spaceship-like fortress, dubbed Campus 2.

Apple CEO Tim Cook also recently surprised both Silicon Valley and Wall Street at a recent Goldman Sachs summit, dropping news about what he characterized as Apple's "biggest and boldest project ever." That would be the construction of a 1,300-acre solar farm in Monterey County, California, just a few hours south of Apple's headquarters in Cupertino.

For a closer look at Google's grandiose floor plans, check out the promo video below:

Image via Google