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Kooky, Verdant Office Spaces That May as Well Be Outside

In these hyper-whimsical latter days of office decor, the Dilbert-lampooned bare cubical is as outmoded as, well, Dilbert. Today, the question is not whether the converted-warehouse HQ of your hot new full-service laundry app should install a fake pine forest in its lounge, but whether it can really be thought of as "disrupting" the industry without one. Below, tour the AstroTurf-filled, greenwall-covered, over-weird office spaces of startups, tech giants, and others that haul the outdoors in, sometimes kicking and screaming.

↑ Indoor slides are pretty much the norm these days among tech companies. At Youtube's outpost in San Bruno, Calif., they're the easiest way to reach the putting green and the tiki bar from the second floor.

Verve marketing creative director John O'Shaughnessy turned the hip Dublin HQ of employer into a picturesque suburban street with ample parking for vintage automobiles, where all the dads are involved enough to make sure their kids grow up with treehouse access. And just down the road there's an indoor micro-park.

↑ Hoping, it would seem, to grind the stereotype of the dreary, drop-ceilinged call center to dust, Singapore's SingTel Call Center got a park-like dressing up from SCA Design, complete with a carousel and a few swinging benches.

Google, the Original Gangsters of nature fetish-y, cornucopic office decor, had its Tel Aviv office turned into a full-on orange grove by Studio Yaron Tal. And Google, being Google, has a term for this kind of productivity-enhancing pagan harvest shrine: "communication landscape."

↑ The Atelier Povětroň-designed Prague HQ of cement manufacturer Cemex has a "relaxation zone" where beanbag chairs and foosball tables sprout right out of the AstroTurf.

↑ At Google Amsterdam, the multinational makes a point of how not evil it is with the hostel-chic inclusion of a vintage camper trailer. The kitchen has a pretty pronounced Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs vibe, thanks to Dutch firm D/DOCK's choice of giant ceiling waffles.

↑ Every day is pic-a-nic day at Skype's Palo Alto office, which was carved out of an old warehouse by Design Blitz and populated with fun little fake-grass islands and all kinds of chairs in bright red.

↑ Sprigs of grass sprout from the walls at the Redwood City office of note-taking software purveyor Evernote, which was created by the architects at Studio O+A. One meeting room goes full-on safari mode with a cardboard-based piece of cruelty free taxidermy in the shape of an elephant head. (The company's slogan is "remember everything." Get it?)

↑ Places to hide from superiors, interns, and reminders of your adulthood at Google's Space-designed Mexico City office include a VW Beetle, a fake subway car, and an honest-to-Google to ball pit.

↑ Designed to harken back to "happy childhood memories" like "the time I put together that bangin' process workflow spreadsheet for the support team in an indoor cabin covered with artificial grass," the Montreal office of BICOM Communications was fashioned by designer Jean de Lessard to resemble a quirky little village square.

↑ Think the office of an energy company can't resemble an Easter egg-colored planetarium? How quaint. Heyligers Design+Projects turned the Nuon HQ into just such a space, in addition to greening it up with a very on-trend eco-wall.

↑ Work at Google's Malaysia outpost, and your power lunches might take a turn for the paleolithic, given that M Moser Associates fashioned the boardroom into a cave, stalactites and all. The cafe, with a blown-up picture of a rainforest and a bunch of Seussian tree-sculptures, looks like a great place for salad.

↑ Not to be outdone in the cheeky tiki bar department, Groupon had BOX Studios turn one room in its Chicago workspace into the physical embodiment of a Jimmy Buffet song.

↑ Taking the suburban "town square" a further step away from the actual spaces it emulates, software developer Vocus installed one in its office in Beltsville, Maryland, which has an "arcade" and a "coffee shop," and looks a great deal like the strip-mall developments in the DC metro area.

↑ The oft-referenced indoor-outdoor divide is still reeling from when the architects at Cuningham Group installed a small garden in its Culver City location. Along with the stacks of shipping container meeting rooms, this patch of green is there to "reinforce the firm's emphasis on sustainability, collaboration, and creativity."

· The 13 Strangest Google Office Tidbits Debuted in 2013 [Curbed National]
· A Dozen of Google's Most Utterly Weird Office-Decor Details [Curbed National]
·All Office Spaces posts [Curbed National]
· All Outdoors Week 2014 posts [Curbed National]