By awarding highly contested real estate to LinkedIn instead of Google, the Mountain View city council may have made a wise decision in terms of economic diversity, but it also may dash the dreams of architecture fans excited by the prospect of a Bjarke Ingels Group/Heatherwick Studio collaboration. The latest development in the arms race for tech office space also makes the timing of this new article by Bloomberg Business slightly off, since Google's vice president for real estate and workplace services, David Radcliffe, expressed uncertainty that the proposed futuristic campus is still viable. Still, it's a fascinating look at Google and how two of the biggest names in architecture and design work, as evidenced by the following revelations.
This Isn't the First Plan for a New Google HQ
Four years ago, Google commissioned Seattle architecture firm NBBJ to design an office park on Moffett Field, a former naval base a few miles east of the current Mountain View headquarters. It was shelved in 2013 when the possibility of a new facility in North Bayshore opened up.
Google Gives Good Holiday Presents
Both Heatherwick and Ingels receive Boosted Boards from Google last Christmas. Ingels promptly jumped on his, rode down a hallway, and crashed, while Heatherwick slowly approached the electric longboard and then cautiously rode down the hallway.
Larry Page Was Inspired by a Wooden Lab at MIT
Google's CEO and co-founder was inspired by Building 20, the famous "plywood palace" on MIT's campus long cherished as a model interdisciplinary workspace. Erected during World War II as a temporary research space, the incubator lasted for decades before being replaced, and was the site of numerous advances in physics and electronics. Page loved how the entire structure was modular and could be rearranged to accommodate different projects.
Some Question If They Have a Plan to Clean the RoofWhile the microclimate meant to blossom underneath the glass domes of the proposed Googleplex are impressive, the design has raised questions among fellow architects. One of the most pressing: how will they clean the structure during a long dry spell without rain?
·Big and Weird: The Architectural Genius of Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick [Bloomberg Business]
·Previous Googleplex coverage [Curbed SF]
·Previous Bjarke Ingels coverage [Curbed]
·Previous Thomas Heatherwick coverage [Curbed]