GOOGLE’S CALIFORNIA HEADQUARTERS ARE AT ONE WITH NATURE
Bjarke Ingels have teamed up with Thomas Heatherwick to create a masterpiece like no other. The design duo have proposed exciting new plans for the new Google headquarters to be built from scratch in Mountain View, California over a span of 316,000 square metres. This is a milestone for the Bjarke Ingels group, as it is the first time the multinational company will have created and built a complex from the ground up. The revolutionary new site is to be made up of blocks that can be adjusted or moved depending on the requirements of the inhabitants. So, in the future, the internal spaces will have the ability to alter in size should that be necessary. David Radcliffe at Google explains this further, “the idea is simple. Instead of constructing immovable concrete buildings, we’ll create lightweight block-like structures which can be moved around easily as we invest in new product areas.”
Bjarke Ingels, the founder of Bjarke Ingels Group, or BIG, explains how nowadays more and more green areas are becoming heavily congested with components that are detrimental to nature, such as large-scale car parks and buildings. “We are trying to reverse this process, and recreate natural qualities that have been there in the first place,” he says. He goes on to explain how the aim of the project is to “transform the sea of parking you see today into a natural landscape.” This project is one that will outline how construction in green areas does not always have to be damaging to the surrounding environment. Ingels describes how the planned spaces will nurture the area’s natural habitat, and stresses that there will be “an abundance of green both outside and inside.” Radcliffe emphasises this, stressing that the company will be adding a number of bike paths for people – both employees and the community - to enjoy the complex in a natural way, without the intrusion of cars and excessive pollution.
Thomas Heatherwick, of Heatherwick Studios, is half of the dynamic duo revolutionising Google and what it stands for. He describes the proposed buildings as “greenhouses that both enclose and protect pieces of nature.” The sustainable elements within the proposal are primary when it comes to the designers and their objective. David Radcliffe explains how they are going to work alongside nature, as opposed to on top of it. “Next to ecologically sensitive areas, we’re able to pull back buildings and create wildlife habitat.”
As for the future, Radcliffe admits that we cannot know what it holds – but that this complex needs to be incredibly flexible in order for it to work. Ingels gives credit to the two other creatives behind the project, saying, “between these three different minds or three different companies working together, we have really arrived at something that I’m dead certain we wouldn’t have arrived at if any one of us were working in isolation.”