Mighty Things

For the Connected World

Google’s Sci-Fi City

When the world takes a step forward, Google aims a leap forward.

Google has revealed its new headquarters plan for Mountain View, and on first glance, it looks stunning. While Apple, Amazon and Facebook already lead the charge with their new campuses, Google might define the Echo-Tech movement. Could Google DNA also set the tone for an eco-tech Sci-Fi city? We’d like to think so.

Architects Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick have imagined not only a new vibrant home for the Internet giant, but also ways to protect and enhance the local natural habitat of North Bayshore.

“We have a duty to reflect in the physical environment the values that have been manifested in the innovations that have come out from this part of California. A humanistic spirit is something that feels really important to embody in what we have built. So that’s shared between all of us and is exciting and driving us and will be, in its way, a revolution.” — Thomas Heatherwick

Google's Future New Home

Instead of constructing immoveable concrete buildings, Google will create lightweight block-like structures, which can be moved around easily as the company invests in new product areas. The “Self-Driving Car” team, for example, has very different needs when it comes to office space from the “Search” engineers. Small cranes and robotic machines would be on hand to move walls and other building pieces around whenever needed. 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, Google aims to blur the distinction between its buildings and nature.

“When you visit the Google campus, there’s lots of trees. But there’s this constant major undermining of that by the road system and the infrastructure required for all of those cars. It just feels like trees are street furniture.” — Thomas Heatherwick

The connection to the landscape goes beyond biodomes and an abundant plant life presence both inside and out. The theme is also embodied by the absence of cars and parking, probably thanks to a more fluid and efficient system of self-driving cars.

Enough said. Just watch the video and enjoy. It’s bold, smart, and beautiful.

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