With an eye on expanding its search engine expertise to focus on other technological topics in the fields of automobiles, robotics and healthcare, search engine giant Google plans to increase the size of its campus in Mountain View, California by over 50 percent, from four million square feet to 6.5 million square feet. Google plans to do that utilizing modern modular construction techniques.
In addition to adding space that will accommodate a workforce of an additional 10,000 to its current 20,000 employees, existing office buildings will be converted to a series of tent-shaped glass-and-metal modular structures.
Designed by London’s Heatherwick Studios and Danish architect Bjarke Engles, plans call for covered bikeways, lush public gardens, widened creek beds and enhanced habitats for the burrowing owl — some 30 acres committed to open space.
Google’s David Radcliffe, Vice President for Real Estate, said in a blog post that large, translucent canopies over the campus “will regulate climate, pollution and sound while freeing spaces from traditional architectural limitations like walls, windows and roofs.” He added the goal “is to blur the distinction between our building and nature” which will “lead to a better way of working.” The reconfiguring of the campus will include retail establishments to give the area a neighborhood feel.
The lightweight block-like modular structures will be easily moved as space demands change. Radcliffe, notes that the team working on the self-drive automobile will have different needs than Google’s Search engineers.
As gadgets.ndtv tells MHLivingNews, Google is also leading the race to develop a self-driving car. Says Radcliffe: “As we’ve inhabited a variety of workplaces—including a garage in Menlo Park, a farmhouse in Denmark and an entire New York city block—we’ve learned something about what makes an office space great. And we’re excited to put that into practice, starting here at our home in Mountain View.”
Google, having been headquartered in the city for 15 years, will need approval from the Mountain View City Council for the modular building project, a process that is expected to take a year. “It’s going to be a bold and very innovative campus,” said Ken Rosenberg, a member of Mountain View’s City Council. “There’s a tremendous amount of glass so you will feel like you’re outside when you’re inside.”
If the building trades and general public needed another example to remind them of how valuable modular building and manufactured home construction could be, this would be one of the elements in building that case. Almost everything you own or use passes through a production facility of some kind. Why not your next home or office building? ##