Google announced plans to radically redesign its main campus in Mountain View, California with movable buildings and translucent solar canopies. The project was designed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels of BIG and Thomas Heatherwick of Heatherwick Studio in London.
Google wants to use lightweight block structures in place of traditional buildings. Large translucent glass canopies would cover the sites and control the climate while allowing in light and air. Building segments would be able to be reconfigured within the canopies. The segments could be arranged to form small villages for employees to work and relax. The buildings would not have any roofs, walls, or windows. Employees would be able to work in the outdoors under the canopies.
The plan would replace some current buildings, but not the headquarters. The designs are not clear on how large the buildings would be or how many workers they would accommodate. Google has also not revealed the cost of the project.
The site would have green spaces for cyclists and walkers. Trees, landscaping, cafes, and bike paths would weave through the structures and blur the lines between the buildings and the natural environment.
Google wants to open its campus up to the community and create a neighborhood atmosphere. The plans include lots of bike paths, restaurants, and retail stores.
The company also wants to protect the environment by decreasing Google’s energy consumption. Google recently entered into an agreement to offset its energy consumption in North Bayshore with renewable energy.
The plans were submitted to the Mountain View City Council on February 28. They were posted online with a 10-minute video explaining the project in detail. Members of the Mountain View City Council will consider the design of the campus, as well as factors such as traffic flow and the area’s housing supply. It will probably take over a year for the proposal to be evaluated and approved. It is unclear how long it would take Google to turn its plans into reality.