Google unveiled plans last year for a new and modern glass-covered campus that it wanted to construct in Mountain View, California. However, the city limited the amount of space where Google could build, forcing the company to scale back its plans.
Google submitted a new proposal to city planners on February 12. It calls for a modern and technologically advanced mixed-use space for offices and retail shops. The complex, which will be called Charleston East, will be near the current Googleplex.
One of the highlights of the new design is a photovoltaic-integrated canopy supported by a grid of tent poles over the building. It will generate renewable energy, although Google has not specified how much solar energy it expects the canopy to produce. The solar canopy will also serve other functions. It will regulate light, air quality, and sound inside the building.
While the original design called for a clear canopy, the new one will be silver to prevent birds from flying into the building. The building will have glass walls with less-reflective glass and visual obstacles to keep birds from flying into them.
Cafes and shops will line the ground level of the two-story, 595,000-square foot building. The stores and restaurants will be open to the public. The center of the space will be used for many purposes, including food trucks and pop-up shops. A green loop will allow pedestrians and cyclists to access the Charleston Basin and Googleplex.
Google said it will remove non-native trees from the site to protect burrowing owls by making it harder for predatory raptors to perch in the area. The site will have several other species of trees, grasses, and flowers.
Charleston East is designed to withstand the effects of global warming. Google plans to raise the grade of the site to protect it from rising sea levels and floods.