Today, Google announced the opening of its new Bay View campus in Silicon Valley, representing the company’s first time developing its own major campus.
The Bay View campus was designed by architects Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Heatherwick Studio, as well as Google’s design and engineering teams, and spans 42 acres adjacent to the NASA’s Ames Research Centre in Silicon Valley. It totals 1.1 million square feet, with 20 acres of open space, two office buildings, an 1,000-person event centre, and 240 short-term employee accommodation units.
The interior of the buildings reemphasize Google’s vision for the future of work, designed in response to its understanding of why Google’s employees come to the office, what they need from their teammates, and what they need from the company.
For those coming into the office, it was designed to balance Googlers’ desire to come together as teams with the need for an environment that enables deep-focus work. Team spaces are on the upper level and gathering spaces are below, separating focus and collaborative areas while still providing easy access to both. The second floor design has variation in floorplates to give teams a designated “neighbourhood” area that is highly flexible to change with their needs.
- The campus incorporates biophilic design principles, including greenery, natural daylight and views outside from every desk to improve the health and wellbeing of those inside the building. Clerestory windows modulate direct light onto desks with automated window shades that open and close over the course of the day.
- The ventilation system uses 100% outside air. This means air flows one way, so there is no recycled air, which is much healthier for occupants.
- To remove toxins and create the healthiest environment possible, the project team vetted thousands of building products and materials — everything from carpet tiles, paints, piping, plywood and furniture were evaluated using the Living Building Challenge (LBC) Red List as a framework.
- Nine pieces of artworks from local Bay Area artists are on and around the nine massive two-story elevators. Not only do they depict Bay Area ecology scenes, but they also help with wayfinding in the building.
Sustainability is also core to the Bay View campus. The site is expected to achieve a LEED-NC v4 Platinum certification and become the largest facility ever to attain the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) LBC Water Petal Certification.
- The integrated geothermal pile system, which is the largest in North America, is estimated to reduce carbon emissions by roughly 50% and will help both heat and cool the campus. The massive geoexchange field is integrated into the structural system, reducing the amount of water typically used for cooling by 90%, equal to five million gallons of water annually.
- To help deliver on its commitment to operate every hour of every day on carbon-free energy by 2030, the first-of-its-kind dragon-scale solar skin, as well as nearby wind farms, will power Bay View on carbon-free energy 90% of the time.
- Bay View is 100% electric where even the kitchens are electric to decrease carbon emissions.
- To help deliver on its commitment to replenish 120% of the water it consumes by 2030, the site is net water-positive with all non-potable water demands being met using the recycled water it generates on site. A series of above-ground ponds gather rainwater, combined with a building wastewater treatment system, together serve as a water source for cooling towers, flushing toilets, and landscape irrigation.
- The campus includes 7.3 acres of high-value natural areas – including wet meadows, woodlands, and marsh – that contribute to Google’s broader efforts to re-establish missing essential habitat in the Bay Area.
Local residents can also benefit from the opening of the Bay View campus, including public access to expanded trails with panoramic views of the Bay, improved bike connections to Stevens Creek and Bay trails, and expanded car lanes and new bike lanes with the widening of R.T. Jones Road.
Learn more about Google’s Bay View campus at https://goo.gle/heatherwickbayview
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“The idea of the ‘office’ has been stuck for a long time. Yes, people have done different aesthetic treatments. But there hasn’t been a fundamental questioning of the workplace at this scale. Our approach has centred on the emotions of individuals and the imaginations of teams and how you create a whole different atmosphere of work,” said Thomas Heatherwick, Founder and Design Director, Heatherwick Studio.
“Our design of the new Google Bay View campus is the result of an incredibly collaborative design process. Working with a client as data driven as Google has led to an architecture where every single decision is informed by hard information and empirical analysis. The result is a campus where the striking dragon-scale solar canopies harvest every photon that hits the buildings; the energy piles store and extract heating and cooling from the ground, and even the naturally beautiful floras are in fact hardworking rootzone gardens that filter and clean the water from the buildings. All in all, a campus where front of house and back of house, technology and architecture, and form and function have been fused into a new and striking hybrid,” said Bjarke Ingels, Founder & Creative Director, BIG
Photo credit: Iwan Baan