Google just unveiled images of its newest campus, a 66 acre, 11-story behemoth that will be designed by award-winning architectural firm AHMM. Prior to this building's announcement, Google's London operations were split between two offices--one in Covent Garden and one in Victoria. The new headquarters, which will be located near London's prestigious King's Cross Station, will consolidate operations into a single building while attempting to blend into the neighborhood. The new office will be made from industrial materials like steel, glass, and cross-laminated timber panels, and it's designed to achieve BREEAM Outstanding certification
In decades past, the construction of a new office building in London would hardly be a newsworthy event, but the ingenuity of companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple have changed that. Everyone wants to know–what kind of building do you create when money is no object and you employ some of the most creative and technologically savvy minds in the world?
If the early looks at Google’s King’s Cross HQ (outlined in red above) are any indication, it won’t disappoint. “This building is underpinned by cutting edge design intelligence and technologies to provide a sophisticated twenty-first century working environment for Google’s staff,” AHMM director Simon Allford told Dezeen.
The building, which many are calling a ‘groundscraper’ will be multi-leveled, growing from seven stories high at one end to 11 at the northern end overlooking Regent’s Canal. It’s been suggested by some that buildings comprised of more wood than steel are actually better for the environment, leading to far less carbon emissions during the production process.
Google appears to be testing the waters of this theory. “Much of the internal structure will be constructed using steel framing with cross-laminated timber panels – a first for a contemporary building of this scale…The building has been designed to meet the highest standards of environmental sustainability, ensuring low energy usage and incorporating state-of-the-art materials,” Google stated. It’s said that bold primary colors will adorn the steelwork, taking inspiration from architectural elements nearby. There are also rumors that the roof will feature a garden.
Ultimately, Google and its design team hope to achieve BREEAM Outstanding and LEED Platinum ratings and deliver an overall carbon reduction of 40 percent. The new building will boast around 1,000,000 gross sq ft new, with approximately 725,000 sq ft dedicated to office space and around 50,000 sq ft slated for retail space at ground level. The new site is likely to include a 1860 square meter area for bike parking (about the size of seven tennis courts), and features a climbing wall between floors, a source close to the project told Reuters.
If all goes as planned, workers will break ground on the new UK headquarters early in 2014, with completion scheduled for late 2016 or early 2017. The building is expected to create 1,500 construction jobs, and while there are only about 2,000 Google employees in the UK, the new office will have room for about 4,500, which means the tech giant is likely to be hiring in the next few years.