Heatherwick Studio and the Bjarke Ingels Group just announced plans to collaborate on Google’s new headquarters. Little is known about the new Googleplex, other than that it will comprise of a series of “canopy like buildings,” the plans for which have been shared with city council members. But between Heatherwick’s artful structures and Bjarke Ingels‘ radical designs, expectations are high for a striking new addition to Mountain View.
Google’s current Mountain View HQ
As Dezeen notes, Heatherwick and Ingels are considered upstarts within the profession—Ingels is 40 and Heatherwick is 45. Typically this type of project would be awarded to architects with an even more established pedigree—such as Facebook’s tapping of Frank Gehry for their new Menlo Park campus. But both architects have a solid track record of imaginative, unusual designs for everything from large-scale infrastructure—think BIG’s ski slope/waste incinerator in Copenhagen or Heatherwick’s Garden Bridge for London—to smaller residences and sculptural projects.
The New York Times also reveals that the plans include bike and pedestrian paths throughout the campus, and while there are currently no proposals for housing within the new headquarters, “the company has told the City Council that it wants housing, and lots of it.” This is a hot issue for Google; the company employs 20,000 people locally, and not everyone is thrilled with the tech worker’s effects on housing prices and residential communities at large. Recent months have seen protestors rally against the “Google Buses” transporting workers from San Francisco to Mountain View. One of the ways to address this would be to build housing as part of a new Googleplex—though, understandably, not everyone in the Mountain View area is thrilled with the idea.
But in the meantime, we just have to wait for more details on the project, which are expected to be revealed sometime in the next week.