Google just revealed a wild proposal for remaking its main office space in Mountain View, California — rather than simply build more modern office buildings, Google is seeking to build some giant glass "canopies" with insides that can be rebuilt and repurposed easily depending on what the company needs. It's incredibly ambitious, and the company already admitted that some of the technology it needs to pull this vision off doesn't exist yet. And even if this does come to pass the way Google wants, the first of these buildings won't exist for another five years.
Nonetheless, Google's plans are impressive and beautiful enough to warrant a closer look.
The following renders and accompanying descriptions come straight from Google's official Google+ page.
- This rendering shows a restored natural habitat around Permanente Creek, near the proposed Landings project. You can’t tell, but a consolidated parking structure is hidden below this landscaped garden. By consolidating parking, traffic congestion is reduced in the area, making it safer and more attractive for people to walk and bike.
- In this rendering, Huff Avenue is transformed into a soft grid for pedestrians and bikes. The building’s translucent canopy lifts up to allow the public Green Loop to go through the center of the building, with cafes and local shops on the lower levels.
- This rendering shows the northwest corner of the proposed Charleston South building. Large, translucent enclosures blur the boundaries between inside and out. These canopies regulate climate, pollution, and sound, while freeing spaces from traditional architectural limitations like walls, windows and roofs. Cafes and local shops on the lower levels open into interior open walkways under the canopy.
- This rendering shows the west side of the proposed Shoreline building. The canopies along Shoreline Boulevard open onto a public plaza with retail spaces. Along the street, buildings are 2 or 3 stories, with taller areas toward the center of the structures.
- This rendering shows the inside of the proposed Charleston South building looking west. Within the canopy, building segments operate like furniture—light, tactile and reconfigurable. These segments form small villages where employees can work or relax. The Green Loop goes through the building. The rim of the canopy provides structure as well as biking and walking paths.
- This rendering shows the entry lobby of the proposed Landings building. Consolidated parking sits below the building, helping us reach our goal of Net-Zero parking. Once at Landings, visitors can easily connect to the rest of campus through one of several walking and biking paths.
- This rendering shows the west side of the proposed Huff project. At ground level, the environment is newly restored. Employees will be drawn from offices to the outdoors, to work alongside waterways and under trees. Mountain View residents can walk or ride along green corridors, eat at cafes, shop, play in parks, or work in the public community gardens.
- This rendering shows the northern half of the proposed Landings project. In place of parking lots and other underutilized sites, we will establish revitalized native ecosystems, including re-oaking and wetlands.
- Mountain View’s Precise Plan encourages the creation of a diverse network of public and private open spaces such as plazas, parks and trails. This rendering shows the Green Loop, a circuit for bikes and pedestrians that weaves through urban and natural areas. A solar canopy produces energy and also protects bicyclists from the rain.
- This bird’s eye view shows Google’s proposed new campus and its surroundings.
This next set of renderings are screenshots pulled from Google's video introducing its plans.