Technology giant Google has unveiled plans for a radical redesign of its main campus in Mountain View, California — complete with movable buildings and translucent solar canopies.
The company unveiled its plans to restructure its headquarters on Friday, 27 February, and announced that the new project will be developed by designers Bjarke Ingels at BIG and Thomas Heatherwick at Heatherwick Studio.
As part of Google’s goals, traditional buildings will be cast aside in favor of “lightweight block-like structures”, according to David Radcliffe, vice president, real estate and workplace services at Google.
The site will also incorporate large areas of green space for cyclists and walkers, with solar-clad canopies to provide shelter as well as generate power.
Radcliffe noted: “Large translucent canopies will cover each site, controlling the climate inside yet letting in light and air. With trees, landscaping, cafes, and bike paths weaving through these structures, we aim to blur the distinction between our buildings and nature.”
Radcliffe continued: “Of course, this project is about much more than just office space; it’s about doing more with the local community as well. So we’re adding lots of bike paths and retail opportunities, like restaurants, for local businesses. We also hope to bring new life to the unique local environment, from enhancing burrowing owl habitats to widening creek beds.
“And we’re committed to do everything we can to save energy—our recent agreement to offset our energy consumption in North Bayshore with renewable energy includes the development of this proposal.”
Thomas Heatherwick, founder and principal of Heatherwick Studio, said: “This is an opportunity to not only create a new home for the world’s most innovative company, but also to make a vibrant piece of town at the same time as protecting and enhancing the local natural habitat.
Google has been an active supporter of renewable energy, with the company recently giving PV installer SolarCity US$300 million in capital as part of a new US$750 million financial fund.
Google is not the first technology giant to usher in a new home that utilises renewable energy. In November 2013, Apple was given the final approval for a new 100% renewable powered headquarters based in Cupertino, California.