Google 1001 N Shoreline

Inspired by the beauty and simplicity of the Northern California landscape, Google’s new 120,000 sq. ft. workplace in Mountain View draws upon the distinct experience of being able to travel from beach to mountain as a subtle design metaphor. The “Northern California Trail” creates a clear circulation path that extends through four unique zones—coastal, grove, hillside, and Sierras—organized around a light-filled, nature-inspired sculptural tree element that rises from a central open stair. Each of the four floors represents a sequential biome; different color and material palettes play with organic variation and sensory differences to establish hierarchy and clarity as one moves through the building.

A variety of strategies invoke a residential scale within the large office blocks, such as clear scale transitions between collaborative and focused space types. Collaboration spaces are located around the central stair and connect seamlessly to shared amenities and views to nature. “Duck-ins” introduce a casual first-come, first-serve environment between collaboration spaces and open desking. Each of these alcoves is a unique tableau of upholstered seating and warm finishes that make the duck-ins desirable for both focused and group work. Less formal “nesks” (desks within nooks), orient inward for hyper focused, individual activities and angled desking at the windows provides access to natural daylight and views of the San Francisco Bay. Custom designed furniture systems advance Google’s workplace functions while providing comfort and a residential feel.

Google’s culture and brand, or “Googleyness,” is achieved in a variety of ways. A cafe provides a variety of seating options that are used throughout the day for both meals and coworking. The central stair acts as a biophilic backdrop of natural wood and living plants alongside custom planters, creating a light-filled, curated environment that engages the senses. Throughout the building, subtle tones evoke the additive colors of Google’s iconic logo and unexpected spaces provide a sense of surprise and delight. For example, a hidden room is accessed by pushing on a door next to the pool cues in a game room. Inside is a cabinet made from wine barrels that reveals a subtle, wine-colored “G”, a nod to both the starker red Google has used in the past and to California’s Wine Country. To further connect occupants with the surrounding environment, design incorporates the biophilic design principles of pattern, circadian rhythm, prospect, and dynamic lighting.

Balancing whimsy and delight with utility and function, Google’s new workplace in Mountain View offers a variety of workplace environments that support innovation and reflect Google’s brand.

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