flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Currently Reading

Google releases new plans and renderings of its Mountain View campus

Office Buildings

Google releases new plans and renderings of its Mountain View campus

The original canopy design scheme is still in place, but the plans now call for it to be opaque.

By David Malone, Associate Editor | March 16, 2016

Rendering Courtesy of Google

The circus is headed to Mountain View, Calif.! Or, at least that’s what it looks like, as the newly released design plans for Google’s new Charleston East campus show a building with the appearance of a giant futuristic circus tent. However, despite the color of Google’s logo, don’t expect to see this building filled with clowns or acrobats, as the building will incorporate many state-of-the-art features to provide the most efficient workplace possible.

Back in February 2015, Google released its initial plans for the project, but this past February saw them update and alter those plans. The most visible difference between the plans is the loss of a translucent canopy that was meant to regulate climate, air quality, and sound while enclosing flexible building segments that had the ability to be moved around both inside and outside of the enclosure. For any of you thinking to yourself, Simpsons did it! Simpsons did it! Yes, the design looked a little bit like when The Simpsons Movie put a glass dome over the entirety of Springfield.

The canopy is still in place and it is still designed with the purpose of regulating indoor climate, air quality, and sound, but the plans now call for it to be opaque. The building components are still labeled as "flexible" and are designed to be adaptable to Google’s changing needs, but they seem to have lost at least some of their originally planned mobility.

Photovoltaic panels will be incorporated over much of the canopy’s surface to generate as much electricity from renewable resources as possible. The actual amount of electricity that would be generated is still being studied.

In another effort to help decrease electricity consumption, the structure uses smile-shaped clerestories that span two sides of each 102-foot bay to bring direct, indirect, and diffused natural light into the building. The way the building is designed and laid out makes it so even the centers of the lower level floor plans are able to receive natural light. Google is still experimenting with different glazing strategies and technologies to control and scatter direct sunlight in order to minimize glare.

The building is designed with nature in mind and the landscape strategies of the building aim to nurture and restore native ecologies of the North Bayshore area. Google is working with local ecological consultants and wildlife experts in an effort to help wildlife species on the site to thrive. Not much has been overlooked, as bird safety has even been integrated into the design. The building plans call for bird-friendly design elements to help eliminate any birds flying into windows or other areas using clear glass or disturbing migration patterns with light pollution. Some of these design elements are fine-grained visual obstacles in the vertical envelope glass coatings that reduce reflection, limited light pollution at night, and carefully placed vegetation.

The overall design concept is driven by five guiding principles to provide the highest quality work environment possible and represent a vision for the workplace of the future. These design principles are:

  • Beauty and simplicity
  • Flexible and hackable spaces
  • Ecology and access to nature
  • Efficiency of resources and materials
  • Health and environmental quality

Google is hoping these guiding principles will help them achieve LEED Platinum certification.

While the new building lost its visionary clear canopy made, the new plans still present an innovative, modern design that blends in with the surrounding ecosystems and landscape instead of standing in stark contrast to them. And, who knows, maybe Cirque du Soleil will get mixed up and think the building is their tent one day, leading to some very good lunchtime entertainment. However, the company is still in the early stages of planning this structure and there is still plenty of work that needs to be done before any type of construction begins.

Google chose Bjarke Ingels Group and Heatherwick Studio as design consultants for the project, Adamson Associates as the architect of record, Arup as the structural/MEP engineer, and Hargreaves Jones Landscape Architecture as the landscape consultant.

The plans can be viewed in their entirety on the City of Mountain view website.


The original plans called for a translucent canopy to cover the majority of the campus. This has been changed in subsequent plans. Renderings courtesy Google


Related Stories

AEC Business Innovation | Jun 15, 2022

Cognitive health takes center stage in the AEC industry

Two prominent architecture firms are looking to build on the industry’s knowledge base on design’s impact on building occupant health and performance with new research efforts.

Sustainable Design and Construction | Jun 14, 2022

For its new office, a farm in California considers four sustainable design options, driven by data

The architect used cove.tool’s performance measurement software to make its case.

Office Buildings | Jun 13, 2022

San Antonio’s electric utility HQ to transform into a modern office building

In San Antonio, Tex., the former headquarters of CPS Energy, the city’s electric utility, is slated to transform into 100,000 square feet of office and retail space on San Antonio’s famed River Walk.

Office Buildings | Jun 8, 2022

Former L.A. Times newsroom/printing plant remade into office campus

Phase 1 of The Press, an adaptive reuse project that is converting an old Los Angeles Times facility into a modern office campus, was recently completed in Costa Mesa, Calif.

Office Buildings | May 19, 2022

JLL releases its 2022 Office Fit Out Guide

JLL’s 2022 Office Fit Out Guide report provides benchmark costs to build out a range of office types across major markets in the United States and Canada.

Headquarters | May 10, 2022

JPMorgan Chase’s new all-electric headquarters to have net-zero operational emissions

JPMorgan Chase’s recently unveiled plans for its new global headquarters building in New York City that is rife with impressive sustainability credentials.

Building Team | May 6, 2022

Atlanta’s largest adaptive reuse project features cross laminated timber

Global real estate investment and management firm Jamestown recently started construction on more than 700,000 sf of new live, work, and shop space at Ponce City Market. 

Office Buildings | Apr 28, 2022

A 48-story office tower to rise over boomtown Austin

In downtown Austin, Texas, a planned 48-story office tower, The Republic, recently secured its first major tenant—allowing for the groundbreaking by midyear.

Mixed-Use | Apr 22, 2022

San Francisco replaces a waterfront parking lot with a new neighborhood

A parking lot on San Francisco’s waterfront is transforming into Mission Rock—a new neighborhood featuring rental units, offices, parks, open spaces, retail, and parking.

Market Data | Apr 14, 2022

FMI 2022 construction spending forecast: 7% growth despite economic turmoil

Growth will be offset by inflation, supply chain snarls, a shortage of workers, project delays, and economic turmoil caused by international events such as the Russia-Ukraine war.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category

halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021


Magazine Subscription

Get our Newsletters

Each day, our editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.


Follow BD+C: