Google unveils plans for new community-focused campus
Their proposal is to transform the area from a tech company’s headquarters to a vibrant and lively neighborhood, with said tech company at the heart of it. "Google's presence in Mountain View is really so strong that it can't be a fortress that shuts away nature or that shuts away the neighbors. It really has to be a neighborhood in Mountain View," said Ingels.
The driving idea behind the restructuring is movability and adaptability. “Instead of constructing immoveable concrete buildings, we’ll create lightweight block-like structures which can be moved around easily as we invest in new product area.” says David Radcliffe, Vice President of Real Estate at Google.
Protection from natural forces is taken care of by large, translucent canopies, of yet undisclosed material. These canopies control the climate, pollution and sound of the structures, while letting light and air through. They also blur the line between indoors and outdoors, creating a more natural-feeling space. Under the canopies, everything is lightweight, modular and easily adaptable to various functions.
A large part of the restructuring has to do with vegetation and natural habitats, and how they have all but disappeared, thanks to huge (often unoccupied) parking spaces. Google plans to tackle this problem head-on, placing all parking underground and renewing the environment, with the widening of creek beds, rehabilitation of burrowing owls and more.
In order for North Bayshore to become a “vibrant and colorful neighborhood”, it has to offer adequate infrastructure for that. The architects envisioned multiple bike and pedestrian paths, retail and service locations that enable it to become a communal area.
If the local council greenlights the project, North Bayshore is bound to become the most interesting area in Silicon Valley, though Apple and Facebook might have a few words about that. Read more about the ambitious restructuring at Google’s blog.
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