Googles Habitat

BIG and Heatherwick’s Proposal


The myth that Silicon Valley was born in the garages of some brilliant young individuals is the myth that explains the origin of what today are huge and all-powerful multinational corporations. And these technological enterprises now seek to have headquarters which are at a par with their financial dimensions and with the magnitude of their presence in the everyday life of millions of people. For this there is no thinking twice about procuring the services of top figures of international architecture, who are happy to attach their own brand names to the companies that commission them. A case in point is Apple, whose campus in Cupertino is being meticulously designed by Norman Foster in the wake of a fruitful dialogue he struck with the late Steve Jobs. Another is Facebook, whose president, Mark Zuckerberg, is working hand in hand with Frank Gehry to trace the lines and shapes of its ‘city’ in Menlo Park. The list ends, for the time being, with the no less mighty Google, whose new HQ in Mountain View – just a few kilometers from Facebook’s – will be the work of Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick. Its basic scheme has now been unveiled. Sensitive to the environment and with an aesthetic that links up with the great greenhouses, the Google campus presents a series of lightweight, collapsible pavilions with sinuous glass enclosures that will allow the creation of natural microclimates while maintaining a direct rapport between interior and exterior. Qualities like light and ventilation will be the main themes in a building bound to exemplify, like few others, the new capitalism of the virtual.

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