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March 2, 2015

Google’s campus design mimics Eden Project bubbles

Workers and residents to be treated to more natural campus design.

By Jimmy Nicholls

Google has announced plans to redevelop its headquarters in Mountain View, California in a design reminiscent of the Eden Project in Cornwall.

The North Bayshore site will feature giant translucent roofs hanging over a customisable office complex, which in line with the hipsterish vibe of Silicon Valley start-ups will feature space for cafes, cycle lanes and yoga areas.

"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 areas," said David Radcliffe, VP of Real Estate at Google, writing on the firm’s blog.

"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."

Google North Bayshore

Under the plans the company aims to reintegrate itself more fully in the green landscape that surrounds the existing campus, invigorating the local area and economy for the benefit of residents as well as its workers.

"When you visit the Google campus there’s lots of trees, but there’s this constant, major undermining of that by the road system and the infrastructure required for all of those cars," said Thomas Heatherwick, one of two architects behind the project, speaking in a promotional video.

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Bjarke Ingels, the other architect, added: "We’re trying to reverse this process and recreate some of the natural qualities that have been there in the first place.

"Google’s presence in Mountain View is simply so strong that it can’t be the fortress that shuts away nature, that shuts away the neighbours. It really needs to become a neighbourhood in Mountain View."

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