Google loses out in bid to develop futuristic US campus

Google campus design

Google’s hopes of creating a futuristic Thomas Heatherwick-designed glass-roofed campus in California were dealt a serious blow this week when the company lost out in a battle for development rights.

The US giant commissioned Danish architect Bjarke Ingels Group and Heatherwick Studio to come up with a design for the North Bayshore district of San Francisco. But Mountain View City Council this week awarded tech rival LinkedIn 1.4m sq ft of the 2.2m sq ft of commercial area being made available. The move left Google with 515,000sq ft, enough to develop only one of the four planned elements of its innovative glass-canopied campus, reported the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

Google’s plan had attracted big attention for its bold thinking, which included construction by robots. David Radcliffe, director of real estate, design and construction in the Americas for Google had said of the design: “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. (Our self-driving car team, for example, has very different needs when it comes to office space from our search engineers.) 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.”

It is not known what Google will do now that its application has been rejected, but the Silicon Valley Business Journal suggests it could look at alternative sites.

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