The future will be all glass and light and grass and height. Yoga will be done under glass canopies, the people twisting like butterflies in the biodome at the California Academy of Sciences. People will stroll the grounds as if they are not expected to be working all the time while, in fact, they are working all the time. More people will run around campus than drive through it. And as you look up, the organic forms of the building exteriors will remind you there are other shapes and sources of light, aside from the glowing rectangles you spend your day staring into.
This is the plan for the new Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, tucked in alongside the Bay, and announced today. Architecture and design firms Heatherwick Studio and BIG will build the 500-acre campus.
Like Apple's spaceship, Google's "North Bayshore" campus is supposed to be a statement of corporate intent, the look that the company wants to wear. Google's current buildings in Mountain View are generally square boxes in all the senses of the word square. The new campus seems at pains to avoid any right angles. Call the look all-natural. Dogs will wander next to pigeons, under artificial canopies nestled into trees.
The differences between inside and outside, work and life, human-scale and corporate-scale: they are all gone. Everything is integrated. It seems like a nice place to work.