Google is a champion at reusing office space – stepping in to takeover Silicon Valley buildings left empty by Silicon Graphics and turning an old Port Authority building into its New York City office.  The company is now starting its first foray into the new construction field with the upcoming 42-acre, 1.1 million square foot expansion called Bay View.  

Bay View was the subject of a Vanity Fair online feature article last month; definitely not the type of article I would have expected to see in Vanity Fair but based on the building’s stunning design, I can see why it made an appearance on the iconic magazine’s website.

Google and NBBJ, a Seattle-based design firm, have joined forces on this new project.  According to the Vanity Fair article, Bay View will consist of nine rectangular-shaped buildings that are slightly curved in the middle.  The design and layout of the building meets Google’s need for a corporate campus that supports what David Radcliffe, a civil engineer that manages Google’s real estate, calls “casual collisions of the work force.”

“No employee in the 1.1-million-square-foot complex will be more than a two-and-a-half-minute walk from any other, according to Radcliffe. “You can’t schedule innovation,” he said. “We want to create opportunities for people to have ideas and be able to turn to others right there and say, ‘What do you think of this?’”  Source: Vanity Fair

Perhaps this is the idea that Marissa Mayer is going for with her controversial telecommuting ban at Yahoo.  You definitely won’t see casual collisions of the workforce if everyone is working at home.  Of course, the Yahoo campus probably wasn’t designed so that everyone would be a two-and-a-half-minute walk from everyone else.  

Other notable features expected at Bay View include:

  • Green roofs, including one with Google’s famous free cafes
  • Carefully hidden parking lots
  • Extensive use of radiant heating
Once Bay View is completed, I’m sure it will only help Google remain one of the best places to work, both for its amazing perks but also because of its welcoming workplaces.

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