Bay View, the new campus built by Google for itself, has officially opened. Located in Mountain View California, this is the first major campus that Google designed for itself. Mountain View is located on the San Francisco Bay, to the south of San Francisco just below Palo Alto.
Begun in 2017, Google Bay View is an all-electric, net water positive campus with the largest geothermal installation in North America. Google said that process gave it “the chance to rethink the very idea of an office.”
The Bay View campus incorporates biophilic design principles — like greenery, natural daylight and outdoor views from every desk. Google says that this will improve the health and wellbeing of those inside. Clerestory windows modulate direct light onto desks with automated window shades that open and close throughout the day.
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The ventilation system of Bay View uses 100% outside air. Google calls this a “remarkable achievement” because that a typical system only uses around 20-30% of outside air. And it boasts artwork from local artists through Google’s Artist in Residence program in the courtyards. The artwork relates to Bay Area ecology and helps with wayfinding in the building.
“After talking to Googlers about what they need from a workplace, we found that they’re happy, productive and creative when they come together in teams, but need spaces that are buffered from sound and movement to get deep-focus work done,” said David Radcliffe, Google’s Vice President, Real Estate & Workplace Services in a blog post about Bay View. “So we designed team spaces on the upper level and gathering spaces below to separate focus and collaboration areas — with easy access between both.”
The upper floor is broken down into smaller neighborhoods separated by courtyards and connected via ramps that gradually rise as you move to the center of the building. This variation in the floor plate gives teams a designated area that changes with their needs, while keeping them close to their larger work community. The result is a building where you can feel connected to people — whether they’re in your larger organization of 2,000 people, your team of 50 people or your immediate working group of 10 people.