The building by BIG und Heatherwick Studio for Google at London's King's Cross station shows its stepped levels on the outside.

BIG life at Google

BIG and Thomas Heatherwick have together designed the new London offices of Google – the form is a flowing spatial cascade.

For the London Google HQ, BIG architects and Heatherwick Office presented their design to the public. The 11-story building will be build downtown in the “Knowledge Quarter” next to King's Cross.

A park on the roof is one of the most spectacular features of the design.

To make certain all the work spaces are as open and flowing as possible, fostering communications, the architects have designed multi-level stories that blend with one another, reminiscent of Rem Koolhaas’s Dutch Embassy building in Berlin. The entire office area is conceived as a coherent, staggered ascending space that culminates in a roof world that resembles a park and is intended as recreation space for the staff. By contrast, the ground floor is home to auditoriums, a market hall and retail outlets.

Openness and light were most important for the offices.

Google believes the architecture of its buildings plays a considerable role in ensuring staff satisfaction: "Our offices and facilities play a key part in shaping the Google culture,” comments Joe Borrett, Director of Real Estate and Construction. This is why the design goes much further than just roof gardens: All the materials for the new building are evaluated and selected using “Google's Healthy Materials Program” to make certain only non-toxic and sustainable components are used. (fap)

The groundfloor of the new building is planned for shops and a market hall.
Regent's Canal goes past the building's rear side.
The narrow front side next to King's Cross station