Google's Shorebird Campus

Architect
Studio Sarah Willmer
Location
Mountain View, California, USA | View Map
Project Year
2018
Category
Offices
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
Interior LightingKETRA
G2 Linear, L4R Recessed Linear
Interior LightingFlos
Table LampPablo Designs
FlooringInterface
Monochrome, On Line & Off Line, Viva Colores
ChairsSteelcase
Interior LightingDavid Weeks Studio

Product Spec Sheet
Interior Lighting
G2 Linear, L4R Recessed Linear by KETRA
Interior Lighting
AIM by Flos
Table Lamp
Flooring
Monochrome, On Line & Off Line, Viva Colores by Interface

Google's Shorebird Campus

Studio Sarah Willmer as Architects

To transform a collection of tilt-up concrete buildings on its larger Mountain View campus, Google invited Studio Sarah Willmer Architecture in partnership with Sidell Pakravan Architects, to create design solutions for this 90,000 SF refresh. The updated buildings respond to the context of the Shorebird Campus and create a distinct and welcoming identity for the users—a group of innovative software and hardware engineers. The design team’s opportunity was to distinguish the space from the thousands of square feet of design innovation found at other Google buildings.

photo_credit Bruce Damonte
Bruce Damonte

From maximizing workstation count (650 desks) to the need for many conference rooms, lounges, and labs, the opportunity for architectural intervention was limited.  The trio of existing buildings were dark and disorganized. To solve these various needs, the architects responded with a bold formal strategy, dubbed the Linking Path and Caterpillar.  Clad in a luminous fabric, the Caterpillar is a 350 foot long occupiable volume. It has a strong physical presence as it stretches across all 3 buildings, linking the complex program and acting as a way finding device.

photo_credit Bruce Damonte
Bruce Damonte

Organizing the Space

The Caterpillar stands out from all adjacent spaces. More than a passageway, this multifunctional element organizes spaces, creating nodes of interaction for team members and mediating noise between conference rooms and workstations.

photo_credit Bruce Damonte
Bruce Damonte

The caterpillar, made from translucent white fabric stretched across a custom metal frame, acts as a thickened threshold between the creative chaos of Googler desks and conference rooms, lounge spaces, and kitchens. As a counterpoint to the open workstations, it produces a sense of calm. Moving along the caterpillar is a spatial and sensory contrast from the intensity of workspace. While the typical glass walls of conference rooms are familar, the highly tuned lighting and soft fabric surface paired with the reflective glass is an unexpected delight.

photo_credit Bruce Damonte
Bruce Damonte

The caterpillar is a dynamic element that winds its way through all three campus buildings and defines circulation in each. Its undulating form features an integrated programmable LED lighting system that changes throughout the day—from a soft white for early morning workers, to a blue glow during the day, and sunset orange to denote lunch, events, or when it’s time to catch the Google bus.

photo_credit Bruce Damonte
Bruce Damonte

Additional Design Elements
Lounge areas are designed for a residential feel, with area rugs, throw pillows, and a variety of lighting types. Staff kitchens are strategically located along the linking path to help foster unexpected interaction. Green walls and skylights at break rooms incorporate Google’s intention to integrate biophilia into the workplace.

photo_credit Bruce Damonte
Bruce Damonte

Each building has a specific color palette - spring green, sky blue, or sunset blue - to celebrates the California climate. Biophilic elements such as plants and the linking path nod to the natural beauty of the larger site. Simple fenestration opens the workspace into the garden, with planter storage units used to coalesce work teams into distinct groups.

photo_credit Bruce Damonte
Bruce Damonte

Experiential Graphics
Campus identity is emphasized through bold experiential graphics created by Space Agency. A subtly abstracted tree-ring pattern representing the redwoods on site is a wayfinding device. Beginning on the linking path outside the buildings, the graphic travels inside on the floors, and continues up onto walls.

photo_credit Bruce Damonte
Bruce Damonte

Team:

Architects -  Studio Sarah Willmer 

Structural – Pivot Structural Engineers

Lighting Design – Melinda Morrison Lighting and Illuminosa

Graphic Design – Space Agency

Acoustics – Charles M. Salter Associates

Photographer - Bruce Damonte

photo_credit Bruce Damonte
Bruce Damonte
photo_credit Bruce Damonte
Bruce Damonte

Materials Used:

Flooring - Carpet Tile Type 1, Viva Colores (color varied), Interface Flor
Carpet Tile Type 2, On Line (color varied), Interface Flor
Carpet Tile Type 3, Monochrome (color varied), Interface Flor

Interior lighting - Surface Mount Linear Accent Type 1, G2 High Output, Ketra
Surface Mount Adj. Table Lamp, Pixo, Pablo
Wall Mounted Wall Washer Type 1, HP-2 LED, Finelite
Pendant Type 1, HP-2 LED, Finelite
Pendant Type 2, Saturn 1-Tier LED, ET2
Pendant Type 3, AIM, Flos
Pendant Type 4, LLM LED, H.E. Williams
Recessed Type 1, HPR LED 2x2, Finelite
Recessed Type 2, 2RP-AD LED, Lucifer
Recessed Linear Type 1, L4R, Ketra
Recessed Linear Type 2, HP-WG LED, Finelite
Recessed Linear Type 3, HP-4 LED, Finelite
Recessed Wall Washer Type 1, Fraxion 4 LED, Lucifer
Recessed Wall Washer Type 2, HP-WS LED, Finelite
Pendant Mounted Adj.Down Light Type 1, Cylinder CY1 LED, Lucifer Wall Mounted Adj.Down Light Type 1, Squilinder SQ2 LED, Lucifer Wall Mounted Type 1, HP-4 LED, Finelite
Wall Mounted Type 2, Limburg LED, Bega
Wall Mounted Type 3, No. 203 Two Arm Sconce, David Weeks Studio

Interior furniture - Furniture by One Workplace, Conference Rm Chairs, Think, Steelcase, Break Room Stools, Nerd Counter Stool, Muuto

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