BIG and Heatherwick’s Futuristic Google HQ Proposal Loses to LinkedIn

© Google / / Heatherwick Studio

Google‘s ambitious plans to expand its California headquarters in took a major blow last night when council members announced their decision to award LinkedIn three-quarters of the North Bayshore area site. With just 500,000 square-feet of area to work with, Google would only be able to construct one of its four proposed buildings.

Unveiled earlier this year, the company’s futuristic “Googleplex,” designed by BIG and Heatherwick Studio, gained international attention for its outlandish plans to build four Lego-like buildings beneath a cluster of translucent canopies.

As The New York Times reports, LinkedIn won the council over by promising to “preserve business diversity.”

Open Call: ITAD Competition Seeks Student Proposals for “Urban Smart Green Office”

Singapore. Image © Flickr CC User Leonid Yaitskiy

The Singapore Building and Construction Authority (BCA), together with (SIA) and (SGBC) are jointly organizing the International Tropical Architecture Design Competition 2015 for Institutes of Higher Learning (ITAD Competition) for the fifth run this year. Themed “Urban Smart Green Office,” this year’s competition seeks for innovative and sustainable design entries that demonstrates the essentials and key constituents of a Smart Green Office Building in an urban city of participant’s choice. The competition is open to tertiary students worldwide. Read on to learn more.

KAMJZ and Kurylowicz Designs Polish Office Building

Courtesy of KAMJZ + Kuryłowicz & Associates

Warsaw-based firms KAMJZ and Kurylowicz & Associates have shared their proposal for an office building in Poland, as part of the Gdańsk Central Business District Development Strategy. Centrally located at the interchange of several arterial roads and public transit routes, the complex will house a mixed-use program combining office spaces with retail, leisure, sport, and civic functions.

Learn more about the project and view selected images after the break.

See BIG & Heatherwick’s Design for Google’s California Headquarters

© Google / / Heatherwick Studio

Images have been unveiled of BIG and Heatherwick Studio’s design for Google’s Mountain View headquarters. The plan, submitted to city council today, proposes to redevelop and expand the company’s home office with a series of lightweight canopy-like structures organized within a flexible landscape of bicycle paths and commercial opportunities for local companies. 

“It’s the first time we’ll design and build offices from scratch and we hope these plans by Bjarke Ingels at BIG and at Heatherwick Studio will lead to a better way of working,” says Google. “The idea is simple. Instead of constructing immoveable concrete buildings, we’ll create lightweight block-like structures which can be moved around easily as we invest in new product areas… Large translucent canopies will cover each site, controlling the climate inside yet letting in light and air. With trees, landscaping, cafes, and bike paths weaving through these structures, we aim to blur the distinction between our buildings and nature.”

A video about the design and a statement from Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick, after the break. 

Google Taps BIG and Heatherwick to Design New California Headquarters

Image: Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick

The City of Mountain View is expected to receive a massive proposal from the city’s largest employer; reports confirm that Google has enlisted Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Heatherwick Studio to design its new California headquarters. With the few details released, it is unclear if the proposal plans to update the company’s existing 3.1 million-square-foot Googleplex or replace it. However, as the New York Times reports, the proposal will boast a “series of canopy-like buildings” on a campus organized around bicycle and pedestrian paths.

This means Google is now joining a list of powerful corporations who have enlisted world-renowned architects to design their California headquarters, including Apple’s Foster + Partners-designed “spaceship” and Facebook’s Gehry-Esque 10-acre “room.” If approved, Google will shift its focus on new housing, ensuring there is enough living space within Mountain View to accommodate its growing workforce (a topic of concern for many residents).

The proposal will be submitted to the city this Friday. Take a look at the company’s existing Mountain View headquarters, after the break.

Images Released of Cummins’ Deborah Berke-Designed Headquarters in Indianapolis

Courtesy of Cummins

Cummins has released preliminary renderings of their new $30 million designed by New York-based Deborah Berke Partners. The news comes shortly after the diesel engine manufacture had announced plans to transform a four-acre downtown site in the heart of the Market East cultural district into a 10-story office building and public park.

Herzog & de Meuron Designs 205-Meter Tower and Research Center for Swiss Pharmaceutical Company

© Herzog & de Meuron

Herzog & de Meuron has unveiled plans for the modernization of the Roche pharmaceutical company’s . With the first tower already under construction, the overall vision is to consolidate and update all existing facilities, including a historic Otto R. Salvisberg-designed office building, as well as construct a new, four-tower research center and 205-meter tall office tower by 2022.

“The planned consolidation of the existing industrial site will eliminate the need to build over green zones”, emphasizes Jürg Erismann, Head of the Basel/Kaiseraugst Site. “Instead, Roche will be making more efficient use of those parts of the site that have already been developed but cannot be expanded.”

The Slow Death of the Corporate Architecture of Exclusion

Though still admired, Mies van der Rohe’s signature are clear symbols of the ‘Mad-Men’ era. Image © Samuel Ludwig

Of all the changes in architectural typologies in recent years, one of the most dramatic – and the most documented – is the transition from corporate to more casual, ‘fun’ office buildings. This change has infiltrated companies from tiny 5-person start-ups to Silicon Valley giants, and while it has been pioneered by tech and media companies it has certainly not been limited to them.

Most analysis of this change focuses on work patterns created by new technology or the demands of the ‘millennial’ worker, but this post originally published on Means the World - the blog of NBBJ - examines the shift away from the corporate office as a product of not just what these building are but what they represent about us as a society, arguing that “when today’s workers look at the midcentury office, they see a symbol of exclusion.”

Could a Window Office Help You Sleep Better?

Generous office windows such as in The Lantern by zigzag architecture might actually help you sleep at night. Image © Julien Lanoo

Having an office with a view may be more than just a symbol of seniority. New findings show that there are public health benefits associated with working by a Fast Co Design reports. An interdisciplinary group of architects and medical researchers compared workers exposed to natural light with those who aren’t, and found that window workers sleep, on average, 46 minutes more a night. They also scored better on self-report health and sleep surveys. Learn more about the study in the full article, “Workers in Windowless Offices Lose 46 Minutes of Sleep a Night,” at Fast Co Design and start convincing your boss that it’s time you had a window office!

Study Shows Green Office Buildings Don’t Make Happier Workers

Graphic from our infographic. © Megan Jett. . Image

Have you ever wondered if you would be happier working in a LEED building? Wonder no more – a new study says no. Although the findings indicate employees are generally satisfied with working in green-certified buildings, they are no happier than they would be in a non-LEED building. The study, which contradicts previous findings, was conducted by Sergio Altomonte from the Department for Architecture and Built Environment at the University of Nottingham and Stefano Schiavon from the Center for the Built Environment at the University of Berkeley. 

To arrive at this conclusion, data was collected through a web-based survey tool by the Center for the Built Environment (CBE) at the University of California Berkeley. In total, 65 LEED and 79 non-LEED buildings were selected to participate in the study. Building occupants were surveyed and asked to rate their satisfaction on a 7-point scale of 17 indoor environmental quality parameters, including amount of light, furniture adjustability, air quality, temperature, and sound privacy. 

From “Cube Farm” to Fun: The Five Office Designs of the 20th Century

’s Super HQ Office in London. Image Courtesy of PENSON

From being isolated in a cubicle to having a ping pong table at your disposal, the way we approach work and  has drastically evolved over the past decade. The Wall Street Journal has identified five office designs that have defined the 20th century, going over the pros and cons of each one – including the collaborative typology that exists in the offices of Google. To learn more, continue reading here.

Construction Begins on UDG China’s Nanjing Office Tower

Aerial. Image © Luxigon

Construction has begun on the new Nanjing Jianye District office tower in . Designed by UDG China, the multi-level complex will house hundreds of government workers throughout almost 100,000 square meters of office space.

HASSELL Wins Competition to Construct Landmark Tower in Sydney

Courtesy of

Australian firm HASSELL has been announced as the winner of an international design competition for 60 Martin Place, an office tower at the heart of the city’s business precinct. The “environmentally sound” tower will replace an existing 1970s complex slated for demolition in early 2016, with construction anticipated to commence in early 2019.

Learn more about the project and view selected images after the break.

BIG, SHoP, Snøhetta Among Shortlist for Melbourne Office Complex

Pre-existing structures permitted for ‘part demolition and refurbishment’. Image Courtesy of Future Melbourn (Planning) Committee

Australian developer CBUS Property has invited four pairs of Australian and internationally-renowned architectural practices to compete to design an office complex at a 6,000 square meter site in downtown MelbourneAustralia where the National Mutual Plaza currently stands.

See the full shortlist after the break.

‘Hacked’ Offices: The Future of Workplace Design?

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What does the workplace of the future look like? Shawn Gehle, of Gensler, explains in this Talk that with over 10 billion square feet of existing office space in North America, we may not even need to envision new buildings. Rather, by “hacking” existing buildings, architects can transform them into something completely new. For more on ’s “hacker” philosophy, read our article here.

Video: Office Building in Shibaura / Kazuyo Sejima & Associates

Captured by JA+U, this short film takes you on a tour through a 2011, Kazuyo Sejima & Associates-designed office space in Shibaura, . Open and transparent, the five double-height, split-level floors are designed to visually connect movement throughout the building, from the ground level public cafe to the generous outdoor terrace on the fifth floor.

 

NBBJ Proposes Five-Story Biodome for Amazon’s Seattle Headquarters

View Looking West from 7th Avenue & Lenora Street; Courtesy of Seattle.gov © / Studio 216

In an attempt to “create an alternative environment” in the center of Amazon’s recently approved, three-block headquarters planned for downtown Seattle, NBBJ has submitted a revision that would replace a six-story office building with a tri-sphere biodome that will host various forms of plant life and provide a more natural setting for employees to work and socialize. Perhaps this change is Amazon’s way of “keeping up with the Joneses”, as many leading corporations – Apple, Google, and Facebook - have been unveiling plans to construct one-of-the-kind office complexes centered around sustainability, innovation and collaboration. 

Updated Plans Released for Foster + Partners’ Apple Campus in Cupertino

© , ARUP, Kier + Wright, OLIN, Apple

The City of Cupertino has released Apple’s revised campus plans, following the recent news criticizing Steve Job’s “sky-high requirements for fit and finish” that have resulted in a “ballooning budget.”

Abandoning Apple’s classic “white” detailing, architects Foster + Partners have opted to clad the 2.8 million square foot, circular monolith in black – a stylistic remedy that seems to be in line with the overarching campus goal to “provide a serene environment reflecting Apple’s brand values of innovation, ease of use and beauty.”

More details after the break…