Heatherwick Studio and Bjarke Ingels group were commissioned to design the New Headquarters of Google in King’s cross, London after collaboratively designing Google’s new campus in California. The focus is not to design large workspaces but to create architecture that fits into the local community of King’s Cross and its urban fabric. The studio is closely related to the area as it has been its home for more than 15 years.
The King’s Cross area is an amalgamation of varying building types including massive railway stations, canals, roads, and other infrastructure creating the most connected point in London. The architects perceived the project as a piece of infrastructure developed with interchangeable elements and quality of flexibility similar to how an old building can be reused in other ways later.
Rather than going for the usual concept of a tall office tower, the building is designed as a 330-meter-long volume. To align with the local context and the building design, the main floors of the workspace are confined to a single volume similar to the nearby train shed. To make it more interesting the mass is lifted two levels above the street which provides the small retailer’s space to build underneath to induce fascination and variety on the human scale.
Google is a company whose work comes from virtual world data and King’s cross-project provides the company an opportunity to interact and engage with the physical world. The project is designed with triple-height ceilings and is planned to enhance connectivity and chance encounters. The panoramic sculpted roof garden will give magnificent views to the users. The project was started in 2015 and is currently under construction.