Google search ends for UK HQ

Plans for Google’s giant wedge-shaped UK headquarters near King’s Cross railway station have been submitted for planning.

Proposals for the 11-storey building designed by Heatherwick Studio and Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) show a sloped structure with an extensively glazed sawtooth facade and a vast roof garden.

Internally, the facility features a column- free ‘ground plane’ including retail, and a workspace core with naturally-lit double and triple height areas for 4,500 staff. There is a landscaped roof with outdoor amenities, and a diagonal staircase connect- ing all levels.

Bjarke Ingels said:

“Our design is rooted in the local character of the area, taking advantage of the contextually defined building envelope while creating continuously cascading work environments that will connect Googlers across multiple floors. By opening up the ground floor and activating the roofscape, the light and airy workspaces are sandwiched between the terraced gardens on the roof – and market halls, auditoria and shops on the ground.”

Thomas Heatherwick added that the architects had treated the new scheme

“like a piece of infrastructure, made from a family of interchangeable elements which ensure that the building and its workspace will stay flexible for years to come”.

BIG and Heatherwick Studio, who are also working on Google’s new California campus, were brought in to collaborate on the scheme after initial designs by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris were rejected by Google. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2018.