Despite some concerns about Brexit, Google will set up its European headquarters in London. The Californian company is having a landscraper built in the capital. A project that announces the end of skyscrapers?
London is a horizontal city, with buildings and houses rarely exceeding three or four floors. The city is spreading, but not dominant. With but one exception, but a large one at that: the City. It is there, near King’s Cross station, that Californian Google has started the construction of a new building of 100,000 m2.
To new gods, new cathedrals… But rather than rising to the heavens, Google HQ will be longer “horizontally” than The Shard – the highest skyscraper in London – is “vertically”. Already dubbed the Landscraper by the Londoners, the 330-metre long building will be the largest building in the city.
More than an office
This will be the first building outside the States owned by Google, and it was designed by English designer Thomas Heatherwick and Danish architect Bjarke Ingels. Like a campus, it will accommodate 7,000 employees. But this building will offer much more than simple offices. Google plans to have large well-being spaces, such as a gym, an interior basketball court, a swimming pool and even massage rooms.
In addition, there is no need to go to Hyde Park (the large park in London) for a run or to enjoy the weather. The eco-responsible building will have an immense garden on its roof. The architects have planned a jogging track, park benches and communal gardens. The Californian giant, very involved in ecology, also hopes that its building will be as green as possible. It will have solar panels on the roof, generating 200MW of power per year. There will be no car parking but a large parking for 686 bikes.