The Googleplex is located between Charleston Road, Amphitheatre Parkway, and Shoreline Boulevard in north Mountain View, California close to the Shoreline Park wetlands. Employees living in San Francisco or the East Bay may take a wifi-enabled Google subsidized shuttle to and from work. It is powered by biodiesel.
Neighbors of the Googleplex include Alza Plaza to the west; Shoreline Amphitheatre to the north; Intuit to the northwest and Century Theatres, Microsoft Corporation’s Silicon Valley research complex, and the Computer History Museum to the south. Moffett Field lies nearby to the east.
The four core buildings, totaling 47,038 square meters (506,310 sq ft), were built for and originally occupied by Silicon Graphics (SGI). The office space and the corporate campus are located within a larger 26-acre (110,000 m2) site that contains Charleston Park, a 5-acre (20,000 m2) public park; improved access to Permanente Creek; and public trails that connect the corporate site to Shoreline Park and the Bay Trail. The project, launched in 1994 to reclaim a former industrial brownfield, was a creative collaboration between SGI, STUDIOS Architecture in San Francisco, SWA Group of San Francisco and Sausalito, and the Planning and Community Development Agency of the City of Mountain View. The objective was to develop in complementary fashion the privately-owned corporate headquarters and adjoining public greenspace. Key design decisions placed parking for nearly 2000 cars underground, enabling SWA to integrate the two open spaces with water features, shallow pools, fountains, pathways, and plazas. The project was completed in 1997. The ASLA noted in 1999 that the SGI project was a significant departure from typical corporate campuses, challenging conventional thinking about private and public space.
A lifeguard sits on duty as an employee who works out in one of two swim-in-place pools at Google’s headquarters.
INNOVATION: Large boards are available just about everywhere because ‘ideas don’t always come when seated in the office’ says one of Google’s managers.