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The Hills Are Alive, in Google's Swiss HQ [UPDATED: New Pics]

Google gondolas

There's lots of perks at Google HQ out in California, but the design itself is a snooze. Things are a lot more interesting at their just-completed engineering offices in Zurich, Switzerland.

The common spaces are particularly zany, and they play off of lots of tropes of Swiss culture. Above: Meeting rooms in the form of ski-lift gondolas.

The library, meanwhile, is very ski lodgey:

Google lodge

The designers, Carmenzind Evolution (who also recently designed an office we just featured) say they undertook an rigorous study of "personality types, representational systems, values and motivational factors." Which I guess is Swiss for, "We tried to think of fun ways to monkey around." The profusion of common areas—from a library to a games room—is meant to tap research (which we've noted here and here) showing that relaxation and water-cooler time is crucial in the innovation process.

Swank as these offices are, they're still not even close to Facebook's.

[For more pics, check out World Architecture News]

UPDATE: Looks like we'll have to eat our words about the Facebook comparison. Arch Daily has secured more pics of the interior design, and it's jawdropping. Warning: Prepare to be sickened with envy.

The massage area:


A mess hall (note the slide in the background—one of many slides and firepoles designed to speed-up how you get from floor to floor):


Games, games, and more games:


Just a bunch of bathtubs filled with foam, for chilling out and watching fish swim:


I'm pretty sure that the Zurich-based Googlers—who call themselves Zooglers—must laugh have laughed if they ever saw the mega-lame Twitter HQ.

View the full set at Arch Daily.