Behold! More than three years after the first design was unveiled in 2015, and more than two years since a revised version was was approved by Mountain View’s city council, Google’s new campus is finally taking shape in the middle of Mountain View, California, like a titanic metal circus tent.
The new campus, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group and Thomas Heatherwick, is located next to Google’s current headquarters, which itself once served as the headquarters of legendary 3D graphics computer firm SGI until the search engine turned it into the Googleplex in 2003.
A lot has changed since the project was first unveiled: The final design is smaller than the original 2015 plan, at “only” 595,000 square feet, and Ingels’s and Heatherwick’s design has also undergone aesthetic changes. It no longer uses transparent Buckminster Fuller-style geodesic domes. Instead, as this new video by the 111th and Dezeen shows, the roof is made up of curved rectangular and triangular sections that are completely opaque and will be covered by solar panels.
In terms of tech offices designed by big-name architects, Apple’s Norman Foster-designed campus dwarves Google’s new HQ at 2.8 million square feet, thanks to its one-mile ring and auxiliary buildings built on a 175-acre plot. Then again, I like to think that the real Google headquarters is probably built in an undisclosed location, perhaps deep below the Earth’s mantle, or on a remote volcanic island somewhere, surrounded by laser-equipped cybersharks.