London may be home to the tallest building in Europe – the 310-meter-high Shard – but Google will, it seems, soon be able to lay claim to one of the longest. The Web giant has just unveiled some renders for its new headquarters in the heart of the UK capital, revealing a complex that – if given the green light by the local authority – will be 330 meters in length, rising to a modest eleven stories at its highest point.
Expected to be completed by around 2016, the complex – the company’s largest outside of its Mountain View ‘Googleplex’ campus – has been designed by architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) in a deal costing Google around £650 million ($988 million). It’s thought the site could be worth as much as £1 billion ($1.52 billion) once finished.
The building comprises steel framing with cross laminated timber panels, apparently a first for a building of this scale. While the plans appear to show a rather ordinary exterior, Google, a company known for its unconventional office interiors, is planning to incorporate a climbing wall between floors in the new building, a source told Reuters recently.
The new headquarters will be located close to the city’s King’s Cross railway station, an area that has received massive investment in recent years as part of ongoing regeneration work.
The Mountain View company currently operates out of two London offices – in Victoria and Holborn – though staff at these locations will move to the new King’s Cross premises once building work is complete.
Google also has a campus in east London that provides facilities for entrepreneurs looking to launch startups. Campus London encourages collaboration between individuals and groups on new ideas for projects, with weekly mentoring programs and special networking events laid on by the company.
Speaking about the new King’s Cross site earlier this year, Matt Brittin, Google vice-president for northern and central Europe, called it a “big investment” for the company, adding, “We’re committing further to the UK – where computing and the web were invented. It’s good news for Google, for London and for the UK.”