Google finally gets the green light for its London ‘landscraper’ campus

Having been stuck at the design stage for years, Google has finally won approval to build its new London headquarters in the city’s vibrant King’s Cross district. Local council officials gave the project the go-ahead on Thursday.

Designed by Heatherwick Studio and Bjarke Ingels Group, the striking design has been dubbed “the landscraper,” as it’s far longer than it is tall.

Indeed, the 11-story structure will stretch for 330 meters and cover around 100,000 square meters, with the tech company occupying about 65 percent of the space. It will be the first wholly owned and designed Google building outside of the United States.

The first floor of the new campus will be home to a variety of shops and market halls and open to the elements. Entrances to Google’s office will be scattered throughout the space to create a “varied and open ground plane that can change with time,” the architects said in their plans submitted to Camden council.

So what will the 7,000 Googlers find when they move into the new building from their current offices dotted around town. Well, besides enjoying “light and airy workspaces,” they’ll also be able to make use of a multi-use games area for various sports activities and a three-lane, 25-meter swimming pool. If such exertions sound too much like hard work, they can head straight to the massage rooms and nap pods instead.

Perhaps the most striking part is the roof garden stretching almost the entire length of the construction. Decked out with wildflowers and woodland plants, the elevated green space will also feature a cafe and a 200-meter jogging course.

Heatherwick Studio founder Thomas Heatherwick described the King’s Cross area as “a fascinating collision of diverse building types and spaces  … Influenced by these surroundings, we have treated this new building for Google like a piece of infrastructure, too, made from a family of interchangeable elements which ensure that the building and its workspace will stay flexible for years to come.”

Bjarke Ingels, meanwhile, described the design as “rooted in the local character of the area [and] creating continuously cascading work environments that will connect Googlers across multiple floors.”

Google has been working on the design of its London office for a number of years. The original plan, which sported a similar-looking exterior to the final design, was the work of British firm Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) and was greenlit in 2013. But soon after, Google went back to AHMM and asked it to rethink the design. In 2015 the two parted company, with Google turning to Heatherwick Studio and Bjarke Ingels Group to continue the project.

Construction work on the new campus is set to start in 2018 … as long as Google doesn’t change its mind again.

Update: Google has received permission to begin construction of its new headquarters. 


Rekindled yet again, Nokia’s next-gen phones offer more than just nostalgia

HMD Global, a startup that designs and builds Nokia Android smartphones, wants to put the Nokia brand name back “where it belongs.” It helps that it’s made up of ex-Nokia employees. We go behind the scenes to see how HMD formed.

Chromebook 13 vs. Google Pixelbook: Acer model takes on the king

Acer's Chromebook 13 is throwing tons of speed at the Chrome OS market, to go with a midrange build and traditional clamshell design. Is that enough to challenge the Google Pixelbook?
Emerging Tech

The enormous ‘Flying Bum’ moves toward a commercial design

A prototype of the world's largest aircraft is being retired as the company behind it prepares to build a production model. The new Airlander 10, also known as the "Flying Bum," could be ready for commercial use by 2025.

If we get a Nintendo 64 Classic, it needs to have these games

The Nintendo 64 introduced a long list of top-tier games, but which were the iconic platform's best? From Mario Party to Ocarina of Time to NFL Blitz, check out our picks for the best N64 games.
Emerging Tech

Why wait? Here are some CES 2019 gadgets you can buy right now

Companies come to CES to wow us with their cutting edge technology, but only a few products are slated to hit the market right away. Here is our list of the best CES 2019 tech you can buy right now.
Emerging Tech

Drones: New rules could soon allow flights over people and at night

With commercial operators in mind, the U.S. government is looking to loosen restrictions on drone flights with a set of proposals that would allow the machines greater freedom to fly over populated areas and also at night.
Emerging Tech

Yamaha’s new app lets you tune your motorcycle with a smartphone

It used to be that if you wanted to tune your motorcycle’s engine and tweak its performance, you needed specialized tools and even more specialized knowledge. Yamaha’s new Power Tuner app changes that.
Emerging Tech

Short film celebrates New Yorker’s amazing robot costumes

New York City resident Peter Kokis creates stunning robot costumes out of household trash. His designs are huge, heavy, and extremely intricate, and never fail to turn heads when he's out and about.
Emerging Tech

In a first for humankind, China is growing plants on the moon

Having recently landed a probe on the far side of the moon, China announced that it managed to grow the first plant on the moon, too. Here's why that matters for deep space travel.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Emerging Tech

Want to know which drones are flying near you? There’s an app for that

Want to know what that mysterious drone buzzing over your head is up to? A new system developed by AirMap, Google Wing, and could soon tell you -- via a map on your phone.
Emerging Tech

A Japanese hotel fires half its robot staff for being bad at their jobs

Japan’s oddball Henn na Hotel has fired half of its 243 robot staff. The reason? Because these labor-saving machines turned out to be causing way more problems than they were solving.
Emerging Tech

CERN plans to build a massive particle collider that dwarfs the LHC

CERN already has the world's biggest particle accelerator. Now it wants a bigger one. Meet the 9 billion euro Future Circular Collider that will allow physicists to extend their study of the universe and matter at the smallest level.