Google submits plans to expand Silicon Valley headquarters

Tech giant Google proposes vast, futuristic vision for its Silicon Valley headquarters.

(BIG AND HEATHERWICK STUDIO/GOOGLE0) – Google Inc submitted plans on Friday (February 27) for a vastly expanded headquarters at the Silicon Valley city where the tech giant is based, presenting a bucolic vision of movable structures to be built under curving and translucent canopies.

The submission of the plan to the City Council in Mountain View, California, which the company chose for its headquarters 15 years ago, marks the first step in what city officials describe as a long review process.

The new headquarters would give the Internet company the room for an additional 10,000 employees, compared to the 20,000 Google staffers that currently work in the city, a Google spokeswoman said.

Google’s blueprint for new headquarters in the city’s North Bayshore district has gathered widespread attention because the design is seen as architecturally innovative.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, the plan also is closely watched due to concerns the technology industry’s high salaries are pushing housing prices beyond levels affordable to most families.

The design by architect Bjarke Ingels of the firm Bjarke Ingels Group and Thomas Heatherwick of architecture and design company Heatherwick Studio calls for block-like structures that Google says could be moved around to create space for teams to pursue different projects. It would add about 2.5 million square feet of space to the existing campus.

Vast, clear canopies over the buildings would allow light to filter into the futuristic campus. There would be places for trees, grass and bicycle paths, all of it nestled into different parts of the campus.