Two employees break for coffee beside the "idea board," a canvas for playfully grand designs like Google spaceships.
Googlers can shoot pool while taking a break in one of several employee lounges.
Google contracts with stylists to give its employees cut-rate haircuts.
|RULING THE NET
employees take an afternoon volley ball break. The corporation's
Mountain View campus is at once a flurry of playful activity and
creative technological innovation.
|MARCHING ON ITS STOMACH
is obsessive about food, offering its employees three free gourmet
meals a day that can be eaten in a cafeteria adorned by artwork created
by Google employees.
There are toys for employees' children and for the young-at-heart Googlers like this one.
The work-weary can unwind with a Google-subsidized professional massage.
Googlers are permitted to bring their dogs (but not cats) to the workplace.
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The Googleplex is located between Charleston Road, Amphitheatre Parkway, and Shoreline Boulevard in north Mountain View, California
close to the Shoreline Park wetlands
Employees living in San Francisco or the East Bay may take a
wifi-enabled Google subsidized shuttle to and from work. It is powered
by domestically grown and processed biodiesel
The four core buildings, totaling 506,317 ft² (47,038 m²), were built for and originally occupied by SGI.
The office space and corporate campus is located within a larger 26
acre site that contains Charleston Park, a five-acre public park;
improved access to Permanente Creek; and public trails that connect the
corporate site to Shoreline Park and the Bay Trail. The project,
launched in 1994 to reclaim a former industrial brownfield, was a
creative collaboration between SGI, STUDIOS Architecture in San
Francisco, SWA Group of San Francisco and Sausalito, and the Planning
and Community Development Agency of the City of Mountain View. The
objective was to develop in complementary fashion the privately-owned
corporate headquarters and adjoining public greenspace. Key design
decisions placed parking for nearly 2000 cars underground, enabling SWA
to integrate the two open spaces with water features, shallow pools,
fountains, pathways, and plazas. The project was completed in 1997.
The campus’ landscape design was judged as one of the most
significant of the century by the American Society of Landscape
Architects in bestowing its ASLA Centennial Medallion in 1999, followed
by the ASLA Centennial Award in 2000, and the ASLA National Honor Award
The ASLA noted in 1999 that the SGI project was a significant
departure from typical corporate campuses, challenging conventional
thinking about private and public space.
The former SGI facilities were leased by Google beginning in 2003. In June 2006, Google purchased some of Silicon Graphics' properties, including the Googleplex, for $319 million.
Although the buildings are of relatively low height, the complex
covers a large area. The interior of the headquarters is furnished with
items like shade lamps and giant rubber balls. The lobby contains a
piano and a projection of current live Google search queries. The
facilities include a gym (Building 40), free laundry rooms (Buildings
40 and 42), two small swimming pools, a sand volleyball court, and
eleven cafeterias of diverse selection. Google has even installed
replicas of SpaceShipOne and a dinosaur skeleton.
In late 2006 and early 2007 the company installed a series of solar
panels, capable of producing 1.6 megawatts of electricity. It is
believed that this is the largest corporate installation in the United
States. About 30 percent of the Googleplex's electricity needs will be
fulfilled by this project, with the remainder being purchased.
About one third of the panels will be in the form of "solar trees"
mounted on poles above parking lots, with the remainder placed on
The solar panel project went online on 18 June 2007. As of 21 June 2007 Google has installed over 90% of the 9,212 solar panels that comprise the 1.6 megawatt project.