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Google Reveals Designs for New Headquarters in Mountain View

The design reveal is more than just a showcase for architects Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick. The project also raises tough questions about how far suburban cities in the South Bay Area are willing to go to support the current tech boom.
March 2, 2015, 10am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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A New York Times article by Conor Dougherty first turned up the volume on talk about Google's new headquarters last week. According to Dougherty, "[the] project in Mountain View, which Google has not made public but has discussed with members of the City Council, is likely to aggravate an increasingly testy relationship between the company and community leaders who fear the company is overrunning their small city."

The problem created by the Google's continue expansion, according to city leaders, is too many jobs. The growth of tech companies is a controversial trend in many of the area's suburban municipalities: "The same story is playing out across Silicon Valley. In Menlo Park, home of Facebook, the November election featured a measure — ultimately rejected by voters — that would have cut downtown office growth in half. Citizen groups in nearby Palo Alto have rebranded their City Council’s most anti-development members as 'residentialists.'"

The article goes on to preview more holistic questions about housing and transportation infrastructure that the city's newly elected council will have to consider in the coming years.

Later in the week, Amy Frearson detailed the design proposal—which has the attention of the design and architecture media thanks to the projects to high-profile architects: Thomas Heatherwick and Bjarke Ingels. Here's how Frearson describes the project proposal: "The concept for Google North Bayshore is to create lightweight block-like structures that can be moved around, rather than investing in permanent buildings. According to Google, this will offer flexibility as the company invests in new product areas."

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Published on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 in New York Times
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