If you didn't already want to work for Google, you will once you see their new office space in a restored, 750-foot, timber-framed hangar that was originally built by legendary businessman, film producer, and pilot Howard Hughes in 1943 for the construction of the H-4 Hercules aircraft, the largest wooden airplane ever made. Nicknamed the Spruce Goose due to its massive size and wooden structure, the plane was only flown once.
As a nod to Hughes–who seems like a pretty fair match for Google given the eccentric millionaire’s wealth and hubris–the office has been christened Google Spruce Goose, Dezeen reports. Inside the building in Playa Vista, a neighborhood near LAX, Oregon-based studio ZGF Architects created a unique and inspiring workspace with lofty, curving exposed timber beams, open workspaces, and elevated walkways.
Google has been using the building, which was previously being used as a film production facility, since 2016, when they began leasing it. They identified ZGF for the adaptive reuse project that would require creating what amounted to a new building inside the old one. On their website, the architects explain that, “Given the nature of the client organisation and the rich history of the building, the project demanded a wholly unique design approach,"
Employees move through the fluid, open workspace via zigzagging steps and the aforementioned elevated walkways. Surrounding each floor is a "boardwalk" with mesh or glass railings. Above, newly-created windows and skylights punctuate the hangar's original timber beams. The 450,000-square-foot building holds offices, conference rooms, cafes, a fitness center and a 250-person event space. Colorful Interiors were customized with furnishings, art and plants. Phone and meeting rooms have aviation-themed names.
According to the architects, "The varied shaping of each floor allows daylight to penetrate every level and maintains clear sight lines spanning the full length of the building, putting the magnitude and workmanship of the historic structure on display. Hospitality spaces are each designed with a contemporary twist on the iconic style of a bygone era.”
ZGF are based in Oregon (because of course they are). Also in Oregon: The Spruce Goose, Hughes’ massive plane, is on view at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, where you can find out more about it. Or you can just Google it, of course.
Expect more from the mega-company’s creative workspace arsenal: Google recently submitted plans for a new Mountain View, California, campus–the company’s first to be built from the ground up–designed by Bjarke Ingels/BIG and Heatherwick Studio. The new spread reportedly will consist of rectilinear modules topped by a giant canopy.
Photos by Connie Zhou