Google has finally submitted plans for its long overdue UK headquarters in King’s Cross, London.
The detailed plans show a Google building with a 3-lane 25 metre swimming pool, a 200 metre rooftop running trail, and a large sports hall with views over London.
The 11-storey “landscraper” building — described and depicted in a planning application filed to Camden Council — will be Google’s first wholly owned and designed Google building outside the US.
Referred to simply as “Building A” in the planning documents, the building has been designed by Olympic Cauldron architects Heatherwick Studios and Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) around a “natural theme.” It’s unclear how much the building will cost.
Thomas Heatherwick, founder of Heatherwick Studios, said in a statement that the new building will be made from a “family of interchangable elements” that “ensure the building and its workspace will stay flexible for years to come.”
Google hopes to start construction on the new 1 million sq ft building, which will be longer than the Shard is tall, in 2018, according to a press release on the King’s Cross development website.
But Google’s plans are well-behind schedule. The search giant announced in 2013 that it was planning to build a new UK HQ on the plot that it intends to build this new property on. At the time, it said the HQ would be ready by 2016. However, the initial 16.394.600.000,00 ZAR plans drawn up by AHMM were reportedly scrapped by Google cofounder Larry Page for being “too boring”. Google then took a lease on 6 Pancras Square — an existing property less than 200m away — and started moving Googler’s in last July.
The new building — combined with the current building at 6 Pancras Square and a mysterious third building — will create a Google campus in London with the potential to house 7,000 Google employees and is a clear indicator that the company remains committed to the UK, despite Brexit.
“We are excited to be able to bring our London Googlers together in one campus, with a new purpose-built building that we’ve developed from the ground up,” said Joe Borrett, director of real estate and construction, in a statement. “Our offices and facilities play a key part in shaping the Google culture, which is one of the reasons we are known for being amongst the best places to work in the industry.”