Google trumped (for once) by LinkedIn, leaving Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick swoopy plans in limbo

Architecture Development West
One of Big and Heatherwick's four planned buildings for Google. (BIG)

One of Big and Heatherwick’s four planned buildings for Google. (BIG)

Mountain View, California’s city council has decided that LinkedIn and not Google will be able to develop the majority of its North Bayshore area, leaving Google’s ambitious plans by Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick in jeopardy.

Aerial View of Google's plans (BIG and Heatherwick Studio)

Aerial View of Google’s plans (BIG and Heatherwick Studio)

According to Silicon Valley Business Journal, LinkedIn will be able to develop 1.4 million square feet of the 2.2 million square feet of the area’s available commercial space, leaving Google with enough room for only one piece of its four-part plan. “I’m not sure how I make any of this economically viable with one building,”  David Radcliffe, vice president of real estate and workplace services for Google, told the council.

LinkedIn Site Plan (City of Mountain View)

LinkedIn Site Plan. (City of Mountain View)

Google’s four structures were to be draped in glass canopies and connected by walking trails. plazas, community gardens and oak groves. Now they may face the same fate as Google’s former plans for a new Leed Platinum campus in Mountain View’s Charleston East area by Ingenhoven Architects and SHoP Architects, which were proposed in 2012 and 2008, respectively.

According to public documents, LinkedIn’s plans (left), designed by Studios Architecture (the firm that, ironically, designed the building that currently serves as Google’s main headquarters) call for six office buildings, a new theater, health club, and a retail street.

LinkedIn’s rectilinear site plan is much more conventional than Google’s looping, twisting, and intertwining complex would have been. Most of the office buildings would surround a public space called “The Green.”

According to the Business Journal, the decision does not approve LinkedIn’s project, rather “it merely gives the company the green light to turn in formal plans.” So this saga isn’t over yet.

Conceptual rendering of Google HQ by Ingenhoven Architects (Ingenhoven Architects)

Rendering of Google HQ by SHoP Architects. (City of Mountain View)

Model of SHoP's plan for Google in Charleston East (SHoP)

Model of SHoP’s plan for Google in Charleston East (SHoP)

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