Google has been on an expansion tear lately, and has announced plans to follow their recently approved Mountain View, California housing development with a new campus in neighboring Sunnyvale. The one-million-square-foot project will be called Caribbean, and sees Google teaming up with Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) yet again for a pair of terraced office buildings for up to 4,500 employees. The city of Sunnyvale is no stranger to Google, as the tech giant has been consolidating land purchases throughout the year and most recently paid $21 million for a five-acre plot in the Moffet Park area on December 22nd. BIG and Google are also familiar partners, as the firm has been involved with both the Charleston East campus and speculative designs for the northern Mountain View residential project. Their latest collaboration will involve two five-story office buildings, each featuring green roofs with paths that gently zigzag atop stepped floors. Each building will connect these paths with the ground level and encourage the building’s melding with the street. Renderings show that these paths could be used for a variety of activities, from biking to skating, and that any floor of each building should be accessible from outside. Although each office building will be clad in a floor-to-ceiling glass curtain wall, they differ slightly in their typology. While one is boxier, with easily distinguishable steps and clearly defined plazas and gathering areas, the other resembles a cascading hillscape with organically defined curves and valleys. From the ground level, the offices’ landscaped terraces clearly evoke cliff faces or natural slopes. The future 200 West Caribbean Drive will be 505,000 square feet, while the nearby 100 West Caribbean Drive will be slightly larger at 538,000square feet. Other than BIG, Clive Wilkinson Architects has been tapped to design the interiors, while OLIN Landscape Architects will be responsible for the landscape design. A project this large will require a number of approvals from the Sunnyvale city government, and the project is only just beginning to work its way through the process. Google expects to move employees into the finished buildings in 2021. Of note is that the city has mandated that all of the utilities, sewage systems, hydrants and streetlights will need to be relocated and upgraded, which will falls under the city of Sunnyvale’s design guidelines.
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News broke last week that Apple plans to move into another spaceship of a building, the Central & Wolfe Campus in Sunnyvale, California designed by HOK. The Silicon Valley Business Journal reported that the company leased the 777,000-square-foot building just a few miles from its Norman Foster–designed, doughnut-shaped HQ and praised the curvilinear design for its non-box-like silhouette. The HOK and Landbank project, which has been on AN’s radar since 2014, uses its curves to give employees (Apple will house up to 4,000 here) better visual and physical access to the outdoors. The 18-acre site includes 9 acres of ground-level open space with 2 miles of outdoor trails and 90,000-square-foot rooftop garden. There are no plans as yet for a viewing platform for the curious public. “It was critical that every major design element that went into the campus had to raise the user experience bar. In this case, the ‘users’ include companies, their employees, surrounding communities, and Mother Nature,” Scott Jacobs, CEO of Landbank, told AN Back in May 2014. In the same piece, Paul Woodford, HOK's senior VP and director of design, noted that the firm had to challenge preconceptions about what is “leasable, efficient, and excitable.” The bet paid off. The Apple lease does raise the question of whether the HOK design will remain part of the deal. Real estate reporter for the Journal wrote: “One caveat: It’s unclear whether the project will be built according to that design, from architecture firm HOK, or if Apple and Landbank will want to modify it in some way. At this time there’s no indication it will change substantially, and indeed Landbank has made the signature look a key selling point, with a website that highlights the out-of-the-box design.”