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  • (Bjarke) Silicon Valley has been the cradle

  • of this series of innovations that over the last decades

  • have propelled technology and world economy.

  • But all of the resources, all of the intelligence,

  • has been invested into the immaterial,

  • the digital realm, the internet.

  • It was just fascinating to be seeing the physical reality

  • of a valley that has changed the world,

  • and that valley actually itself hasn't changed.

  • (David) Tech really hasn't adopted

  • a particular language for buildings.

  • I mean, we've just found old buildings,

  • we've moved into them, and we've made do best we could.

  • We have an opportunity to build new buildings,

  • which is nothing unique, which people do every day,

  • all over the world,

  • but what we've tried to do is take a step back

  • and say, "How do buildings work with nature?"

  • You know, "What will transit look like in the future?"

  • Not "What is transit today?"

  • We're really making sure that we make spaces

  • very open and accessible so it's just not for Googlers,

  • but it's for anyone who lives in the area to come by.

  • And then the last piece, which is really Google at its heart,

  • in anything we do, trying to leave the project

  • giving something back to the world,

  • that they didn't have before we started.

  • (David) We scoured the world, looking for a special architect,

  • who could really do something different,

  • who really listened and created stuff from the ground up.

  • And we really got down to what we believed were

  • the two best in class.

  • You guys. [laughs]

  • My name is Bjarke Ingels. I'm an architect

  • and the founder of Bjarke Ingels Group,

  • or simply BIG.

  • (David) The BIG Studios, they're ambitious.

  • They do a lot of very community-focused projects,

  • and that was pretty compelling to us.

  • Good actually. Good reaction, by the way.

  • My name is Thomas Heatherwick.

  • I'm the founder of Heatherwick Studio.

  • (David) Thomas, on the other hand, has this attention

  • to human scale and beauty that I haven't seen in anyone before.

  • And you bring those two people together--

  • somebody who really thinks about function and form

  • and you couple that with beauty,

  • and you just have this team that does pretty amazing stuff.

  • (Bjarke) When we met each other in Mountain View,

  • we thought that it would be interesting

  • to work with each other and Google,

  • to maybe come up with something that would be much more creative

  • than anything we could have come up with ourselves.

  • (Thomas) What is the best possible environment we can make

  • to invent, engineer, and most importantly, make ideas happen

  • and go out into the world?

  • - It's cool. - It's cool.

  • (Thomas) When you visit the Google campus,

  • there's lots of trees.

  • But there's this constant, major undermining of that

  • by the road system and the infrastructure

  • required for all of those cars.

  • And it just feels like trees are, like, street furniture.

  • (Bjarke) And everything has turned into parking lots.

  • We're trying to sort of reverse this process,

  • and really sort of recreate some of the natural qualities

  • that have been there in the first place,

  • really transform the sea of parking that you find today

  • into a--sort of a natural landscape,

  • where you'll find an abundance of green both outside,

  • but also inside.

  • (Thomas) These are greenhouses

  • that enclose and protect pieces of nature.

  • (David) Next to ecologically-sensitive areas

  • we're able to pull back buildings

  • and create wildlife habitat.

  • We're able to create areas where we're restoring waterways

  • that bring water out to the bay.

  • It's interesting to try and look at how you can

  • really augment or turn the dial up more on that nature,

  • at the same time as looking to really protect the land use.

  • (Bjarke) Google's presence in Mountain View is simply so strong

  • that it can't be a fortress that shuts away nature,

  • that shuts away the neighbors.

  • It really needs to become a neighborhood in Mountain View.

  • (Thomas) A motivator for the work we're doing now is to be generous.

  • You can provide facilities that can be shared with people

  • who don't work for an organization,

  • and keep an organization's feet on the ground.

  • (David) The buildings themselves allow

  • both the public as well as employees to move through them.

  • We wanted to make sure that we created communities

  • where bikes and pedestrians felt like

  • they didn't have to worry about cars zipping by

  • at 70 miles an hour.

  • (Thomas) Part of our work is to try to find ways

  • to make places that you would go and have a conversation

  • and go for a walk with great pleasure,

  • and choose in a weekend to be.

  • (Bjarke) So in that sense, our idea for the Google campus

  • is really to give it the diversity, the liveliness

  • that you find in an urban neighborhood

  • so that a lot of the traditional distinctions in an urban setting

  • or in an office environment will have evaporated

  • or at least been blurred significantly.

  • (David) How will we work five years from now?

  • How will we work 15 or 20 years from now?

  • We don't know what it's going to be,

  • but we know that it just needs to be

  • this incredibly flexible space for it to work.

  • (Bjarke) In nature,

  • things aren't over-programmed or over-prescribed.

  • And in a way, if our cities or our work environments

  • could have more of this flexibility

  • or openness for interpretation, they would become

  • more stimulating and more creative environments

  • to live and work in.

  • In a traditional building, reconfiguring from office space

  • to automotive to bio-tech would take months and years,

  • and you would knock those buildings down,

  • and then, 5 or 10 years later, you'd do it again.

  • (Thomas) The desire, really, is to try to create pieces of

  • environment you can work in, in multiple ways.

  • (Bjarke) Suddenly, within this, the architecture of the building

  • becomes almost like giant pieces of furniture

  • that can be connected in different ways.

  • It's almost like the Lincoln Logs when we were kids.

  • You can just pile them up and assemble them differently,

  • with basically no new materials.

  • (Thomas) It's a sort of structure of looking, in a way,

  • at the historic city model of making streets,

  • and then this is not the historic model

  • of making environments that bring together

  • and protect those streets.

  • (Bjarke) Instead of having buildings as these, like,

  • boxes with walls and floors,

  • dissolve the building into a simple, super-transparent,

  • ultra-light membrane...

  • (Thomas) Creating, in effect, a piece of glass fabric,

  • and draping it across some tent poles,

  • and we're blurring the outside world and the inside world.

  • (David) We're really thinking about

  • how do we create buildings that draw less energy?

  • How do we create buildings that use less water

  • than a traditional building?

  • And all of this science and know-how

  • is going into this project.

  • (Bjarke) We will keep developing, we'll keep researching,

  • in terms of materials or technologies.

  • The architecture will evolve, as times evolve.

  • (Thomas) There are ways that we can try and make space that

  • isn't just for the next 5 or 10 years,

  • but for many decades to come.

  • (Bjarke) Between these three different minds,

  • or three different companies working together,

  • I think we have really arrived at something

  • that I'm dead certain

  • we wouldn't have arrived at if any one of us were, like,

  • working in isolation.

  • (Thomas) We have a duty to reflect, in the physical environment,

  • the values that have been manifested in the innovations

  • that have come out from this part of California.

  • A humanistic spirit is something that--it feels really important

  • to embody in what we build,

  • and so that's shared between all of us,

  • and is exciting and driving us

  • and will be, in its way,

  • revolutionary.

(Bjarke) Silicon Valley has been the cradle

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Google's Proposal for North Bayshore

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    rachel6433 posted on 2015/04/09
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