Google's new office takes shelter inside a historic aircraft hangar
ZGF Architects recently completed a new Los Angeles office for Google. The office is actually built inside another building – a massive restored wooden hangar that was once home to the famous "Spruce Goose" aircraft.
The Spruce Goose – or more properly the Hughes H-4 Hercules – is a prototype flying boat designed during WWII and still remains the largest wingspan of any aircraft that has flown (though Stratolaunch is nipping at its heels).
The Google Spruce Goose Hangar, as the office is called, is arranged either side of the 750 ft (228 m)-long hangar's central spine, which divides the building lengthways. It has a total floorspace of 450,000 sq ft (41,800 sq m), spread over four floors and comprises office, meeting, dining, and event spaces, as well as employee amenities. Its layout was carefully calculated to ensure maximum natural light inside each floor.
"A highly iterative exploration between design team and client resulted in a dynamic configuration of open floor plates that are pulled away from both the interior envelope and the central spine," says ZGF. "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."
The office's layout is also meant to increase interaction between employees. A boardwalk wraps around each floor and bridges connect each level. Additionally, the phone, meeting, and conference rooms have names inspired by the aircraft industry and hospitality spaces are each designed to hark back to that era.