Google stunned architects and urban planners last week when it unveiled its plans to expand its Silicon Valley corporate campus by 2.5 million square feet and to build a series of wavy, glass-encased buildings that will have movable floors, ceilings, and walls.
One urban advocate told The San Jose Mercury News, “We’re watching the future get invented.” The Silicon Valley Business Journal declared Google’s vision “unlike anything built before it.” The local CBS news team dubbed it “otherworldly.” Click here for a slideshow of renderings.
The tech giant has submitted its master plan, which it hopes to complete by 2020, to city officials in Mountain View, CA—Google’s home. The buildings would be equipped with machines Google is calling “crabots,” which are part crane and part robot and will be programmed to lift and move floors both during construction and after the buildings are finished.
The company that wowed the tech world with driverless cars and Google Glass aims to “expand [its] innovative spirit into the physical realm,” architect Bjarke Ingels, who helped design the campus expansion, said in a video released by Google.
The concept, the company said, is “simple: Instead of constructing immovable concrete buildings, we’ll create lightweight block-like structures which can be moved around easily as we invest in new product ideas.”