Proposed Google Campus a Modular Construction Marvel

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Can the design-build process ever be as nimble as a company like Google? Google hopes so.

With a new, ambitious-in-the-extreme campus project planned, Google and its project partners are about to find out (pending city council approval, of course).

Much of the need for the proposed 3.4 million-square-foot North Bayshore facility stems from the company’s diversity of projects. When your mission includes managing the world’s searches, orchestrating the efforts of a self-driving car team, launching the first-ever modular smartphones and everything in-between, you need a space flexible enough to accommodate it all. So what did Google decide to do? They decided to go modular.

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From Google, describing a rendering of the Charleston South Building, (pictured above): “Within the canopy, building segments operate like furniture—light, tactile and reconfigurable.” The proposed campus in Mountain View, CA (plans from Bjarke Ingels at BIG and Thomas Heatherwick at Heatherwick Studio) looks like a place you could gather to do some light community gardening, go for a jog with your baby, or join an impromptu yoga class — and of course, get some work done in state-of-the-art work spaces, or “villages.”

What else about this project is so groundbreaking? Well, for one, Google is proposing to use what it’s calling “crabots”—crane-robot hybrids—to, according Google “…Lift prefabricated units during construction, elements of furniture and services.” More about the crabots here.

We’ll be watching these plans closely as they develop with a particular eye on construction challenges and innovations. We expect a bounty of each!

See the images for yourself here.

Image via Google’s public album/Google+

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