Contract - Google Dublin

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Google Dublin

08 August, 2013

-By Murrye Bernard. Photography by Peter Würmli


A company whose name doubles as a verb, Google takes the same innovative approach in conceptualizing its workspaces as it does in developing life-changing technology products. Its unique offices around the world promote creative thinking among staff by reinforcing community bonds and company culture.

Adapting this formula for a particularly diverse international staff, Swiss architecture studio Camenzind Evolution, in collaboration with local firm Henry J. Lyons Architects, masterplanned the Google campus in Dublin, Ireland, which serves as the Google European Union headquarters and center for sales and finance for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Located in the city’s historic docklands district, the project involved the interior renovation and fit-out of four existing buildings, totaling 506,000 square feet—making it Google’s third largest office in the world, behind the 2.9-million-square-foot New York location and the 2-million-square-foot world headquarters in Mountain View, California.

Employees drove the design process
While the designs of many other Google offices reflect their immediate locales—Camenzind Evolution has also completed several other Google offices in cities such as Tel Aviv, Moscow, Stockholm, Oslo, and Zurich—the Dublin campus called for a multifaceted approach, given the diverse staff of more than 2,000. Originating from more than 65 countries, many employees relocated to Dublin specifically for their Google jobs. Google’s priority was to infuse the campus with cultures from many countries besides Ireland to help newcomers feel more at home.

Employees had a significant role in guiding the workplace design. “Quite purposefully, Google did not provide us with a design brief. The company wanted to ensure that we as designers began the process by engaging users,” says Stefan Camenzind, partner and executive director of Camenzind Evolution. Based on employees’ input, the design team established themes for each of the four buildings, and further emphasized these themes through each floor’s identity. “A well-executed theming effort encourages an emotional connection between employees and their place of work and is a significant hiring and retention tool,” says Colm Buckley, a Google systems engineering manager.

Four buildings, four approaches

Google Docks, a new tower purchased by the company and fitted out as part of the project, boldly proclaims the corporate presence at street level with giant, colorful letters—brought to life from the unmistakable logo—that appear to rise from the lobby
floor. Translated into an architectural language, Google’s products, philosophy, and culture permeate the tower’s 14 floors, which were shaped around identities such as “Search,” “Appiness,” “Be Green,” “@Home,” “Create,” “Organize,” and “Innovate.”

Two other buildings located across the street from Google Docks, the 9-story tall Gasworks House and the 7-story tall Gordon House, were previously owned by Google and renovated as part of the campus. Floors within Gasworks House represent natural and man-made landscapes throughout the world—such as the sky, mountains, forests, sand, water, and cities—while Gordon House’s interiors incorporate colors from international flags.

The fourth building, located a block away from the others, is the 6-story tall One Grand Canal (1GC). The designs of Google’s spaces within pay homage to Irish culture and include a replica of a pub that employees have cheekily dubbed “Shaven Yak,” as well as a library based on the Long Room in Trinity College. While interiors vary dramatically from building to building, consistent features include communications hubs at the hearts of many floors. These hubs take the forms of cafes and informal meeting rooms that support surrounding open office spaces.

Googlers empowered to personalize
Workstations can be configured in pods to match team sizes, which range from a few people to groups of more than 30. Employees are also invited to personalize their workspaces using pin-up boards. “We think it’s vital that employees feel empowered to make changes in their workspace and to be able to personalize their space to the greatest practical degree,” Buckley says. A range of amenities—including five restaurants, 42 micro-kitchens, game rooms, a fitness center and pool, wellness areas, and a learning and development center—is designed to tempt employees to linger longer than the typical workday.

Since the Dublin campus opened, Google has gauged employee feedback, which remains overwhelmingly positive. Still, the company encourages staff to suggest improvements. “The employees, like
the company overall,” Camenzind says, “are not afraid to try out new things.”

Key Design Highlights

  • Interiors of each of four campus buildings are designed to a theme, and floors within reflect different identities within these themes.
  • One building celebrates Irish culture, but multicultural references are incorporated throughout the campus to help the diverse staff feel at home.  
  • A wide variety of communication hubs provides informal meeting space on every floor.
  • Amenities, from a fitness center to a pub, enhance employees’ workdays and encouragesocial interaction.

Google Dublin

  • Architects: Camenzind Evolution, in association with Henry J. Lyons Architects
  • Client: Google
  • Where: Dublin, Ireland
  • What: 506,000 total square feet in four buildings
  • Cost/sf: Withheld at client’s request




Google Dublin

08 August, 2013


A company whose name doubles as a verb, Google takes the same innovative approach in conceptualizing its workspaces as it does in developing life-changing technology products. Its unique offices around the world promote creative thinking among staff by reinforcing community bonds and company culture.

Adapting this formula for a particularly diverse international staff, Swiss architecture studio Camenzind Evolution, in collaboration with local firm Henry J. Lyons Architects, masterplanned the Google campus in Dublin, Ireland, which serves as the Google European Union headquarters and center for sales and finance for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Located in the city’s historic docklands district, the project involved the interior renovation and fit-out of four existing buildings, totaling 506,000 square feet—making it Google’s third largest office in the world, behind the 2.9-million-square-foot New York location and the 2-million-square-foot world headquarters in Mountain View, California.

Employees drove the design process
While the designs of many other Google offices reflect their immediate locales—Camenzind Evolution has also completed several other Google offices in cities such as Tel Aviv, Moscow, Stockholm, Oslo, and Zurich—the Dublin campus called for a multifaceted approach, given the diverse staff of more than 2,000. Originating from more than 65 countries, many employees relocated to Dublin specifically for their Google jobs. Google’s priority was to infuse the campus with cultures from many countries besides Ireland to help newcomers feel more at home.

Employees had a significant role in guiding the workplace design. “Quite purposefully, Google did not provide us with a design brief. The company wanted to ensure that we as designers began the process by engaging users,” says Stefan Camenzind, partner and executive director of Camenzind Evolution. Based on employees’ input, the design team established themes for each of the four buildings, and further emphasized these themes through each floor’s identity. “A well-executed theming effort encourages an emotional connection between employees and their place of work and is a significant hiring and retention tool,” says Colm Buckley, a Google systems engineering manager.

Four buildings, four approaches

Google Docks, a new tower purchased by the company and fitted out as part of the project, boldly proclaims the corporate presence at street level with giant, colorful letters—brought to life from the unmistakable logo—that appear to rise from the lobby
floor. Translated into an architectural language, Google’s products, philosophy, and culture permeate the tower’s 14 floors, which were shaped around identities such as “Search,” “Appiness,” “Be Green,” “@Home,” “Create,” “Organize,” and “Innovate.”

Two other buildings located across the street from Google Docks, the 9-story tall Gasworks House and the 7-story tall Gordon House, were previously owned by Google and renovated as part of the campus. Floors within Gasworks House represent natural and man-made landscapes throughout the world—such as the sky, mountains, forests, sand, water, and cities—while Gordon House’s interiors incorporate colors from international flags.

The fourth building, located a block away from the others, is the 6-story tall One Grand Canal (1GC). The designs of Google’s spaces within pay homage to Irish culture and include a replica of a pub that employees have cheekily dubbed “Shaven Yak,” as well as a library based on the Long Room in Trinity College. While interiors vary dramatically from building to building, consistent features include communications hubs at the hearts of many floors. These hubs take the forms of cafes and informal meeting rooms that support surrounding open office spaces.

Googlers empowered to personalize
Workstations can be configured in pods to match team sizes, which range from a few people to groups of more than 30. Employees are also invited to personalize their workspaces using pin-up boards. “We think it’s vital that employees feel empowered to make changes in their workspace and to be able to personalize their space to the greatest practical degree,” Buckley says. A range of amenities—including five restaurants, 42 micro-kitchens, game rooms, a fitness center and pool, wellness areas, and a learning and development center—is designed to tempt employees to linger longer than the typical workday.

Since the Dublin campus opened, Google has gauged employee feedback, which remains overwhelmingly positive. Still, the company encourages staff to suggest improvements. “The employees, like
the company overall,” Camenzind says, “are not afraid to try out new things.”

Key Design Highlights

  • Interiors of each of four campus buildings are designed to a theme, and floors within reflect different identities within these themes.
  • One building celebrates Irish culture, but multicultural references are incorporated throughout the campus to help the diverse staff feel at home.  
  • A wide variety of communication hubs provides informal meeting space on every floor.
  • Amenities, from a fitness center to a pub, enhance employees’ workdays and encouragesocial interaction.

Google Dublin

  • Architects: Camenzind Evolution, in association with Henry J. Lyons Architects
  • Client: Google
  • Where: Dublin, Ireland
  • What: 506,000 total square feet in four buildings
  • Cost/sf: Withheld at client’s request

 


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