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The Googleplex is the headquarters of Google Inc. and is located at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway in Mountain View, California 94043. With an area of 1 million square meters, it is one of the largest buildings in the world. The building was designed by architect Frank Gehry and opened in 2004. It is described as “a cross between a spaceship and an original Lego set”.
Google took over the site in its original form from SGI (Silicon Graphics) in 2003. In addition to the Googleplex proper, another facility was built as an expansion. This facility has a view of the San Francisco Bay, which is extremely rare. Therefore, this extension of the Googleplex is also known as the “Bay View”.
The Googleplex is a workplace and living space for more than 8,000 employees of the company. The facilities are not just a work environment, but contain numerous amenities for employee care, such as health centers, gyms, swimming pools, cafeterias, libraries, game rooms, and movie theaters. The design of the Googleplex is often described as unusual for a corporate headquarters, as they feature a very free and playful atmosphere.
The term Googleplex consists of several allusions and mentions. The term “GooglePlex” is composed of Google and complex. At the same time, it also refers to the supercomputer “Googleplex Star Thinker” from Douglas Adams’ novel “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and Googolplex – a number 10 to the power of 100.
The Googleplex center covers 46,839 square feet spread across the facility’s four main buildings. The original construction of the site and its facilities dates back to 1997. By planning underground parking, the entrance area and the corporate headquarters, the result is a serene image with large water features, green spaces and parks.
The Google campus encompasses the site, which was not fully acquired by the company
until 2006. Facilities include low-rise buildings of a few stories, but spread very widely across the site. This design gives the environment a calm and natural atmosphere, and in particular, lava lamps and exercise ball chairs for sitting are part of the interior design of the offices and the corporate building. An
additional four buildings house laundry facilities, sports facilities (such as swimming pools, golf courses and tennis courts) and 18 cafeterias. The structure provides the company’s employees with numerous development opportunities and chances to take care of their personal and professional needs without having to leave the company premises. Employees in project and developer roles are often unable to leave their workplace for extended periods or work irregular hours, so this infrastructure is absolutely crucial.
Beyond the Googelplex in the strictest sense, there are other notable corporate facilities in Mountain View that are in close proximity to the company’s headquarters. The Quad is another campus that is also located in the area. The facility is only about five kilometers away from the Googleplex. Also, less than a kilometer away from the actual facility is the so-called Googles X Lab. The building’s workplace is headed by Sergey Brin, one of Google’s co-founders. The facility has nothing to do with the former online platform Google Labs. The commute between the GooglePlex and the X Lab is done on the company’s bicycles. Compared to the architecture of the Googleplex, the X Lab building is unassuming from the outside. The Google X Lab is the facility where the company’s developers and engineers work on various experimental technology projects. Among the more than a hundred projects are Google Glass and a driverless, self-driving car. Media reports and narratives refer to the facility as a “secret lab” and Mad Science.
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