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Google Bay View

BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, Heatherwick Studios

Mountain View, California, United States

May 2022


Bjarke Ingels (Design Architect), Thomas Heatherwick (Design Architect)


Adamson Associates (Executive Architect), Thornton Tomasetti (Structural Engineer), Integral Group (Mechanical, Plumbing & Fire Protection Engineer), Olin (Landscape Architect), Arup (Acoustic Consultant & Facade Engineer




Iwan Baan


Bay View’s design is driven by flexibility and extraordinary user experience that inspires collaboration and co-creation. Team spaces are on the upper level and gathering spaces are below, separating focus and collaborative areas while still providing easy access to both. The second-floor’s variation in floorplates gives teams a designated area that is highly flexible to change with their needs. Second-floor workspaces also prioritize access to natural light and views, with reduced glare through carefully designed clerestory windows punctuating the canopy. A series of indoor “courtyards” throughout the buildings connect the two levels, giving teams access to carbon-free cafes, kitchenettes and meeting spaces. These courtyards encourage the physiological benefits of physical movement when circulating between levels and different modes of work, and double as wayfinding devices.

To create the healthiest environment possible at Bay View, the project team vetted thousands of building products and materials; everything from carpet tiles, paints and piping to plywood and furniture were evaluated using the Living Building Challenge (LBC) Red List as a framework. For our animal friends, windows on buildings across Bay View feature integrated visual patterns, so birds perceive the glass as an obstacle to be avoided, further bolstering a safe environment for wildlife.


Bay View rethinks how buildings integrate with nature, providing healthy, sustainable places for people to do their best work. Totaling 1.1 million square feet across three buildings, Bay View is situated on a 42-acre site next to the NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley. The campus includes 20 acres of open space along with two office buildings; an event center; and short-term employee residences. Bay View's immediate adjacency to the San Francisco Bay makes water an important focus. Bay View was designed to meet the Living Building Challenge's definition of net water-positive, with all the site’s non-potable water demands met using the recycled water generated on-site.

Bay View is a 100% electric building to decrease carbon emissions. The buildings are powered in part by a first-of-its-kind dragonscale solar skin, which generates electricity for the buildings. Combined with power from nearby wind farms, Bay View is one of Google’s first campuses to operate on carbon-free energy 90% of the time. To heat and cool the buildings, Bay View also houses the largest geothermal pile system in North America, which is estimated to reduce about 90% of the water needed for cooling, compared with a traditional cooling tower system.


The campus’s stormwater catchment and reuse treatment system includes a series of seven interconnected, above-ground ponds that provide habitat restoration, sea level rise protection and access to the beauty of natural wetlands. During certain times of the year, Bay View generates more non-potable water than it needs, meaning there is opportunity to export the excess recycled water so others can also reduce their potable water demands – important in a drought-prone state like California. New willow groves along the campus’s stormwater ponds – a critical habitat for local wildlife and migrating songbirds, which have almost entirely disappeared from the South Bay over the past centuries – provide essential areas of rest and resources for a variety of resident and migratory birds, insects and other wildlife.

Bay View also includes 17 acres of high-value natural areas, including wet meadows, woodlands and marsh. The project’s landscape design aims to reestablish native landscapes and rehabilitate Bay Area wetlands to counteract the lost ecological functions of Silicon Valley due to the area’s recent development. It is also intended to provide sea level rise protection to withstand the stresses of climate change. Google Bay View further fosters ecological education, awareness and appreciation through design features like walking paths that connect to regional trail systems, offering Googlers and the local community direct access to these restored habitats.

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