While it waits for the construction of its long-delayed U.K. headquarters to be completed, Google has purchased a bright office space in London for $1 billion.
The internet behemoth revealed on Friday that it has purchased the entire Central St. Giles building in London’s West End, where it already has a number of floors.
Google has bought a colorful office space in London for $1 billion while it waits for building work on its heavily-delayed U.K. headquarters to be completed.
The internet giant announced Friday that it has acquired all of the Central St. Giles building, where it already occupies a number of floors, in London’s West End.
“Our investment in this striking Renzo Piano-designed development represents our continued confidence in the office as a place for in-person collaboration and connection,” said Ronan Harris, vice president and managing director of Google U.K. and Ireland, in a blogpost.
According to Harris, Google aims to renovate the building over the next few years, adding collaboration rooms, team pods, and covered outdoor working spaces.
The Mountain View, California-based company employs 6,400 people in the United Kingdom, with plans to expand to 10,000 in the future years. Its primary headquarters are in the freshly gentrified King’s Cross neighbourhood on the city’s northern outskirts, where it has acquired multiple offices.
However, the company’s new headquarters in the United Kingdom, which is being built on a plot behind King’s Cross train station, is still under development. The acclaimed Heatherwick Studios and Bjarke Ingels Group developed the 11-story “groundscraper.”
A 25-meter swimming pool, a 200-meter rooftop running route, and a large sports hall with views of London are all shown in the plans. When finished, it will be able to hold up to 4,000 Google employees.
The project, on the other hand, is several years behind schedule. Google had hoped to move into the building by 2016, but a slew of delays has pushed the deadline back several years. Google cofounder Larry Page reportedly abandoned the initial £1 billion ($1.2 billion) plans made out by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris because they were “too boring.”
According to reports last April, Google plans to get into the new building by 2023/2023 which would be almost a decade late then it has planned.
Other building for Google in the King’s Cross area are currently under construction. Google aims to employ roughly 7,000 workers in the area in the long run.
A new 11-story building for Alphabet’s DeepMind AI lab in the same location is also experiencing difficulties. DeepMind was supposed to move into the facility last year, which includes a library, lecture theatre, and roof garden, but development is still ongoing.
Meanwhile, Apple is planning to relocate 1,400 employees from various Apple locations throughout London to a new 500,000 square foot facility that would take up six floors of the former Battersea coal-fired power plant (which was featured on the front cover of Pink Floyd’s “Animals” album).
The United Kingdom is one of the most important outposts for American IT companies. In recent years, Meta, Twitter, and Amazon have all purchased gleaming multi-story facilities in London to house their expanding armies.
Many development projects throughout the world have been halted by the coronavirus, including the opulent headquarters of Silicon Valley companies. Many construction companies in the United Kingdom temporarily shut down construction sites and laid off workers when regulations were tightened.
(Adapted from NYTimes.com)