HQ Showdown

In the battle to attract and retain the brightest talent, high profile tech companies are placing more and more emphasis on the working environment. There’s nothing new about this; for years Google has been doing anything it can to make its employees time at work feel like anything but work: free cafes, gyms, basketball courts, gardens, bowling alleys, hair salons, and just a generally horizontal atmosphere. And it’s worked. In fact, it’s worked so well that other competing companies are having to fall in line.

Here are three of the most interesting HQ projects currently on the horizon.

Googleplex

First, of course, we have Google. In an interview with Vanity Fair they have released plans of their intentions to build a second Googleplex Campus from scratch. The extension will be comprised of 9 J shaped buildings with a combined square footage of over 1.1 million feet.

The Apple Spaceship

Described as “the best office building in the world” by the late Steve Jobs, the Apple HQ or Spaceship or Donut is expected to open in 2016 at the address of 1 Infinite Loop. In addition to its imposing appearance, Apple plans to make it self-sufficient with its own power generator using natural gas and other clean energy sources.

Nvidia

The computer graphics giant that invented the GPU back in 1999 have thrown their hat into the ring for the most extreme offices by releasing plans of two futuristic, triangle shaped complexes designed to encourage openness and collaboration.

And the winner?

Well in terms of looks it’s got to be between the donut and the triangles, against which the Google’s huddle of J’s seems rather uninspired. From a more practical point of view, however, one can’t help but think that the Googleplex will leave nothing to chance. Determined to reach the perfect formula of fun and productivity, Google did what they do best and gathered huge volumes of data about the kind of building and facilities its employees would want. Rather than radical change, the result was that the second campus builds upon the known strengths of the first. Particularly significant is the social and interactive attributes of the buildings; David Radcliffe, a civil engineer who oversees the company’s real estate, explained that the bent rectangles were designed to encourage “casual collisions of the work force….. We started not with an architectural vision but with a vision of the work experience …. And so we designed this from the inside out.”

Imagine working in a giant donut though!!

Dan