Sharp: Google Design and get… Google

By Jo Phillips

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When you google “Design” would you expect to find Google as the answer?  Well currently you might, thanks to the recent makeover of Google’s 30,000 sq ft Amsterdam office by dutch design studio D/Dock who created a space outside the parameters of the typical office concept.

D/Dock told .Cent that “the garage where Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin first started out was the inspiration for the interior.  Quirky elements throughout the office illustrate this era – from the graffiti walls and cardboard box lights to the exposed ceilings and container wall in the 70-seater auditorium, also referred to as the Tech Talk.

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“Each floor gives a nod to typically Dutch elements – whether it is the carrier cycle reception desk, the Stroopwafel ceiling panels, Gingerbread wall covering or the Delft Blue graphics in the restaurant.  The re-used Febo snack wall that once served the Amsterdam cafeteria, now acts as a distribution point of computer accessories.  For those wanting to spice up their meeting, there is a real-life sixties caravan in the middle of the office.  It is nowhere close to an ordinary meeting room with the comfy cushions and cosy vintage furniture.”

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Further to the office looking sharp, sustainability has played a big role in the development of the renovation project’s scheme.  The D/DOCK team followed Google’s health material list by only using non-toxic materials, with major design elements focusing greatly on water and energy consumption.

According to D/DOCK’s partner Coen van Dijck, the refurbished Amsterdam office is a feel good office. “It is a place that makes the employee perform better by offering a work environment that meets their needs”, he explains. “Happiness, comfort, flexibility, relaxation, well balanced nutrition, exercise, daylight, fresh air and visual stimulation are some of the fundamentals that makes this office a healthy one”, van Dijck continues.

Each floor features its own cave, with the general facilities including huddle rooms, meeting areas, micro kitchens and video booths positioned at the core of the building.  The ‘neighbourhoods’ which define the individual work areas surround the central cave element; whilst situated adjacent to the window affording employees a 180 degree view overlooking the city while at their desks.  Google Design folks, and we like it.

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