Google Drafts In Thomas Heatherwick For Delayed London HQ Project

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Thomas Heatherwick has reportedly been brought in to function on Google’s new London headquarters after plans by architecture firm Allford Hall Monaghan Morris have been deemed too uninteresting.

The British designer – who is previously functioning on Google’s California campus in partnership with Danish architect Bjarke Ingels – has been asked to draw up new ideas for the internet giant’s London base, in accordance to Company Insider.

Heatherwick Studio refused to comment, but did not deny the rumours. “We’re not producing any statement at the minute,” a spokesperson advised Dezeen.

The news follows reports earlier this year that Google was considering scrapping the layout by London-based Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) following CEO Larry Webpage allegedly branded the scheme “dull”.

But spouse Simon Allford has maintained that his firm is still involved in the venture, though he would not confirm whether it will now continue in partnership with Heatherwick’s team.

He also claimed that earlier plans to export the London HQ design to other countries are still in location.

“We are busy with Google at [King’s Cross] and past in Berlin and certainly are hunting at projects elsewhere,” he told Dezeen.


Relevant story: AHMM submits programs for Google’s new London headquarters


The headquarters will allow Google to consolidate its London operations underneath a single roof, replacing current offices in Covent Backyard and Victoria on a website that stretches 330 metres from Regent’s Canal towards King’s Cross station.

AHMM was granted preparing permission in 2013 for its first proposal (pictured) – a steel-framed eleven-storey construction with major colours picked out on the facade. But Google later asked the firm to scrap the plans and come up with something “much more ambitious”.

The most recent design is understood to feature a swimming pool and working track on the roof, even though earlier versions of the scheme are imagined to have included a docking station for airships.

In February, the Architect’s Journal reported that many AHMM personnel had quit the firm following frustrations with the project.

Speaking to the magazine at that time, Allford described the venture as “aggravating, and at instances exasperating, for all involved”.

“Nonetheless, we carry on to take pleasure in an excellent and inventive romantic relationship with Google London,” Allford added.

The building was at first scheduled to open in 2017.

Heatherwick Studio and Ingels’ firm Big unveiled their proposals for Google North Bayshore earlier this year – a campus of flexible buildings and gardens sheltered beneath a network of translucent canopies in Mountain See, California.

In an exclusive interview with Dezeen, Bjarke Ingels explained the campus will be “much more like a workshop than a corporate office”, and will set a new market regular for workplace design and style.

Dezeen

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