Google on Friday released the plans for what it hopes will be its new headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.
The company plans to redevelop four of its office space sites, designing and constructing new buildings from scratch. It's the first time the company won't be taking over other buildings it had simply bought and moved into.
Google submitted its plans for the project to the Mountain View City Council. The company's intent is to build light, modular structures that can be moved around as needed.
"The idea is simple. Instead of constructing immoveable concrete buildings, we'll create lightweight block-like structures which can be moved around easily as we invest in new product areas," wrote David Radcliffe, Google's vice president of real estate, in a blog post. To illustrate why such flexibility might be necessary, he noted that the company's self-driving car team and its search engineers, for example, have "very different needs when it comes to office space."
The design plans for Google's new sci-fi-like structures call for large translucent canopies that cover each site, controlling the indoor climate but still letting in light and air. Renderings of the plans can be seen on the company's Google+ page.
"With trees, landscaping, cafes, and bike paths weaving through these structures, we aim to blur the distinction between our buildings and nature," Radcliffe added.
While Google -- and other tech titans, including Facebook -- have been criticized by Silicon Valley residents for causing traffic congestion and driving up demand for housing, the company is going to the city with plans for more construction.
"Of course, this project is about much more than just office space; it's about doing more with the local community as well," wrote Radcliffe. "So we're adding lots of bike paths and retail opportunities, like restaurants, for local businesses. We also hope to bring new life to the unique local environment, from enhancing burrowing owl habitats to widening creek beds.
"And we're committed to do everything we can to save energy," Radcliffe said. "Our recent agreement to offset our energy consumption in [the North Bayshore section of Mountain View] with renewable energy includes the development of this proposal."
Google, which has been based in Mountain View since 1999, is known for having a large, user-friendly campus with amenities such as recharging sites for electric cars, multiple restaurants with acclaimed chefs, nap pods and a meditation garden.
Below is a YouTube video on Google's plans.