Employees won't return to Google's offices like its restored World War II-era hangar in LA until summer 2021 — take a look inside the massive space

Google Images by Connie ZhouGoogle’s LA office is in an old aeroplane hangar.
  • Last year, Google moved into the historic Spruce Goose aeroplane hangar in LA.
  • The Spruce Goose was the largest wood plane ever built, and flew only once, in 1947.
  • Google restored the hangar into a 450,000-square-foot office and event space, preserving the original construction and adding to the interior, creating an unusual mix of old and new.
  • Google announced in July that employees would be asked to work remotely for another year, leaving offices like these mostly empty.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Google expanded its LA presence last year, repurposing a historic aeroplane hangar to create new office space, and the results are nothing short of stunning.

The hangar, which once held the famed Spruce Goose plane, as it was derisively called, has been out of use for years. The Spruce Goose was the largest wooden plane ever built, due to wartime shortages during World War II. It flew just once, for under a minute, in 1947. It was once owned by filmmaker and pilot Howard Hughes, who also helped design the plane.

Now, the hangar where the Spruce Goose was kept for over 30 years has a second life as Google’s LA office. Google worked with sustainable architecture firm ZGF to create a design that feels new and classic all at once.

The restored hangar won’t be getting much use in the next year, though, as Google asked employees to work from home until July 2021. Take a look:


The hangar that was once home to the Spruce Goose had been mostly unoccupied until Google took over and renovated the space.

Google Images by Connie Zhou

In 2018, Google completed a total redesign of the 750-foot-long building.

Google Images by Connie Zhou

It was once used as a soundstage for “Titanic” and “Avatar.”

Google Images by Connie Zhou

Large windows along the sides, which were boarded up during the hangar’s soundstage days, were re-exposed. They flood the space with light.

Google Images by Connie Zhou

The building’s spine was rebuilt with steel, then covered with the same refurbished wood panels.

Google Images by Connie Zhou

The hangar is a historical landmark, so the Google renovation preserved the original look, but did add in four new floors.

Google Images by Connie Zhou

Wood arches and siding were preserved and exposed in the interior of the space.

Google Images by Connie Zhou

The office now has 450,000 square feet of usable space …

Google Images by Connie Zhou

… And 75-foot-tall arches.

Google Images by Connie Zhou

The building has offices, conference rooms, and event spaces …

Google Images by Connie Zhou

…. Amenities including a fitness centre, music room, and massage room …

Google Images by Connie Zhou

… Plus food service on each floor.

Google Images by Connie Zhou

ZGF said in a statement that it designed the building so that residents can see the unique structure of the hangar from any point inside.

Google Images by Connie Zhou

Contemporary and classic design meet and complement each other within the space.

Google Images by Connie Zhou

Offices are set back from the main atrium near the spine of the building, but glass walls still give a sense of the space.

Google Images by Connie Zhou

The building also has variety in how space is used. Some areas have double- or triple-floor height …

Google Images by Connie Zhou

… A juxtaposition that ensures that natural light reaches every area.

Google Images by Connie Zhou

Skylights also bring in lots of light.

Google Images by Connie Zhou

Offices and meeting spaces have a subtle theme that centres around flight, like Icarus — the hero of a Greek myth about a pair of wings — or Zephyr, a Greek god of wind. Other rooms have themes like confetti and kite.

Google Images by Connie Zhou

A boardwalk twists along the perimeter of the building on an incline from the first to third floors.

Google Images by Connie Zhou

Much of the furniture was custom-designed for the space …

Google Images by Connie Zhou

… And the designers chose matte finishes and neutral tones to complement the original wood …

Google Images by Connie Zhou

… Extra wood was even used to construct furniture, and the stairs carry the theme throughout as well.

Google Images by Connie Zhou

Each area has also been designed acoustically, so that, despite all the open space, sounds from one area don’t carry over into the next.

Google Images by Connie Zhou

Custom murals throughout the space take up wall real estate and break up the uniform wood.

Google Images by Connie Zhou

Google commissioned artists to create original works based on “the hangar’s aviation history, Google’s innovative ethos, and the multi-faceted spirit of Los Angeles,” according to ZGF.

Google Images by Connie Zhou

ZGF said that the space is designed to be a “mature and sophisticated environment,” with “the engaging user experience” that Google is known for.

Google Images by Connie Zhou

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