Google’s new London office is ready to house several hundred of the company’s staff.
Around 800 engineers are moving into the building at 6 Pancras Square in King’s Cross on Monday, with another 2,000 staff expected to move in over the course of the year. Only five floors of the building are finished but Google expects all 11 to be complete by October.
The staff at 6 Pancras Square will work on some of Google’s best-known products, including Android, the company’s mobile operating system, and YouTube.
They will be given free food, access to a 90m running track, massages, and cookery classes from a chef that used to work with Jamie Oliver.
Business Insider was given a tour of the office last week by Google real estate executive Andrew Martin and Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) architect Steve Smith. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take photos but Google has sent over a limited selection that we can show you.
The 11-storey office has been leased by Google from BNP Paribas Real Estate, as the search giant stalls on a new £1 billion UK headquarters that it said it would build on a plot of land less than 200 metres away. Google said in 2013 that the new UK HQ would be ready by 2016 but the initial plans were scrapped for being “too boring” and the company is yet to start building.
Google has quietly snapped up several other properties in King’s Cross, including the building next door (7 Pancras Square), which is home to the company’s AI research lab, Google DeepMind, and a mystery property called “S2,” which is yet to be built.
The building is around 371,000 square feet, meaning it is less than half the size of the UK HQ that Google announced in 2013.
Black metal beams give it an industrial feel, possibly to reflect the proximity to the nearby King's Cross train station.
The roof terraces offer Googlers stunning views over London. They come with sun loungers and gardens that will no doubt make for a pleasant outdoor dining experience.
This is the underground passage that Google staff will take from King's Cross St Pancras to their new office.
Architecture firm AHMM deliberately designed the interior with plenty of communal areas to facilitate chance encounters between engineers working on different projects. These encounters are important, Google says, as they fuel 'engineering serendipity.'
Barista stations can be found across the Google building. Free coffee will be provided but Google expects many of its staff to bring their own speciality blends anyway.
Unlike many of Google's other offices, 6 Pancras Square doesn't make regular use of the bright, bold, colours associated with Google's logo.
All of the desks in Google's new office can be raised, allowing Googlers to stand and work if they want to.
Floors 7-11 are finished, while floors 1-6 -- home to massage rooms and a huge gym with a 90m running track -- are still being worked on. The striking staircase links some of the higher floors.
Google staff will be able to take the Eurostar from St Pancras to Brussels and Paris in around two hours. This is a key selling point for the office's location, according to Google.
Here is a computer-generated image of the mystery building that Google has bought on another site in King's Cross. It is around 180,000 square feet.
The wider King's Cross area is currently undergoing a major redevelopment, meaning Googlers across the area will be able to make use of things like this outdoor swimming pool or explore a nearby nature reserve when they're not writing code.
They will also be able to eat at popular restaurants like Dishoom, which has a large restaurant close to Google's new office.
Questions remain over when Google's UK HQ will open. Here is a photo of the plans that were scrapped.
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