Google's Silicon Valley HQ has a new 31,000-square-foot amenity-packed floor with looks inspired by salt mining — see inside

Stephen Lam/ReutersGoogle’s Mountain View, California headquarters.
  • Google’s Mountain View, California headquarters opened a more than 31,000-square-foot area inspired by the area’s history of salt mining in 2019.
  • The floor is a place for Googlers to hang out, eat, or workout.
  • Google is known for its quirky offices, often inspired by the locations where they’re built.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Google is known for its fun and unusual offices, and its Mountain View, California headquarters is no exception.

Also called the Googleplex, the company’s global headquarters had legendary perks including wellness classes, cafes, and office designs that will put the average cubicle to shame.

Google has a history of placing offices in unexpected buildings and incorporating local culture into offices around the world, from an old aeroplane hangar in LA to a former vodka factory in Warsaw, Poland. Its Cambridge, Massachusetts office is in a more standard building, but the inside is based on local Boston-area sites.

The Googleplex added 31,276 square feet of themed amenity space that includes three cafes, a fitness centre, and seating areas in 2019. It’s called Salt, based on the history of salt production in the area. The old ghost town of Saline City and its salt marshes were a source of salt production dating back to 1854.

Form4 Architecture firm used this history to inspire this design. Take a look inside.


The new amenity space is over 31,000 square feet at Google’s Mountain View, California headquarters.

John SuttonGoogle Mountain View Salt.

The design is inspired by salt production, and also based on the history and character of the South Bay.

John SuttonGoogle Mountain View Salt.

Lighting fixtures and the ceiling are meant to evoke salt’s molecular shape, according to the designers.

John SuttonGoogle Mountain View Salt.

The “Tech Talk” auditorium is a place for presentations and guest speakers.

John SuttonGoogle Mountain View Salt.

Ceiling elements imitate the natural shape of San Francisco’s salt ponds and also absorb sound in the space.

John SuttonGoogle Mountain View Salt.

Even seating configurations are inspired by visual features of salt and salt production.

John SuttonGoogle Mountain View Salt.

The amenity area has three cafes, each with seating.

John SuttonGoogle Mountain View Salt.

The office subtly references changes to the Bay Area’s landscape as materials change from green to wood to metal.

John SuttonGoogle Mountain View Salt.

The office is partially open, but wooden partitions and glass walls break up the space and allow for private conversations.

John SuttonGoogle Mountain View Salt.

Partitions also allow natural light to flow between sections of the office.

John SuttonGoogle Mountain View Salt.

Nearly half of the space is occupied by the fitness centre, equipped with weights and machines.

John SuttonGoogle Mountain View Salt.

The salt mine theme even extends into the fitness centre, which has a map of the Bay Area on one wall, and seating areas that are shaped like salt outcrops.

John SuttonGoogle Mountain View Salt.

The locker room is sleek and modern.

John SuttonGoogle Mountain View Salt.

Finally, Google employees can hit the refresh bar to cool down after a workout.

John SuttonGoogle Mountain View Salt.

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