Case study: New Google offices in London

As we all know, Google is the company behind the world's most popular internet search engine. With success like this comes rapid expansion, and when Google recently took on a new office for 300 of its employees (known as Googlers) near London's Victoria Station, it needed Scott Brownrigg Interior Design to come up with a suitably vibrant scheme in just four months.

You might think that Google, a company with designer offices around the world, would have some set ideas about the way its workplaces should look. Google has a document outlining its workplace guidelines, which explains how individuals and teams work and the type of support systems they need in their offices but it doesn't really go into the look and feel of the office.

 Even so, every Google office has its own theme relative to where it is in the world: 'London' was already taken by the company's Belgrave House office, so Google decided on a London-Brighton theme, a reference to the office's proximity to Victoria station and its historic rail link to Brighton.Scott Brownrigg Interior Design interpreted this in a number of ways, including using wall graphics of Brighton Pier and designing small meeting rooms to look like beach huts.                                                                                                                                                                                         As you might expect, the Google logo features prominently, dominating the white wall at the back of the reception area. The letters are manifested in different ways: each 'o' is an elliptical doorway with sliding glass doors, which leads into a small meeting room; the letters on the wall are rendered in plastic laminate, and the tail of the second 'g' which extends across the white floor, is made of vinyl.


Several insulated beach huts serve as private meeting rooms for up to three people.


Six videoconference booths made to look like dice - a reference to Brighton's casinos


A breakout area and library has custom-made stools made to look like liquorice allsorts sweets.


This is just an example of what can be achieved to make offices more comfortable and a more stimulating, attractive place to work. Google wants to attract the best candidates to work there and the design of their offices is just as important as any salary or perks that can be offered. If you had to work here, in a vibrant, buzzing environment or in a dingy old-fashioned office, which would you choose?