Excavation work is underway; that is the headlining story from a recent site visit to the 40.5-acre construction site of Google Caribbean in Sunnyvale, Santa Clara County. Two Ziggarut-like office buildings will soon rise with design by Bjarke Ingels Group, an internationally renowned architecture firm founded in Denmark. Google has tapped Sares Regis as development manager.
The 120-foot tall development is expected to yield 1.5 million square feet of new floor area with 536,750 square feet of office space in 100 Caribbean Drive, 505,140 square feet of office space in 200 Caribbean Drive, and 400,000 square feet for the 1,420-car garage. Additional surface parking will be included across the west and east parcels for 672 vehicles.
100 Caribbean Drive will be on the east parcel. The west parcel will contain the 200 Caribbean Drive office building, the parking garage at 400 Caribbean Drive, and a central utility plant at 300 Caribbean Drive.
The design by Bjarke Ingels Group, i.e., BIG, is distinguished by the stepped rooftops facing the Bay. The unique form also benefits the interior experience. The structure was imagined like a series of overlapping bars, cascading from a 120-foot pinnacle down to the ground level. The north-facing windows are optimized for capturing daylight without glare, with clerestories and skylights to diffuse natural light evenly across the offices at every level. The ziggurat-like steps came about when the architects angeled the steps from east to west, creating a gentle rooftop pathway with five hairpin turns.
Construction started earlier this year with the demolition of ten parcels of existing office and manufacturing buildings. Devcon Construction is the design building contractor, and engineering is by KPFF Consulting Engineers. OLIN Landscape Architects will be responsible for the landscape design. The project is expected to receive LEED Gold certification for reduced water usage, energy efficiency, and native plants.
The property was purchased from NetApp in 2017 for $210 million and was part of a more significant land grab in the area of over a billion dollars by Google. Google Caribbean is expected to finish by 2024, with a capacity for up to 4,500 employees.
Plans have also been hinted at to expand around the site with residential and mixed-use buildings. Speaking about the future of the area, the Chief Operating Officer of Google’s global real estate investment and development reportedly told the Bay Area News Group in 2017, “Housing and transportation are two huge issues for the Valley overall, and they are huge issues for Google. One of the best ways to address this is by creating mixed-use communities that allow people to live close to where they work, which allows for a vibrant community and also helps the transportation.”
Google has been an enduring force in Silicon Valley development. Construction is underway on the alien-like Google office buildings by Bjarke Ingels and Heatherwick Studios at 2000 North Shoreline Boulevard, Mountain view. Heatherwick Studios describe the project “as Google’s first bespoke office building.”
However, the most highly anticipated project by Google is Downtown west. Downtown West is projected to transform San Jose’s Diridon Station area with housing, offices, shops, and public open space. The Diridon Station masterplan is being pitched as the most substantial expansion of San Jose’s urbanized area in a generation.
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