Occupying a dramatic penthouse space in a 100-year-old Nabisco bakery, the design of Google Pittsburgh’s new workplace resulted from Strada’s PlaceMapping process, which focused on understanding and identifying the unique culture and needs of the local Googlers (staff). While Google is a global technology giant, its workplaces are known for drawing on local flavor and establishing highly creative environments that attract and stimulate the most talented employees. The design team used the PlaceMapping process to fuse human experience, corporate program and the physical qualities of the former bakery into compelling a design for Google.
The designers employed a variety of data gathering tools, from interviews to time-lapse photography, to place the users and their culture at the forefront of the design process. The resulting data was synthesized into a Design Album that outlined the guiding principles for the project. Essential goals included creating unique “wow” factors, encouraging a close-knit family environment, allowing for access to fresh air and natural light, and incorporating diverse and stimulating spaces to foster experimental work. The resulting office is a multi-level collage of interesting places that reflect the clever and fun Google culture while providing a highly functional environment where Googlers can both work and relax.
Strada went on to design a second and third phase of Google’s Pittsburgh office, which now occupies over 140,000 SF in the building. The company’s continued expansion is fueling development of a new building under construction across Penn Avenue as part of Bakery Square 2.0.
– Sean Collier, Pittsburgh Magazine