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The Tech Giants Paving the Way for Office Design

With Facebook settling into its brand new 430,000 square foot California campus, it seems fair to say that the race is well and truly on to see which of Silicon Valley’s biggest players will take the crown and give a glimpse into the future direction of our workplaces.

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Described as the largest open-floor office plan in the world by Mark Zuckerberg himself, the building has been designed by none other than Frank Gehry, the same man responsible for Spain’s prestigious Guggenheim art museum. Finished off with a measly 9 acre rooftop park and a ball pit meeting room, the aim of the game was to create something of a futuristic collaborative playground.

Not wanting to be left behind, Google, Amazon, and Apple each have their own new colossal headquarters on the way.

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When Steve Jobs himself is quoted as saying he would like the new circular headquarters to become “the best office building in the world”, you know you’re in for a treat. Nicknamed ‘the spaceship’ for obvious reasons, the fact sheet alone is enough to boggle the mind.

Not short of change, the cost of the building is set to work out at a little over $1,500 per square foot. Expensive? Yes. Environmentally irresponsible? Certainly not. The 700,000 square feet of solar panels on the roof will generate enough energy to power 4,000 homes.

The interior is going to be as ‘Apple’ as you’d expect, with floors made from the same highly buffed terrazzo stone usually reserved for millionaire mansions and museums.

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Amazon is joining the party too with its plans for an inner-city greenhouse comprised of three interconnected spheres in downtown Seattle. The plant-filled haven will form the centre of an ‘Amazon neighbourhood’ complete with publicly accessible retail spaces and even a dog park weirdly enough. The design is all part of Amazon’s drive step away from the other big players and promote their community culture in the heart of a city.

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There was never going to be a chance that Google would be beaten at its own game. After all, it is Google who are responsible for setting the ultimate trend as far back as the 90s for funky décor, open plan arrangements and zany breakout areas.

Naturally then, plans for the new ‘Googleplex’ in the North Bayshore section of Mountain View, California are dripping with Googliness. An array of modular buildings surround huge glass tent-like structures which can be reimagined to suit a variety of projects.

No need to feel left out though, not every company has billions to splash out on spaceships and greenhouses. There are companies out there which offer free interior design know-how, doing away with the suspended ceilings and carpet tiles most of us are used to.

Ultimate are one of those companies. They’re currently doing free no obligation interior design and planning services with cost consultancy thrown in, enabling all kinds of businesses to realise the potential of their spaces.