Google’s Cambridge office has elevators that look like the subway and take workers to ‘the beach’ and faux Victorian houses (GOOG)
- Google is known for its quirky offices and built-in unusual structures.
- The tech giant often incorporates nods to local culture into its offices, and the one in Cambridge, Massachusetts no exception.
- The Cambridge-based office is full of references to local icons. Take a look inside.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Google may have started in garage, but it’s offices are now some of the most interesting ones in tech.
The company is known for places offices in unexpected buildings, from an old airplane 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 unique to the location.
NELSON Worldwide design firm collaborated with Google employees to design a plan that includes some of Boston and Cambridge’s most iconic locations, all tied together as stops on the subway that’s shared by the two cities. These photos show how the designers integrated Google culture with Boston culture to form a one-of-a-kind office that won a 2015 iDesign Award.
Take a look at the photos here.
Google’s massive Cambridge, MA office spans 300,000 square feet.
The multi-building workspace accommodates 1,200 workers.
Google’s campus encircles a parking garage in Cambridge, near MIT’s campus.
Design firm NELSON Worldwide worked with Google for five years to reach the final product, made up of three buildings, plus two smaller in-fill buildings to create one large floor plan.
Google initially planned on a 20,000 square foot campus, but after collaborating with NELSON and Google employees based in the area, eventually, this design was the winner.
According to NELSON, the goal was to create a campus that was a “truly Boston/Cambridge space, with specific nods to both.”
The campus is inspired by Boston and Cambridge’s transit system, the MBTA.
Each of five buildings is a different colored line of the “T,” as Boston’s subway system.
…and each floor is a different stop.
The Arlington Street stop, for example, is a library…
…inspired by the Victorian houses on the real-life Green Line stop.
On the Red Line, the Charles/MGH stop is based on the Liberty Hotel, which itself is based on the infamous Charles Street Jail, and has real jailhouse doors, according to office blog Office Snapshots.
Source: Office Snapshots
The entire campus is filled with homages to life in Boston and Cambridge.
One of several micro-kitchens has canoes hanging from the ceiling, a nod to the popularity of boating on the Charles River that separates the two cities.
Boston’s “Head of the Charles” regatta draws competitors from across the country, so it’s only natural that Google would allude to this iconic piece of the culture.
Along the Blue Line, there are more aquatic themes.
Boston is home to Revere Beach, the first public beach in the US.
So the Revere Beach stop features a lighthouse…
…and a beach shack.
Even the less decked out rooms have features that remind Googlers they’re in the Bay State.
Of course, an aquarium is a nice touch.
White Adirondack chairs add to the beachy feel.
The cafe is another reference to a Boston icon, in this case, the Public Garden, at the Park Street stop.
The campus is full of cozy nooks to hide out and get some work done…
…take in beautiful views…
…or sneak in a quick nap.
Of course, the amenities look pretty great too.
Googlers have access to an on-site gym.
And Google takes the standard ping pong table up a notch with a giant chess board.
Several kitchens and cafes offer choices for snack breaks.
Custom wallpaper is both sustainable and nods to Boston’s skyline.
In addition to the Boston-specific touches, the campus is also more broadly transportation-themed.
Googlers can work as if they’re on a plane…
…although with more comfortable seats.
Designers incorporated vintage signs into more standard rooms, like this conference room.
Stop signs and traffic lights are a theme throughout the campus and stand in over what would otherwise be boring bare walls.
Other areas have the more typical feel of a Google office, with bright colors and open designs.