At a glance, Google’s new London headquarters seems bereft of the conventional workspace components – desk systems, task chairs and modular walls. But Penson‘s concept keeps with the work/play trend, emphasizing casual communal spaces while also providing private boardrooms and offices, the latter concentrated behind floor-to-ceiling glass walls. (There are, in fact, more than 1,000 desks and office seats.)
The premises, located on the ninth floor of the building, boast several areas for impromptu meetings and alone time that evoke a shabby-chic quality. In one zone, sinuous green benches have a buttoned-chesterfield quality. The age-old capitonné technique is also used in the tan-leather Bohemian chairs and sofa, designed by Patricia Urqiola for Moroso, that outfit one of the lounge areas. There, Urquiola’s Klara rocking chair for the manufacturer is also employed to wonderful effect. Wool pouffes, naturally finished side tables and Zero’s Fisherman light globes suspended in fishnets round out the interiors. Perhaps the biggest nod to the Britishness of the interior is the Union Jack wallpaper adorning many walls.
Apart from offices, the headquarters include a gym, a dance studio, a cafe and a 200-person event room. Meanwhile, the outdoor terrace features hedge walls for those seeking sun and privacy, and offers expansive views of the Covent Gardens neighbourhoud.