1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

Google's London HQ could be the first of many 'landscraper' buildings

By midian182 · 13 replies
Dec 4, 2017
Post New Reply
  1. Many still think that when it comes to skyscrapers, taller is always better. But Google is taking a very different approach with its London headquarters—and others may follow in its footsteps. Rather than touching the clouds, the search giant’s UK HQ will be just 11 storeys tall when complete but have a length of over 1000 feet.

    The $1 billion structure will boast one million square feet of floorspace and be home to 7000 employees. The unusual design is being referred to as a “landscraper” by its architects—Bjarke Ingels Group and Heatherwick Studios.

    While this will be the first landscraper, it’s thought that the effects of climate change combined with advancing technologies could see more companies opting to use the design.

    "Landscrapers will create entirely new city footprints that we just haven't seen yet in the US, and could make life easier and more realistic," said futurist Amy Webb, in a briefing published by What The Future Housing.

    Webb added that migration from denser states like New York to cities with underdeveloped land like Austin, Texas, means landscapers will thrive in these areas, which have more room for building large structures,

    Webb also points to advancements in cable-less technology that will make it easier to travel through these buildings in Willy Wonka-style elevators that move vertically as well as horizontally. Moreover, landscrapers' low heights and large roofs make them ideal for drones; an area that more companies are focusing on. Drones landing on the roof of Google’s HQ will have to watch out for the solar panels, though, which provide a combined annual output of almost 20MWh.

    “Buildings could be built to be longer and lower, and drones could buzz overhead, delivering goods and performing services,” added Webb. “We’re going to have more things flying overhead. The challenge is that the overhead airspace is not regulated, but it will wind up becoming regulated. We’ll have invisible highways in the sky.”

    Construction is set to start on Google’s London HQ next year.

    Permalink to story.

  2. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,951   +1,323

    I kind of like this idea but I envision it a little different. One of the things that bothers me is seeing land constantly being developed left and right and jacking up environment and wildlife. So you could make the roof tops the great outdoors and bridge them together. In a way, the structures would almost be like subterranean but not.

    I am going to think about this some more.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  3. R00sT3R

    R00sT3R TS Addict Posts: 68   +104

    Lol, good to know.

    ...Do keep us informed of any developments.
  4. gamerk2

    gamerk2 TS Booster Posts: 134   +82

    "the search giant’s UK HQ will be just 11 storeys tall when complete but have a length of over 1000 feet."

    I'm pretty sure even in England "storeys" isn't valid English.
    Reehahs likes this.
  5. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,206   +2,668

    The idea is good but destine to a downfall. Sky Bridges were all the rage in Cincinnati back around 1983 but criminal activity on them caused their eventual closure and removal. With these elevated areas the same will happen if there is not some kind of police presence on a regular basis. Camera's certainly will be helpful, but they are no real solution ....
  6. GreenNova343

    GreenNova343 TS Maniac Posts: 294   +198

    So....the solution to new large buildings in a country that a) has cities & population centers that can measure their age in both centuries & millenia, & b) has only so much available undeveloped land (due to a combination of designated park/greenspace areas, the age of the population centers, & its status as an "island nation" with only so much land to build on)...is to design the buildings so that they take up more land...

    I'm sensing a great disconnect...
    TempleOrion, Reehahs and JamesSWD like this.
  7. CmonSense

    CmonSense TS Rookie

    The revolutionary 'Landscraper' LoL. Hopefully they will eventually replace all of those drab suburban corporate parks with these revolutionary low-rise office buildings.
  8. Reachable

    Reachable TS Maniac Posts: 272   +127

    I'll bet that the huge rooftop area for solar cells was the driving force for choosing that design. Well, fine and good, as is the green area and the horizontal elevators. But the building is so ugly. This in an age where there's a lot of beautiful architecture. It will blight the landscape of London, probably for a long time. Really, I'm not an effete aesthete. I just find this unusually disturbing.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  9. Joe Blow

    Joe Blow TS Addict Posts: 216   +74

    So the NSA, via their Google, is setting up a spy center right there in London. Great!
  10. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 10,568   +4,410

    They even went underground! lol
  11. Dr Aggressive

    Dr Aggressive TS Member

    This is how the Soviet Union used to make buildings, there is nothing good about doing this. Search for "Soviet Apartment Blocks."
    Reehahs likes this.
  12. Reachable

    Reachable TS Maniac Posts: 272   +127

    There's not apt to be any more criminal activity than there would be with any normal park. Probably less, because of the limited entrance and egress. But the insurance! Maybe they're giving the rooftop to the City of London.

    Looks like they have it well fenced off with fencing and trees and shrubbery. Thus there will be no running dogs who suddenly become flying dogs while pursuing hurled objects.
  13. TempleOrion

    TempleOrion TS Enthusiast Posts: 26   +18

    Absolutely nothing like 'Soviet Apartment Blocks'... wtf are you smoking?!
  14. Dr Aggressive

    Dr Aggressive TS Member

    I'm talking about the concept - low-rise horizontal buildings. Of course, it's a Google HQ so it's going to be better made and fancier, but it's the same terrible idea that occupies a land of ground space.


    ^ Look at this - it's the definition of a "landscraper."

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...