I’ve always wondered why the offices of Google employees are fabric tents. Metropolis Magazine recently published an in-depth look at the design of the Google headquarters and the use of colors, lighting, and shared room locations to encourage focused creativity and interaction. (via 37signals)
Wilkinson’s group designed an ingenious system of tented glass offices that allows daylight to stream through the window-side offices and into the center of the floor while preserving acoustic integrity. The white canopies are made of an acrylic-coated polyester, quilted together with polyester-fiber fill. They help reflect light into the rest of the office and are topped by a neat unobtrusive unit that contains lighting, HVAC, sprinklers, and an air diffuser. At intervals panels of glass are glazed in color combos that identify each office neighborhood.
The design company was brave enough to push back on client demands, choosing neutral colors instead of Google colors and focusing on the design of the space before engineering.