Google unveils groundscraper

Google Granary Square BIG

Slides, bean bags, a gym and three restaurants could all form part of internet giant Google’s new headquarters at King’s Cross, N1.

Plans for the 1m sq ft scheme, set to be Google’s second largest HQ after New York, were submitted to Camden council this week.

The Allford Hall Monaghan Morris-designed proposals are for a building longer than the Shard is tall – 1,083 ft long compared with the Shard’s 1,016 ft height – and ranging in height from seven to 11 storeys.

It will comprise 750,000 sq ft of offices, with 50,000 sq ft of shops at ground floor level sublet to landlord, the Argent-led King’s Cross Partnership.

Google is undecided on how much space it will occupy, but has capacity for 4,500 desks, equating to 161 sq ft per employee – well above the 113 sq ft national average.

The firm is also considering subletting suites of up to 10,000 sq ft to tech start-up companies.

Dan Cobley, Google UK’s managing director said: “Building our new headquarters in King’s Cross is good for Google and good for London. We’re committed to the UK and to playing a role in the regeneration of this historic area.”

Staff will relocate from 87,000 sq ft at 123 Buckingham Palace Road, and 132,000 sq ft at Belgrave House, both SW1. Google will also exit 156,000 sq ft at Central St Giles, WC2.

Google, advised by CBRE, selected the 2.4-acre site in January, ending a two-and-a-half-year office search, and signed a 999-year lease. It is understood to have spent around £650m on land and development costs.

Simon Calvert, senior director at CBRE, said: “What has impressed me recently is Google’s huge level of consideration that has gone into the design of their building, not only internally and externally, but also from a local and environmental perspective.

“I believe it will be a unique, sophisticated building with all the parts working efficiently to perform their required functions. The result will be nothing short of spectacular.”

Subject to approval, work will start on site next year with completion scheduled for 2016-17.