From cyberspace to reality: Google’s £650m British HQ

Camden Council set to approve plans for the search engine’s new base in King’s Cross

Google employees will soon enjoy a rooftop swimming pool, running track and gardens at the internet giant’s £650m new base in London.

Camden Council was tonight set to approve plans for the search engine’s UK headquarters in King’s Cross.

The development will range from seven to 11 storeys, and has been described as a “groundscraper”. While it is not particularly tall, its 330m length is greater than the Shard’s 310m height.

Designers say the building pays homage to the industrial history of the local area, including steel columns, pre-cast concrete panels and low-iron glass.

Bolder colours will be introduced through painted steelwork taking inspiration from metalwork at St Pancras International, they added.

Construction is set to begin early next year, with a completion date of late 2016.

Google is renowned for its office environments which cater to staff’s desires. The company aims to allow employees to dedicate 20 per cent of their time to non-work activities. Employees will be able to use a gym, “wellness” facilities, an audio-visual studio and a multi-use games area.

However, the plans are unlikely to top Google’s San Francisco campus, where despite a one million square foot surface area, every employee is within a two-and-a-half minute walk of every other colleague.

Some 35,000 people are expected to work in the wider development of King’s Cross once regeneration is complete.

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