Google Maps HQ Sydney

Looking back at Modernist Architecture to inform new innovative architectures.

The brief was to design an intelligent office building for Google Maps Sydney HQ for 150 employees. The design was inspired by the Supermatist paintings from Russian avant garde artists such as Malevich during the Modernist period.  The HQ uses multiple structural grid systems that have moments which break away from this regular form, to create a deconstructivist building, that, combined with different basic geometries.  The form also corresponds with the adjacent Museum of Contemporary Art. The building can be divided in two ways: either by its form or its functionality. The geometry of the building is very clean.  The central angular block – which has various floor plates according to the grid – the L shape tower which intersect the central block, the long office corridor which connects to the jetty, the cylinder, and a snake penetrates through all the forms and connect the waterfront to George Street. Thus, the geometric combination of each floor plan is different. By functionality, the building can be divided into 3 parts: private, semi private and public. The main part of the building will be private allocated to office space. But we also want to make the building fun, by allowing the public accessing certain areas to promote Google Maps’ products. The public will be able to walk from ground floor to the allosphere, and the top of the auditorium, which is a cafe, through the snake ramp. By walking up, people can also have an opportunity to gaze into the “office”, which isn’t really where the employees work, but product promoting area. The ground floor will continue the vertical grids, to activate the space as a photo shooting area for social media use for the public. The structure and the facade of the building is inspired by the folies of Parc de la vilette. So the main structural element would be precast concrete columns, beams and slabs. Most of their surface will be wrapped with ivory matte aluminium.

Location: Sydney, Australia

Client: Google

Year: 2019

Status: Ideas + Research

Program: Commercial, Office Space

Team: Jialu Huang (Lead Designer); Prof. Deborah Barnstone (Consultant)