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Google United Kingdom Technology

Google Unveils Design For 1 Million Squarefoot London Headquarters ( 58

dryriver quotes a report from CNN: Google has released designs for a new 11-story, 1 million-square-foot headquarters in London near King's Cross railway station, complete with a sprawling, landscaped rooftop garden. The facilities will include a cafe, gym and pool as well as a rooftop track and ground-floor retail spaces, according to the company's application for permission to build. The campus has been designed by an all-star team that includes Thomas Heatherwick, the British designer behind London's 2012 Olympic cauldron, and Danish architect Bjarke Ingels' BIG firm. The two are also collaborating on Google's Mountain View campus in California. The company currently has a smaller headquarters in the area, along with another nearby building. Google had submitted designs for a new headquarters in 2013, but they were later scrapped. If the new application is approved by Camden Council, construction will start next year.
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Google Unveils Design For 1 Million Squarefoot London Headquarters

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  • But why London? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wjcofkc ( 964165 ) on Thursday June 01, 2017 @08:13PM (#54530561)
    Does anyone have input on this? There must be legal reasons. There are plenty of cities in their country of origin that could use this. I get it that they already have a smaller campus there. But regardless.
    • What else would matter?

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Prestige, one of the few cities with good transport links, and near the government which is handy for lobbying. They are probably looking to take advantage of Brexit, with some concessions in exchange for not cancelling the new HQ at a time when the economy is starting to tank.

  • tower. Babel. ziggy.
  • Why London? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 01, 2017 @08:24PM (#54530599)

    When looking for a job the first thing I consider is where the job is located. If it's located somewhere with high rent and a low standard of living, I immediately discount that job. London is top of the list of places where I wouldn't want to work since I have no desire to live in a small apartment with absurdly high rent. I'd much rather take a lower paid job in a location where I can afford a detached house.

    Despite the obvious disadvantages of locating in a high rent area, large companies seem drawn to the most expensive locations. I'm not sure if this is for the prestige or if it's because they believe it attracts more talent, but for me it ends any interest I have in working for that company.

    • by SirSlud ( 67381 )

      large companies seem drawn to the most expensive locations

      The most expensive locations are where people are making the most money. Salaries and cost of living are not independent numbers.

    • I spent a decade living in London, was awesome.
      Flatshare, then you get a huge house and great mates! I did that for a while. Just make it close to a train or tube stop and life is sweet.
      I also got a 1 bed apartment when I got a wife, that was small, but meters from tube station and main shopping road. You spend all your time in the pub, partying, participating in sport teams and travelling at any rate when living in London, so just need a place to crash really.
      Back living in NZ now bringing up kids, that's

    • Yeah, I'm thinking along those same lines. If Google offered me a job but told me I would have to move to their new HQ in London, for me it would be far less attractive than less crowded, less expensive cities.
      If you want to be in GB, why not Edinborough or Oxford? If you want the tech vibes, why not Berlin or Stockholm?
      Why not move to a completely "new" town in an attractive location, and found a new tech scene there? Like a beautiful town in Italy or Spain?

      London of all places would be pretty low on my li

      • If you do ever visit Edinburgh I'd recommend refraining from calling it Edinborough because that does tend to irritate the locals. I don't know the international phonetic alphabet, and I don't think slashdot could handle the symbols anyway, but we say it something like ed-in-burr-uh. And sometimes as ehm-bra which is supposed to a mocking impersonation of how a weegie (citizen of Glasgow) would say it.

        • I know it's called Edinburgh, I looked it up on Wikipedia a short time ago because I wanted to check out the history behind the castle.
          No idea what drove me to refer to it as "Edinborough" :-/

  • by Atmchicago ( 555403 ) on Thursday June 01, 2017 @08:59PM (#54530727)
    Sure, it's easy to splurge on these luxuries when you play financial double Irish-Dutch sandwich games. How about putting tax money back into society, like everyone else does?
    • They are paying their fare share. You don't actually think that any company or individual would voluntarily pay more taxes than they are legally required to, do you?

      If you'd like Google to pay more taxes, then you have to get politicians to enact tax laws that require additional taxes. Of course the downside is that Google is free to leave the jurisdiction in question. In that case, not only aren't they paying any taxes at all, they're also not providing local jobs for thousands of people, plus the ripple

  • by Ryanrule ( 1657199 )
    The U.K. Is a dying market. And no longer a tax haven for you euro business. I expect this is dependent on a reversal of brexit. Or rather, an enticement to not leave.
  • by SEE ( 7681 ) on Thursday June 01, 2017 @09:44PM (#54530981) Homepage

    I was assured that Brexit would mean large companies pulling out of Britain, not building big new facilities there.

    • by Jzanu ( 668651 )
      It will in reality. This is a bribe. With as much practical use as the olympic pool.
      • It will in reality.


        • by Jzanu ( 668651 )
          Once there are actual policy changes due to Brexit. Right now the pro-leave campaigners are riding on short public attention-spans, but the UK has a slightly more sophisticated democracy that is resilient to sabotage, and will most likely right the ship by destroying May and the conservatives, and reversing course to remain in the EU.
          • by mi ( 197448 )

            Once there are actual policy changes due to Brexit.

            Once again, when? Need not be precise — you can be off by 1-3 years. Name the year...

            slightly more sophisticated democracy [...] reversing course to remain in the EU

            Wait, wait, wait... I have not studied the issue personally, because I'm not British, and so have no opinion, whether Brexit is good or bad for that country (or the EU). But I do know, what "Democracy" means. The elite's intent and/or ability to go against the will of the people — th

            • by Jzanu ( 668651 )
              Once conservatives propose it. God damn, you are a bad troll. The only demographic that voted leave were pensioners, while every other worker voted remain. Broken down, those that will actually face consequences voted to stay while those deluded with propaganda and fantasy for leave. The EU is the future.
        • The poor morons are already suffering more. Same as the trump voters on the dole in the us.
          • by mi ( 197448 )

            The poor morons are already suffering more.

            This was a perfect opportunity to offer citations, but you missed it... I wonder, why...

            Same as the trump voters on the dole in the us.

            Stipulating this is true — and you offer no citations for some reason, people voting against their own selfish interest for the betterment — real or perceived — of the country, are to be applauded and celebrated, not condescended to.

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      It's still culturally at the center of a global empire, even though the actual empire is long gone.

      I also think London has a transcendent quality about it, being in Europe, but not of Europe, that has an appeal above and beyond any specific trade bloc or treaty. Especially for Americans and other English centric groups.

    • I am risking my karma here, but whatever, please read before posting reply

      You probably have a better perspective of reality if you consider the two following concept
      1) You need to listen to people grumbling and complaining, even the so called "uneducated", they are still people and they are complaining.
      It is no good to just say "you complain for nothing, the problem does not exist", a solution that solves the problem MUST be put forward
      Eg: In Italy we have horde of illegal economic migrants (only a few are

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      The government made some as yet unknown promises to keep Nissan in the UK, and now everyone is lining up to get a sweet deal out of them. This HQ is only at the planning stage, once approved Google can begin extracting concessions from the government with the threat of cancellation.

      If Brexit goes really badly, they can always scale back or cancel anyway. I expect Nissan will if we crash out with no deal and the government inevitably refuses to cover the huge tariffs on their vehicles.

      • May has promised Nissan something they won't get (that's what politicians do) but they won't pull out because by the time they realise it will be too late to do so. Google but won't get any NEW special treatment in the UK - just the special treatment they already get. No change necessary. We need a new law about Brexit: a variant of Godwin's Law. Farage's Law? But, until that law is passed: Brexit will make little difference economically. All the major corporations inside the EU want trade with the UK t
        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          I'm amazed Nissan was dumb enough to accept a guarantee from the government... May might not even be PM in a week's time. In fact I'd say the odds are against it, because even if she wins but fails to increase her majority when starting with a 25 point lead, she will be forced to resign.

  • Nice looking architectureâ, but they're still sitting at open plan desks. Guess we know how much Google really values their precious "Googlers". Talk is cheap, but real estate is fucking expensive.

    • Nice looking architectureÃ, but they're still sitting at open plan desks. Guess we know how much Google really values their precious "Googlers". Talk is cheap, but real estate is fucking expensive.

      However, they added a nice feature, if you can stand looking at the glossy pictures: padded cells. Any way, talk isn't the only cheap commodity - drawing up glossy plans like this doesn't mean they are going to build, I think.

  • Just last year, given they paid about 3% in UK tax.

Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable. Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable. -- Gilb