Charleston East will be like any other American suburban community. You will be able to pass through the public buildings, retail stores, restaurants, cafeterias and shopping malls. You will be able to use the open parks to spend your days outdoors. You will be able to use recreational areas. The only difference will be, it will not be your usual town – it will be a Google campus built to house between 2,400 and 2,700 Google employees, mostly engineers.
Since, probably it is necessary to operate settlements with publicly accessible places, key approvals from the Mountain View City Council have been obtained, according to this San Francisco Chronicle update. 196 heritage trees will have to be removed but in their place, 392 trees will be planted.
The campus, that will be ready by 2019, is being built over an 18-acre plot of land. The central Google building will be a two-story construction covering 595,000-square-foot area.
This is totally a different and a novel concept. Companies normally construct campuses for their employees and they are closed communities. These campuses and settlements are only accessible to the employees of the company. But this new Google campus will be publicly accessible. People will be able to pass through the campus. They will be able to use its vast open spaces. There will also be able to shop in the commercial areas set up inside the campus.
Even the central building will be accessible to the general public. No extra permissions will be required to use particular parts of the building.
Even on other Google campuses open spaces are available to people from surrounding areas which is not the case with companies like Apple whose employees have to use private vehicles to enter the campus.
Of course the parts of the building that are for the employees to work will be off limit.
This means the employees of the company will be able to mingle with people living in surrounding towns, creating a healthier, inclusive environment for all. A good concept, and should be followed by other companies too.
Image source: Google