'Domestic industrial space' by Pringle Brandon Perkins+Will for Google in Athens
The refurbishment of Google’s new premises on Fragoklissias Street in the Marousi district of Athens in Greece has completed. Designed by Pringle Brandon Perkins+Will working with local practice Fluid Architects, the 550 sq m space provides a versatile, vibrant workplace for up to 30 Googlers.
The brief was to create a ‘domestic industrial space’, a reference to Google’s inception in a garage. This led to an interior design which is urban, raw and functional, and which uses simple materials in innovative forms and combinations. Exposed ceilings, mechanical ducts, suspended lights and cement floors are juxtaposed with homely touches such as a family photo wall and soft furnishings.
Key to Google’s requirements was the flexibility to evolve and adapt to continuous changes in personnel and team activities with minimal impact to adjacent work areas. This has been achieved by giving staff control over their own workspace and surroundings with flexible walls and a variety of furniture.
The space also provides places for collaboration and interaction, including meeting areas for up to 20 people, communal break out areas, a café/kitchen and games area. Tools such as writable and magnetic walls and blackboards aid creativity.
Google’s brand is represented throughout, for example, with custom-made lights painted in Google’s primary colours, but so is Greek culture, thanks to the incorporation of 1950s and 60s Greek film posters in meeting rooms and quiet phone booths, which themselves take inspiration from traditional newsagent kiosks (periptero). The café too is a take on a traditional Greek kitchen with a modern twist.
Google’s design philosophy is centred on the principle that great results can be achieved through a creative and collaborative design process. Therefore, Pringle Brandon Perkins+Will engaged the staff through the design process to make sure that the space suited their needs.
Environmental factors were also taken into account, in the choice of materials and incorporation of elements to help ensure recycling and energy saving.