There’s a great little article on Metropolis all about the design and architecture of the Google campus.
The authors of Peopleware and Joel Spolsky have long written about the importance of workspaces in productivity and human performance, but there’s no better example of a major company investing in environment. I know many small companies that do it right, but it seems once they hit the 200 or 500 person mark, many of those perks go out the window (har har).
I’ve been to the Google campus a few times – it’s the creative spaces and strong use of color that charmed me. The ceilings are high. The spaces are non rectilinear. And I never had the quick sense of repetition that dominates most offices everywhere (Office, office, office, hall. Office, office, office, hall) Even the training and lecture rooms have character and dimensions that generate some kind of response.
At the right of the essay is an index of photos, giving a great sense of their approach to office design. Not for everybody, but sure gets you thinking about your environment.
Note: For those old enough to remember, the Google buildings were originally the home of SGI (Silicon Graphics Inc.) The first time I was on campus I kept thinking I’d been there before and eventually figured out why.