Inside Google’s New Head Office in the Heart of Montreal
Google headquarters around the world are known for being bold when it comes to design. Think brightly colored walls, eclectic lounges and third rooms, and dramatic installations hanging from the ceiling. And while Google’s newest headquarters at 425 Viger West in the heart of Montreal certainly has many of the “Googly” design qualities we’ve come to expect, the multinational tech company’s design team has taken extra care to curate an office that’s befitting its workforce choose to do so as hybrid work continues to be the new norm.
Shannon Deegan, Google’s vice president of innovation, governance, real estate workplace services, told STOREYS that about three floors of the new 100,000-square-foot facility have been completed and two more are still under construction. He also shares some details about the significance of the design decisions made at this location and teases Google’s forthcoming Toronto and Waterloo offices.
Why did Google choose this location for the new office?
Google’s newest office is a sustainability-focused renovation in the heart of downtown Montreal and on the edge of the city’s popular Old Port. One reason we chose this location was accessibility. The location offers excellent transport links, walking amenities, and nearby bike paths, all of which were important elements for us.
READ: This is what Google’s new 400,000-square-foot Toronto office will look like
The renovated building was also designed to the latest LEED Gold sustainability standards and features improved ventilation that helps conserve energy. Throughout the space you will find furniture and materials from sustainable sources. From concept to design, every inch of the Montreal office strives to reduce our environmental footprint and positively impact the health and well-being of Google employees and visitors.
How will the new Google office in Montreal support the hybrid work environment?
We incorporate everything from air quality, biophilic design elements, wall color, access to natural daylight, and listening comfort into our development projects to increase cognitive function and maximize our community’s productivity. In our Montreal office design, we created a variety of inspiring, useful spaces that support different ways of thinking and different moments in the workday. The office includes spaces for meetings, collaboration, and community building, as well as quiet areas—like the library lounge—for focused work.
How does the new office of the local municipality and the city of Montreal tribute pay tribute?
When designing our spaces, we work with our users to build an office that represents their home away from home. No two Google offices are the same, and we strive to ensure our spaces reflect the community around them.
425 Viger is a retrofitted historic building that pays homage to Montreal by reflecting the essence of five of the city’s most popular neighborhoods. Notable features include a Farine Five Roses-style sign as you enter the lobby and playful nods to historic neighborhoods like Chinatown’s Herd and Damask, the craft markets of Little Italy, the industrial roots of Old Port, and the festival spirit of Le Village.
Carefully curated art from local artists is on display throughout the office, including work by Nadia Myre, a Montreal-based member of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinaabeg First Nation, Bryan Beyung, a street artist and painter who was born in Montreal to a Sino-Cambodian family, and Ngan Siu-Mui, who studied traditional Chinese art with great masters before immigrating to Canada.
Did Google employees have a say in the design of the Montreal office?
When designing new Google offices, we work hand-in-hand with employee resource groups, cultural clubs and office managers on our design concepts to ensure each office reflects local culture. This includes collaborating with local artists on murals, photography and more.
We regularly engage in user research, such as B. Workplace assessments and commuter surveys to continually monitor and iterate on productive job creation.
Can you tell us something about the planned Google headquarters in Toronto and Waterloo?
We are opening new offices in Waterloo at 20 Breithaupt Street and a new office in Toronto at 65 King Street East when construction is complete in the near future. Like the Montreal office, our new workspaces are designed to support the health and well-being of employees. The offices will also include spaces for collaboration and meetings, areas for focused work and, of course, spaces for building community and stimulating innovative ideas.
Zakiya is a staff writer at STOREYS. She has covered real estate for Post City Magazine, Apartment Therapy and Curbed. She also writes a quarterly series for a Canadian design publication.
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