I was lucky enough to score an invite to tour Google's 'officially open' Phase 1 on the Kirkland Urban Campus. Check out these photos that hopefully help demystify what is behind the doors of that fancy new building. Not only did I witness an incredible sustainability-focused build and unmatched creativity on each floor, but I also hobnobbed (ie; shuffled around on the opposite side of the same big room where they had no idea I was there) with Governor Jay Inslee, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, Mayor Penny Sweet, local reps, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai who all praised Google's leadership, innovation, community partnerships, philanthropy, and investment in our region. Google plans to invest $100 M in WA state in 2022. Boom!
<--the wall of playing cards
Facilities manager Frederico Olmedo walked me around the Central Building which I entered on the second floor of Kirkland Urban (near Evergreens). He has been working on this project for 4 years, and clearly, it is a labor of love with a laser focus on the details. Each floor of the building has a different WA State theme. On the 7th floor, the fishing industry is represented with a bright orange fishing net across the ceiling in central spaces. There's also a full sound studio, so if you want to go jam on a guitar or sing in a soundproof room, why wouldn't you? The 6th floor was a nod to the shipping industry and UPS, where you find 'brown' barcodes next to doorways and stacked moving blankets as chair ottomans. My favorite was the 5th floor which recognizes flight/Boeing with a sitting area that feels like a retro airport lounge, and another room whose wallpaper is made completely out of real old playing cards that used to be handed out by airlines during flights, complete with an airline roller cart full of board games. There's also an in-flight mini-theatre that can be utilized for games or movies. On the 4th floor, you'll find a nod to REI/tourism/nature and the outdoors with backpacks on the walls in their stocked self-serve mini cafe where you can grab a handful of snacks before bringing your pooch to hang out at the doggie lounge with indoor and outdoor patio spaces. This would be an awesome #doglife.
I think I need to work here. It just feels like a fun place to be, especially once the office fills up with people again. But I'd never get anything done, I'd just eat free snacks and play with everyone's dogs all day while dreaming of being in a 1978 airport lounge. And then after work, I'd be a fixture at the QFC bar and eat too many Plantiful Acai Bowls. It could be problematic on second thought. But good news if you're looking...turns out you can job search Google roles out of Kirkland, WA and there appear to be 1104 open jobs here. They currently have 7200 full-time employees in the Puget Sound region.
The North Google Building is also complete and hosts wellness and fitness centers, but I didn't get to stroll that side of campus. The South building is expected to open in 2023, and the East tower in 2025, which will bring the total of these four buildings of Google office space to 760,000 square feet. But they aren't stopping there, Google is proceeding with development and design planning for its additional planned campus on the former site of the Lee Johnson Chevrolet dealership, whose acquisition deal is expected to close in phases over the next several years. Kudos to Google for pushing the envelope in both coolness and investment in our city, all while being on track for LEED Gold Certification in sustainability.