Google Office in Tel Aviv, Israel
At the end of December 2012, Google Israel opened a new office by renting a part of the third tallest building in Tel Aviv. Sustainability played a vital role to Google in the development of their new Tel Aviv offices and the project is currently awaiting LEED Platinum certification – the first of its category in Israel. While some might find it quirky and inspiring, others might consider it over the top and I’ll leave up to you to make a conclusion.
Designed by Swiss design team Camenzind Evolution, in collaboration with Israeli design teams Setter Architects and Studio Yaron Tal, the 8,000 square-meter (86,111 square-foot) office space occupies 8 floors of the 45-story high Electra Tower. The building itself is located in Yigal Allon Street and it offers breath taking views across the whole city and the sea.
A part of the new milestone which I personally advocate is their different approach when it comes to development of innovative work environments. Nearly half of all areas have been allocated to create communication and lounge areas. These areas provide countless opportunities for employees to collaborate and communicate with other Googler’s in a diverse environment that will serve different requirements and needs – ranging from presentations and lectures to group meetings and brainstorming areas.
There is clear separation between the employees traditional desk based work environment and those communication areas, granting privacy and focus when required for desk based individual working and spaces for collaboration and sharing ideas.
Each floor was designed with a different aspect of the local identity in mind, illustrating the diversity of Israel as a country and nation. Each of the themes was selected by a local group of Googlers, who also assisted in the interpretation of those chosen ideas. Some corridors resemble the small town streets of small towns, there are several beach or desert inspired zones, an orchard, or “outdoor” countryside and garden areas.
The office has three distinct and fully-equipped themed restaurants to keep the employees fed. Being in Israel, for lunch the Googlers can choose from three amazing restaurants, for kosher, non-kosher dairy and non kosher meat, each of the restaurants designed to its own style and theme.
Only 7 of the 8 rented floors in Electra Tower are actually occupied by Google. The remaining floor gives space to a new ‘Campus’, which was also opened in December by the Israeli Prime Minister. The ‘Campus Tel Aviv’, powered by Google for Entrepreneurs, is a new hub for entrepreneurs and developers, providing a base for start-up companies, and is only the second Google ‘Campus’ worldwide.
If I had to use a couple of words to describe Google Israel office in Tel Aviv, I would use: colorful, fun and interesting. Sure, there are some which seem too kitschy, and some of the space could be utilized better instead creating a design statement, but the overall idea of introducing more distinct and fun areas inside office buildings should improve the collaboration and communication among employees who might adopt certain areas to take a break or work in groups.
I’m curious about your thoughts since people around me have dissenting opinions, so go ahead and leave your comment.
Design is interesting but it represents another example why LEED certification is faulty.
If these 8 floors are sustainable at all, how can a part of a 45-story building be certified. If i made a shed in my backyard, could I certify it with LEED Platinum as well?
Although some furniture seems to be reused, most of the furniture seems to be new. Have they used real wood for decor or is it plastic, and how can you consider that sustainable?