Airport Lounges, Fishing Nets and a Puppy Playground: Inside Google’s New Kirkland Office

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KIRKLAND — With backpacks hanging from the wall on one floor and fishing nets from the ceiling on another, Google’s new office pays homage to the industries that lead the state where it plans to expand.

Google opened the next phase of its office space in Kirkland on Thursday, part of a 760,000 square foot campus that will include four buildings. The eight-story building sits in Kirkland Urban, a mall with waterfront views, burgers, dumplings, and now, a Google office with a dog lounge, movie theater, kitchenettes at almost every floors and a piano in the corner of what he calls the “lighthouse lounge”.

The groundbreaking also marked Google’s commitment to invest $100 million in Washington State in 2022, as part of a $9.5 billion national campaign to build offices and data centers. data that should create 12,000 new jobs. In Kirkland, Google said its investment will create engineering jobs in the company, construction jobs to build the facilities and restaurant and retail operations that already populate the Kirkland Urban mall.

“At Google, we’re doubling down on the states we call home,” site manager Paco Galanes said.

Since opening its first office in Washington in 2004, Google has expanded to four campuses in the Puget Sound area: in South Lake Union, Fremont, Kirkland’s Sixth Street Campus and Kirkland Urban. Google has more than 7,200 employees on these campuses.

The central building of Google’s Kirkland Urban campus, which opened Thursday, includes floors devoted to Washington’s legacy industries, including fishing, shipping, aerospace, tourism, technology and lumber. The netting on the seventh floor ceiling marks the fishing industry. Backpacks on the kitchen wall on the fourth floor represent tourism.

The sixth floor, devoted to navigation, has footrests made from movable blankets. An aerospace-themed fifth-floor public space is designed to resemble an airport lounge, with air conditioning vents that provide the sound and feel of an airplane cabin. Across the hall, an airplane cart is filled with board games and a wall is covered with cards from the decks airlines used to give out to passengers.

At Kirkland Urban, Google has “two more buildings to play with,” said facilities manager Federico Olmedo. It plans to open the south building in 2023 and the east tower in 2025. The north building, which opened in April 2021, includes floors dedicated to infrastructure, Olmedo said.

Google declined to share the cost of its Kirkland Urban campus or the number of employees who would work there.

Known for its employee amenities, Google’s north building includes a wellness center, gym and massage area, Olmedo said. The central tower has a dog lounge, with dog bowls hanging on the wall and work areas inside.

Google began bringing employees back to the office in early April in a hybrid format, with most employees expected to be in the office three days a week. While touring the new offices on Thursday, Google officials said hybrid working would remain an option.

To accommodate more employees as the company grows, Olmedo said some of the central building’s office spaces feature moveable partitions, so employees can separate the space from their team, regardless of size. .

Google is also expanding its South Lake Union campus with Block 38, a 330,000 square foot building slated to open this year. In Kirkland, it plans to build a campus on the site of former Lee Johnson Chevrolet dealership, but did not disclose a development timeline.

Most of Google’s Washington campuses are for engineering, but the buildings aren’t divided by focus area, said site manager Galanes.

Google’s $100 million investment in Washington will go to office space and data centers, Galanes said. He could not disclose how many workers at the new office building would transfer from other Google locations and how many were likely to be new hires.

While expanding its footprint, Google has also committed to using carbon-free energy in all of its data centers and offices by 2030. Its new Kirkland Urban campus is on track to achieve LEED Gold certification, a framework of the US Green Building Council awarded to buildings that rank highly in terms of efficiency, carbon emissions and health.

Google’s commitment has “established a performance model for the rest of American businesses,” Gov. Jay Inslee said Thursday. “You have set the bar that we want everyone to aspire to.”

In Kirkland, Mayor Penny Sweet said the Google campus is “a glimpse of what the future may be.”

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