I would differentiate the inner and outside of the Google Complex in order to better describe the architecture. This is because these two convey different themes to the visitors. The inside of the office complex tells of vastness, freedom and interaction. If it were a book, its title would have been vastness, freedom and interaction. First of all, the offices are vast. It doesn’t matter where one is standing or sitting because to every side, one experiences a vastness of space. The space is magnified by the fact that most of the offices are made of transparent glass and many other employees work in an open space.
The fact that one can comfortably see several offices and its occupants at either side of the complex gives it an element of vastness. Moreover, the vastness given by that atmosphere is enough to give one a sense of being in an environment of unlimited imagination. Secondly, there is an element of freedom within the office complex. On looking at most of the offices, there is an element of the occupier being and working in their comfort zone (Google Locations – Company – Google n.p). Most of the offices are furnished and arranged in a manner that is consistent to the likes of the occupier. For example, while some offices are designed as tents, others are in the form of unevenly stacked shelves and others have a carpet that resembles a football turf and even a place to chain a bicycle. [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]
All these aspects ooze of freedom inside the office complex. Psychologically, working in such an environment of freedom entices one to operate at the optimum. Just standing there made me sigh as I opened my mind to enjoy the freedom aura. Lastly, there is the element of interaction and collaboration due to the designs of the office (Google Locations – Company – Google n.p). The whole of the office feels like an open office even when some offices are very distant apart. The collaboration aspect of the office feeling is further magnified by the fact that there seems to be people walking around almost every time and everyone knows everyone. The use of glass highlights the collaborative feeling because communication seems to flow easy between employees due to the ease of communicating visually or verbally around the office.
The Yahoo office arrangement is quite different but also quite similar to Google’s. First of all, there is the freedom of expression as highlighted by the differences in the furnishing and decoration of the inside of the offices. There is no standard or uniform manner of interior decoration. As a result, every occupant seems to be free to set up their office equipment and arrange it in a manner of their liking. Moreover, the furniture also seemed to be of each person’s unique liking. For example, some employees had white leather chairs while others brown office chairs. As a result, I experienced the feeling of freedom that is essential for innovation.
However, the manner of partitioning the office robs the complex of the feeling of vastness as well ability to freely interact (“Home | About Yahoo” n.p). While most of the office is open, a good portion of the office is partitioned using solid material. Even though the partitions are colorfully decorated and painted, there is a feeling of isolation among the employees. As one enters one office, there is the overbearing feeling of locking out the rest of the colleagues out. I personally felt that the interior design does not optimize on interaction unless one is walking along the long corridors.
The posters on the walls are mostly of apps and software icons (“Home | About Yahoo” n.p). The interaction is limited because it is not possible to absorb every inch of the building from one position. In other words, there is the feeling of formality due to the interior design of most of the office blocks. I felt that such a design does not encourage as much innovation as possible because for a company that is in an industry defined by ability to innovate continuously, the lack of thorough interaction may be a hindrance to teamwork.
There is the overbearing feeling that this is a typical office with freedom and interaction meant to take place outside of the offices. Moreover, due to the interior of the office complex, there is little if any interaction with the nature. I was not able to spot vegetation inside the office complex. It is also not possible to interact with the nature outside while inside most of the offices because of the size of the buildings. For most occupants of the top floors, the much they can see are the top trees and that is not exactly a manner of interaction between man and nature in the office.
In my visit, to the Google complex, my eyes and ears were the most involved senses in experiencing the organization. The eyes were the primary senses on work with the ears playing a supporting role. For example, I would just go and stand at one position and absorb all the surrounding with my eyes. The ears would pick up some conversations within the office as the interaction between the employees took place.
I especially experience that interaction is enhanced by the design and openness of the offices because a person seated at the office can see a lot of the movement around and interact with the other workers. Moreover, one can also easily interact with the environment outside given that the architecture allows for a smooth transition between the inside and outside, when tired, one feels that they can easily just face outside and breath in some inspiration from the nature outside and feel energized. I certainly felt so myself.
The outside of the Google Complex is unique in that there is a deeper connection with nature. Unlike in many organizations where the outside is mostly taken up by parking lots and harsh weather, in Google, the outside is a place for enjoyment too. If it were a book, it would be referred to as tranquility. On walking between the complexes, the nature outside seems to give a visitor a sense of being at peace with the nature and this not only gives one an element of freshness but also one of inspiration. With plans to take the parking lots deep underground thereby leaving room at the surface for community gardens, bike paths and streams, it will give the complex a feeling of Arcadian retro-futurism. [Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]
Viewed when standing outside, the tranquility comes in the way that nature and architecture seems to co-exist in harmony. This harmony is further maintained by the architecture of the whole complex. The building is of relative low height and this makes sure that they are not domineering to the vegetation outside. Moreover, to compensate for the low height, the complex sprawls out over a large area of land, making sure that it fuses well with the vegetation outside. None seems to impose itself upon the others because there seems to be a little of each everywhere.
The dinosaur skeleton in particular really makes one go way back into a mysterious past. For example, while there are buildings outside among the vegetation, there are also some plants inside the offices. This entire scenario gives one a feeling of fusion between architecture and nature. Out among the plants, I was experiencing nature using more than just the eyes and ears, I could smell and touch the nature. The air smells of freshness and if one was not in such a hurry, they could brush their hands over the vegetation around the complex. I also got the feeling that as one is cycling from one building to another and they are passing through the vegetation, one gets rejuvenated due to the freshness that is felt outside and by the time they reached their intended destinations, the clarity of mind must have been important for their productivity.
The harmony between nature and architecture is absent in the Yahoo complex. Yahoo headquarters was designed to be a modern office complex rather than a complex to host a utopian futuristic community. The buildings are therefore made of glass and metal and huge precast concrete. From their sizes, the building seems very dominant in the landscape of the complex and if I were to write a title, I would probably call it “the domination of man over nature.” I would term it so due to the overbearing nature of the structures over the landscape and the vegetation therein.
Despite their purple and bright yellow accents, there is a sharp contrast between the nature outside and the environment outside. One feels that you cannot have both at the same time- you either have to be outside or inside the buildings. As a result, there is a feeling that nature should stay outside and the people remain inside. The trees and the vegetation around the complex looks more like one that gives aesthetic beauty and balance but does not give a worthy interaction with nature. This is further exaggerated by the contrast between the tall office blocks and the short vegetation outside.
Rather than harmony, one gets the feeling of a conflict between architecture and nature as though one is superimposed on the other. More likely, the nature feels like superimposed on a modern office block. Due to the fact that majority of the space is occupied by tall buildings with vegetation squeezed between the blocks, the vegetation felt like an afterthought. As a result, the complex misses the tranquility of the existence of architecture alongside nature that I had observed in Google Complex.
Another aspect of the complex worth mentioning is the energy that resonates in the complex due to the presence of the several sand volleyball courts and the two small swimming pools. In particular, the volleyball courts seem to be ever busy with people playing. This has an important aspect to the whole complex- it gives it a vibrant aspect that lacks in many organizations. I in particular felt that the energy was both symbolically and psychologically important for Google because it is a fast-growing institution.
The vibrant nature outside is important to the psychology of the employees because it gives one a sense of excitement and energy that is in turn important in raising productivity. It was especially interesting to observe that at no particular time were all the courts empty as there were always some people in the courts sweating it out. The swimming pool was not as busy as the volleyball courts during my visit but maybe the weather may not have been conducive on that day but this was more than compensated by the human traffic in the volleyball courts.
The Yahoo Company matches Google when it comes to the physical amenities for a self-contained community. The design gives room for amenities that support a balanced lifestyle and work and flexible schedules. The Yahoo complex offers a cafeteria, several cafes, game rooms, fitness center and even a training room. Some of these amenities especially the basketball courts are especially fairly large. The basketball, bocce ball and volleyball courts are located where four buildings are angled around a green space that is centrally located. In terms of placement, Yahoo amenities are uniquely placed.
It especially helped the designers because unlike Google, Yahoo complex was planned and designed with the self-contained community in mind. Google bought an already existing complex and had to find spaces to fit in their amenities and this was a challenge. Yahoo had the luxury of having that in mind during the planning and designing phase and it is no wonder that the central green space that features the various courts is uniquely and centrally located. The courts are enticing due to their central location especially when the viewer is at an elevated space above the courts. Just like in Google, there is that sense of vibrant and energetic aura around the complex.
Since the four major and strategic building all are neighbors to the courts outside, it gives a sense that whichever office one is in, they feel and experience the energy all around. On my day of observation, the courts were fairly busy as many people were engaged in sports activities in the courts. Coupled by the bright yellow color, the complex felt busy and full of energy.
Google’s mission statement is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. Its vision statement is “to provide access to the world’s information in one click.” I feel that the Décor of Google reflects its mission. The harmony between architecture and nature within the complex really felt like a place where information is being organized and then released to the public in a manner that is useful. Its vision statement to provide information in a platform that allows one click also felt believable because the complex itself has managed to have so many things available in one complex. [Click Essay Writer to order your essay]
Yahoo’s mission statement is “To connect people to their passions, communities, and the world’s knowledge.” As far as the aspect of connecting people with knowledge is concerned, Yahoo’s décor seems to reflect its mission. However, I felt that décor does not extend to connecting of the people to their passions and communities because of the formal nature of the complex.
“Google Locations – Company – Google”. Google.com. N.p., 2016. Web. 9 Dec. 2016.
“Home | About Yahoo”. About.yahoo.com. N.p., 2016. Web. 9 Dec. 2016.