Thursday, 3 December 2015

BIG and Heatherwick's Google HQ to be Built with Robots

Google's proposed California headquarters will be built with robots, according to the most
recent planning documents received by the City of Mountain View Council. As the Architects' Journal reported first, the documents detail BIG and Heatherwick Studio's plan to construct the canopy-like structure's interiors with a team of robotic-crane hybrids known as "crabots."

These crabots would, in theory, establish a "'hackable' system for the building of the interior structures," says the documents, that would allow for limitless, easy, and affordable reconfiguration of space throughout the building's life. 

Freely roaming beneath the headquarter's translucent exterior, the crabots would work with an "integrated" system of steel columns and monocoque floor plates that would take shape as "pre-fabricated steel trays" of which could be lifted with the small interior cranes and customized. 

"The monocoque system has been tested in each of the buildings of this submittal and has proved a flexible and resilient system to various degrees of ‘hacking’ and customizing," the documents say, according to AJ. "We have developed special edge clip-on components with the monocoque system that allow to cantilever the floor plates out from the columns."

“The idea is simple," said Google when the project was first unveiled. "Instead of constructing immoveable concrete buildings, we’ll create lightweight block-like structures which can be moved around easily as we invest in new product areas… Large translucent canopies will cover each site, controlling the climate inside yet letting in light and air. With trees, landscaping, cafes, and bike paths weaving through these structures, we aim to blur the distinction between our buildings and nature.”


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