Google isn’t exactly a name you associate with urban planning, but newly released renders for its San Jose campus are… pleasantly surprising. Unlike the typical closed-off tech campuses, the Downtown West project looks like an open plan neighborhood that’s actually part of the city itself.
In a roughly 40-minute video presentation, Google explained that it wasn’t interested in building a cookie-cutter campus that centered around a single building. Instead, it says it wants the roughly 80-acre campus to include residential spaces, amenities for the public, lots of open green space, and utilize existing historic buildings in the area. This is counter to some major campuses—like the Apple campus which is a feat of architecture hidden from public view by tall walls, or the campuses of HP or Microsoft, which are relatively remote despite being close to major population areas.