Google opened up its new offices in Cambridge today which connects three Cambridge Centers into one expansive campus sitting above Kendall Square. The key space in the complex is the (somewhat controversial) “Connector” built across the once fully public rooftop garden between Four and Five Cambridge Center.
As you will notice from the slideshow above, the office, which houses 800 Google employees, has an MBTA/subway theme. Each section in the complex represents a different T line, and each floor has a different theme that corresponds with various stops and neighborhoods. The main entrance has a Red Line/Kendall theme and includes many images of the Charles and MIT. Additionally, there are design features that correspond as well. The “Kendall” floor features canoes suspended from the ceiling and oars built into chandeliers.
Although we didn’t get to see the Blue Line section, I was told that it has themes ranging from “Logan” — with real aircraft seats built into some conference rooms — and a beach theme to correspond with Revere Beach. (Luckily for the Googlers housed in the “Wonderland” section, Google went with an Alice in Wonderland theme as opposed to “dog track” and “oil tanks.”)
The office is obviously a fun place to work and meant to attract prospective employees. I heard a rumor of a slide somewhere in the complex but didn’t see one. As far as Google office portrayals on film and television, the new Google offices are much more subdued than the playground of Google in the film The Internship and the madhouse that is the fictionalized Google-esque Hooli in the HBO show Silicon Valley.
The opening event featured plenty of demos, including Google Glass and both Samsung and LG Android enabled smart watches.
Google’s Boston engineering director Steve Vinter welcomed everyone and singled out Rich Miner, who led the earliest Boston Google office when his Android company was acquired by the search giant and now leads Google Venture’s Boston office, for his key role in the growth and development of the company in the area.
Additionally, Cambridge Mayor David Maher spoke, saying, “I think that many people thought that the better days of Cambridge and this community were behind us. I think what we have done over the past 10 years or so is prove them all wrong. This has really turned into a hub for innovation.”
The mayor went on to say that he and the community were glad that Google not only decided to stay in Cambridge, but to grow in Kendall Square.
Representative Mike Capuano also spoke and commended the innovation stemming from the Cambridge/Somerville/Boston area and saying that the community loved having Google in Cambridge. Capuano even joked about the superiority of the Boston pronunciation of “Googlers,” the term for Google employees, as opposed to the rest of the country.