Twenty-five years ago, Larry Page and Sergey Brin launched Google Search from a small garage in a California suburb. Today, Google has offices and data centers on six continents, in over 200 cities. In honor of our 25th birthday, we’re taking a look at some of the most interesting facts about a few of our offices and data centers across the globe. Take a world tour with us and discover something new.
Howzit Art in Johannesburg, South Africa
As you step into our office in Johannesburg, South Africa, the very first thing that greets your eye is a captivating art installation. This stunning piece of art has been meticulously crafted by local craftswomen hailing from the nearby communities. These talented artisans have poured their skill and creativity into this work, using an astounding 46 kilometers (approximately 28.5 miles) of colorful beads to bring it to life.
The focal point of this remarkable installation is the word “Howzit” boldly spelled out in beads. “Howzit” is a delightful piece of South African slang, serving as a warm and friendly greeting akin to asking, “How are you doing?” This choice of words not only reflects the cultural richness of the region but also sets a welcoming and hospitable tone for all who enter our office.
The art installation not only serves as a beautiful testament to the artistic prowess of the local craftswomen but also as a reminder of the vibrant and diverse culture that surrounds us here in Johannesburg. It’s a visual celebration of community, creativity, and the warm spirit of South Africa, inviting all who enter to feel at home and be greeted with a friendly “Howzit.”
In the year 2010, we initiated a remarkable project at our Mountain View headquarters, famously known as the Googleplex. This endeavor was designed with dual objectives in mind. Firstly, we aimed to lend our support to the local bee population in the area. Secondly, we wanted to provide our Google kitchens with a sustainable source of fresh, locally-produced honey.
As part of this initiative, we strategically placed bee hives in and around the Googleplex campus. These hives not only serve as homes for the bees but also as educational hubs for our community. Over the years, this project has evolved and expanded, and today, Googlers of all levels of beekeeping expertise at various Google campuses actively participate.
These dedicated individuals have the opportunity to engage in a range of activities related to beekeeping. They can assist in hive inspections, participate in honey harvesting, and, most importantly, gain a deeper understanding of the vital role that bees play in our ecosystem. Our commitment to fostering bee-friendly environments not only supports biodiversity but also contributes to the sustainability of our food sources.
At Google, we recognize the significance of bees in maintaining the delicate balance of our natural world. Through initiatives like these, we aim to promote environmental stewardship and provide our employees with hands-on experiences that underscore the importance of bees in our ecosystem.
Teaching Old Buildings New Tricks in Various Locations
In our relentless pursuit of achieving net-zero emissions across our operations and value chain by the year 2030, we have made significant investments in innovative sustainability projects. One noteworthy facet of this commitment is our focus on “adaptive reuse projects.” Rather than exclusively relying on new construction, we are actively involved in renovating existing structures to reduce our environmental footprint.
One prime example of this approach is exemplified in our office located in Dublin, Ireland. This office is situated within a historic 150-year-old building that once served as Flour Mills at Boland Mills. Through meticulous restoration and transformation efforts, we have breathed new life into this venerable structure.
By opting for adaptive reuse, we not only preserve the historical and architectural heritage of the area but also make a sustainable choice that aligns with our broader environmental goals. This project stands as a testament to our dedication to sustainability, showcasing our commitment to reducing waste and energy consumption while maximizing the utility of existing resources.
Our Dublin office at Boland Mills serves as a shining example of how Google is actively embracing creative solutions to combat climate change, all while honoring the rich history and character of the communities in which we operate.
Park ‘n Charge in the United States
Google remains steadfast in its commitment to bolstering its corporate electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure to facilitate convenient charging for employee vehicles across the United States. As of now, our efforts have resulted in the installation of over 5,000 electric vehicle charging ports at our various office locations.
This extensive network of charging ports not only underscores our dedication to sustainability but also serves as a practical and tangible support system for our employees who embrace electric vehicle technology. By providing easy access to EV charging, we aim to promote the adoption of cleaner transportation options and reduce the carbon footprint associated with daily commuting.
As we continue to invest in expanding our EV charging infrastructure, we are taking meaningful steps to foster a more sustainable future and encourage eco-conscious choices among our workforce. This initiative represents our ongoing commitment to innovation and environmental responsibility, aligning with our broader goals of reducing emissions and promoting sustainable mobility solutions.
Going Global in Tokyo, Japan and Hamburg, Germany
Google’s global expansion journey began with the opening of our first international office in Tokyo, Japan, in the year 2001. This marked a significant milestone in our mission to reach a broader audience and connect with users around the world. Just a year later, in 2002, we established our second international office in Hamburg, Germany, further extending our presence and impact.
Fast forward to today, and our footprint has grown exponentially. We are proud to maintain a strong global presence, with offices and data centers spanning across six continents, encompassing more than 200 cities worldwide. This extensive network allows us to serve and engage with diverse communities and cultures, enabling us to continue our mission of organizing the world’s information and making it universally accessible and useful.
A Breath of Fresh Air in Belo Horizonte, Brazil
The design of our Belo Horizonte office seamlessly blends the natural world with the indoor workspace. This innovative design concept incorporates native vegetation from the Cerrado biome, which happens to be the second-largest biome in Brazil after the Amazon.
By integrating the flora of the Cerrado biome into our office environment, we not only create a visually captivating and refreshing workspace but also pay homage to the rich biodiversity of Brazil. This thoughtful approach to office design underscores our commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship, while also providing our employees with a unique and inspiring work environment that fosters a deeper connection with nature.
Accessible Design in Seoul, South Korea
In our recent endeavor to design a new floor at Google’s office in Seoul, South Korea, we prioritized inclusivity and accessibility. To achieve this, we actively sought and incorporated feedback from Googlers who are part of our disability alliance. Their valuable insights and perspectives played a crucial role in shaping the design of this space, ensuring that it is more accessible to everyone.
This collaborative effort aligns with our commitment to creating work environments that are welcoming, supportive, and accommodating to individuals with diverse needs and abilities. By incorporating the feedback and expertise of our disability alliance members, we aim to make our Seoul office an exemplar of inclusivity and a place where all Googlers can thrive and contribute to our mission.
Welcome to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates
Google’s office in the United Arab Emirates, located in Dubai, serves as a testament to the rich tapestry of diversity that characterizes the surrounding region. This commitment to celebrating diversity is evident in every aspect of our office, from the names of the meeting rooms to the thematic decor that graces our hallways.
The choice of names for our meeting rooms reflects the vibrant and multicultural landscape of the United Arab Emirates and the wider Middle East. It’s a way to pay homage to the various cultures, languages, and traditions that coexist in this dynamic region, fostering an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere for both employees and visitors.
Furthermore, our hallway themes are thoughtfully curated to represent the cultural and geographical richness of the area. These themes not only add visual appeal but also serve as a reminder of the unique heritage and history that surrounds us in Dubai.
In essence, our Dubai office goes beyond being a place of work; it is a reflection of the diversity and inclusivity that we value and promote as a company. It stands as a symbol of our commitment to respecting and embracing the cultural mosaic that makes the United Arab Emirates and the Middle East a truly extraordinary part of the world.
AI in Africa in Accra, Ghana
In 2018, Google marked a significant milestone by inaugurating our inaugural AI Research Center on the African continent, situated in Accra, Ghana. This research center serves as a hub of innovation, housing state-of-the-art research laboratories that are dedicated to exploring the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI).
Our mission at this center extends far beyond technological advancement. We are deeply committed to harnessing AI to address critical and pressing challenges that impact the lives of millions of people, both within Africa and on a global scale. By collaborating with local talent and leveraging the power of AI, we aspire to develop innovative solutions that can positively influence healthcare, education, agriculture, and various other sectors.
The establishment of the AI Research Center in Accra underscores Google’s dedication to fostering AI research and development on the African continent and contributing to the well-being and progress of communities worldwide. It serves as a testament to our belief in the transformative potential of technology and our commitment to using it for the greater good.
Dragonscaling the Roof in Mountain View, United States
The Bay View campus in California boasts a distinctive feature that simply can’t be overlooked—the “dragonscale” solar canopy that adorns its roof. This striking architectural marvel not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of the campus but also serves as a powerful symbol of our commitment to sustainability.
The dragonscale solar canopy is not just for show; it plays a pivotal role in our green initiatives. Its primary function is to harness the abundant California sunshine and convert it into electricity. This sustainable power source is utilized to meet the energy needs of the building’s interior, reducing our reliance on conventional energy sources and minimizing our environmental footprint.
Moreover, any surplus electricity generated by this innovative solar canopy is thoughtfully collected and stored for use in other sustainable applications. This approach aligns with our dedication to responsible energy management and underscores our commitment to harnessing renewable resources.
The dragonscale solar canopy at the Bay View campus exemplifies our commitment to sustainability, innovation, and a greener future. It stands as a testament to our efforts to create environmentally responsible spaces that inspire and lead the way in sustainable design and energy utilization.
Homage to Local Artists in Montreal, Canada
The newly opened Google office in Montreal, Canada, in 2021, is a testament to our deep appreciation for the city’s vibrant culture and rich historical neighborhoods. This office has been thoughtfully designed to pay homage to the unique character of Montreal.
One of the standout features of this office is its collection of art, which has been meticulously curated from local artists and makers. This approach not only infuses the workspace with a distinct Montreal flavor but also supports and celebrates the incredible talent that thrives within the city’s artistic community.
Through this art curation, we aim to create an environment that is both inspiring and reflective of the dynamic spirit of Montreal. It serves as a visual reminder of our commitment to fostering local creativity and community engagement while providing our employees with a workspace that is not only functional but also culturally enriching.
The Google Montreal office is more than just a place to work; it’s a living tribute to the city’s heritage and creative energy, a space where innovation and local artistry converge to create a truly unique and inspiring atmosphere.
A Love Letter to the ATL in Atlanta, United States
When you visit Google’s office in Atlanta, you’ll come across the WERD Cafe, a distinctive space with a meaningful name. This cafe pays tribute to a significant piece of American history—it’s named after the WERD radio station, which holds the distinction of being the first Black-owned and -programmed radio station in the United States.
The name “WERD” carries historical significance, symbolizing the pioneering efforts of Black voices in the world of broadcasting. It’s a reminder of the important role that this radio station played in giving voice to the African American community during a pivotal time in the civil rights movement.
The WERD Cafe at Google Atlanta serves as a place where history and innovation intersect, embodying our commitment to acknowledging and celebrating the cultural and historical contributions of underrepresented communities. It stands as a tribute to the resilience and creativity of Black entrepreneurs and broadcasters who paved the way for diversity and inclusion in the media landscape.
Sticky-Note Art in London, England
In Google’s 6 Pancras Square London office, you’ll discover a remarkable and creative display known as the sticky-note art gallery. What makes this gallery truly special is that it’s a collaborative effort, with the artistic contributions of over 200 talented Googlers.
This unique gallery showcases the imaginative and artistic talents of our employees, transforming mundane sticky notes into captivating works of art. Each piece is a testament to the creativity and diversity of our team, highlighting the spirit of collaboration and innovation that defines Google’s culture.
The sticky-note art gallery is not only a source of inspiration but also a testament to the sense of community and creativity that thrives within our London office. It’s a tangible reminder of the power of teamwork and the boundless potential for creativity that exists among our talented Googlers.
Goodbye, Refrigeration in St. Ghislain, Belgium
In 2010, as part of our commitment to enhancing the sustainability of our global operations, we took a significant step forward by inaugurating and commencing operations at our inaugural energy-efficient data center. This facility is located near St. Ghislain in Belgium and marked a milestone in our pursuit of environmental responsibility.
What sets this data center apart is its groundbreaking approach to cooling. Unlike conventional data centers that rely on energy-intensive refrigeration systems, our St. Ghislain data center was engineered to run entirely without the need for refrigeration. This innovative design not only reduces energy consumption but also minimizes our environmental footprint, contributing to a more sustainable and eco-friendly operation.
The St. Ghislain data center serves as a shining example of our dedication to sustainable technology solutions. It showcases our commitment to pushing the boundaries of efficiency and environmental stewardship while continuing to deliver reliable and cutting-edge services to users around the world.
Standing Lunch Date in Tokyo, Japan
Our Tokyo Stream office is strategically located in the heart of the bustling Shibuya district, offering a dynamic and vibrant work environment. Positioned to overlook the iconic Scramble Crossing, this office provides our employees with a front-row seat to the energy and excitement that defines this iconic Tokyo neighborhood.
One of the unique features of our Tokyo Stream office is the ramen bar, a culinary gem that draws inspiration from the off-street ramen shops that are a hallmark of the Shibuya area. This ramen bar not only serves as a delightful gastronomic experience for our employees but also pays homage to the local culture and flavors of Shibuya.
By embracing the essence of Shibuya, both in its location and culinary offerings, our Tokyo Stream office embodies our commitment to creating workspaces that celebrate local culture and foster a sense of connection with the surrounding community. It’s a place where the spirit of Tokyo and the innovation of Google come together to create a truly exceptional work atmosphere.
Hydropowered Up in New York City, United States
In the present year, Google’s New York City offices have made a significant stride towards sustainability by transitioning to clean energy sources. This transformation has been made possible through upgraded hydropower installations, which now provide the energy needed to power our offices in the city.
By relying on hydropower, we are reducing our environmental footprint and making a positive impact on the local ecosystem. This move aligns with our commitment to sustainability and our ongoing efforts to reduce our carbon emissions, contributing to a greener and more eco-friendly future for our New York City operations.
The switch to clean energy sources reflects our dedication to responsible energy management and our role in advancing the adoption of renewable energy solutions. It stands as a testament to our ongoing commitment to environmentally conscious practices and our contribution to a cleaner and more sustainable energy landscape in New York City.
Papel Picado in Mexico City, Mexico
Within Google’s Mexico City office, you’ll encounter a captivating collection of artwork that draws inspiration from the rich and vibrant tradition of “papel picado.” This traditional Mexican folk art form involves intricate designs meticulously crafted by cutting delicate patterns into colorful paper.
The incorporation of “papel picado” into our office decor not only adds a touch of cultural authenticity but also pays homage to the artistic heritage of Mexico. Each piece of artwork reflects the skill and creativity of local artisans, serving as a visual reminder of the deep connection between Google and the communities in which we operate.
This artistic choice not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of our Mexico City office but also fosters a sense of pride and belonging among our employees and visitors. It’s a testament to our commitment to celebrating and honoring the diverse cultures and traditions that make each Google office a unique and inspiring place to work.
All Aboard! in Paris, France
Prior to becoming a workspace for Googlers, our office building in Paris, France, held a distinct historical identity. This building, which now serves as a Google office, was originally a 19th-century Parisian residence known as the Hôtel de Vatry.
The transformation of this elegant 19th-century Parisian residence into a contemporary workplace reflects our commitment to blending the charm of historic architecture with cutting-edge technology and innovation. This melding of the past and present creates a unique and inspiring environment for our employees and underscores our dedication to preserving and repurposing historical landmarks.
The Hôtel de Vatry, now a vibrant hub for Google in Paris, stands as a symbol of our appreciation for the rich history and culture of the city. It’s a space where the legacy of the past converges with the innovation of the future, fostering a dynamic and creative atmosphere for our teams.
Urban Farm-to-Table in Belo Horizonte, Brazil
The Google Brazil office in Belo Horizonte occupies a building that has a unique and sustainable neighbor—the first urban farm in Latin America. This urban farm represents a pioneering initiative in the region, and it shares the same premises as our office.
One of the delightful outcomes of this proximity is the sourcing of fresh ingredients for our employee cafe. The salads served at our cafe benefit from this close connection, as they are partially sourced from the produce cultivated on the urban farm. This farm-to-table approach not only supports local agriculture but also allows us to offer our employees wholesome and locally-sourced meals.
The collaboration between the Google Brazil office and the urban farm exemplifies our commitment to sustainability, community engagement, and providing our employees with nutritious and environmentally responsible dining options. It’s a wonderful partnership that reflects our dedication to making a positive impact on our local surroundings.
Restored Prairie Land in Tennessee, United States
Google’s data centers are renowned for their exceptional efficiency, setting a global standard for sustainability and resource management. Even as the demand for computing power continues to grow, we remain committed to minimizing our environmental footprint and making responsible choices.
As an example of this commitment, consider our efforts surrounding the Tennessee data center. In this endeavor, we are actively working to restore over 100 acres of prairie land that surrounds the facility. This initiative is not only about responsible land management but also about benefiting the local ecology.
By engaging in prairie land restoration, we are contributing to the preservation and rejuvenation of the natural environment. This project reflects our dedication to environmental stewardship, sustainability, and making a positive impact on the regions where we operate.
Our data centers stand as models of efficiency and sustainability, demonstrating that it’s possible to meet the growing demands of technology while simultaneously reducing our environmental impact and promoting the well-being of local ecosystems.
Developing Developers in Singapore
In the year 2019, we proudly inaugurated the Developer Space @ Google Singapore, situated right on our campus in the city. This unique facility serves as a vibrant hub where local developers and startups converge to foster learning, connections, engagement, and inspiration.
The Developer Space @ Google Singapore stands as a testament to our commitment to supporting and nurturing the local tech ecosystem. It provides an invaluable platform for knowledge sharing, collaboration, and innovation within the developer and startup communities in Singapore.
Here, individuals and teams can come together to explore new ideas, build skills, and forge meaningful connections that drive progress and creativity. It’s not just a physical space but a dynamic center of activity where innovation thrives, aligning perfectly with Google’s mission to make technology accessible and beneficial to all.
GBikes Abound! in Mountain View, United States
The year 2007 marked the launch of GBikes, which has since become a ubiquitous sight on our Mountain View campus. GBikes was introduced with the aim of facilitating convenient transportation for Googlers within our sprawling campus.
These distinctive bicycles provide an eco-friendly and efficient means for our employees to navigate our extensive campus grounds. GBikes not only promote a healthy and active lifestyle but also align with our commitment to sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint.
Over the years, GBikes have become an integral part of the Google experience, embodying our dedication to creating a workplace that values accessibility, sustainability, and the well-being of our employees. They continue to play a vital role in helping Googlers get around our Mountain View campus with ease and convenience.
In the Arena in Detroit, United States
Google’s Detroit office finds its home within the vibrant and dynamic Little Caesars Arena complex. This complex serves as not only a workspace but also a bustling hub for various entertainment and community events.
Little Caesars Arena stands as the proud home of both the Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Pistons, two iconic sports teams with a rich history and dedicated fan bases. Beyond sports, this venue hosts a wide array of entertainment spectacles, from concerts to cultural performances, making it a cultural centerpiece in Detroit.
Moreover, the complex plays a pivotal role in the local community, serving as a gathering place for a diverse range of events that bring people together. Google’s presence in this thriving complex underscores our commitment to being an active part of the Detroit community and contributing to the city’s vibrant culture and spirit.
Hardware Engineering, Represent! in New Taipei, Taiwan
When Google’s inaugural office in Taiwan opened its doors in 2006, it had a humble beginning with just one employee. However, over the years, our presence in Taiwan has grown significantly. Today, we have a dedicated team of Googlers working across multiple sites throughout the country.
Taiwan has become a pivotal location for Google, particularly as it houses our largest hardware engineering hub outside of the United States. This facility represents a hub of innovation and technology expertise, contributing to the development of cutting-edge hardware products that are enjoyed by users around the world.
The growth of Google’s operations in Taiwan showcases our commitment to talent, innovation, and global collaboration. It’s a testament to the spirit of progress and partnership that defines our journey in Taiwan, where we continue to push the boundaries of technology and engineering excellence.
Stan the T. Rex in Mountain View, United States
An iconic and somewhat infamous part of Google’s history centers around Stan, a massive bronze Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton that occupies a prominent place at the core of our Mountain View headquarters. Stan is not just a static decoration but a symbol of Google’s creative and unconventional workplace culture, embodying the company’s spirit of curiosity and innovation. This towering T. rex has become a beloved and recognizable figure within the company, adding a touch of whimsy and wonder to the otherwise tech-focused environment. Stan’s presence is a testament to Google’s commitment to making its workspace an inspiring and imaginative place for its employees.
Just Cheesin’ on the Moon
In what has undoubtedly been our most extensive and imaginative undertaking to date, we are still in the process of interviewing candidates for a groundbreaking initiative known as the Google Copernicus Hosting Environment and Experiment in Search Engineering (G.C.H.E.E.S.E.). This initiative represents a remarkable leap into the realm of space exploration, as we endeavor to establish our very first office on the moon.
The ambitious vision of creating a lunar office underscores Google’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of innovation and exploration. While this venture may be whimsical in nature, it serves as a testament to our unwavering spirit of curiosity and our dedication to pushing the limits of what is possible in the world of technology and beyond.
As we continue to sift through the candidates who aspire to join the G.C.H.E.E.S.E. project, we remain resolute in our pursuit of new horizons and the quest for knowledge that defines Google’s mission. While this lunar office may seem like a futuristic dream, it embodies the same pioneering spirit that has driven our company since its inception.
1. What is the purpose of the “Hiveplex” in Mountain View?
The “Hiveplex” in Mountain View was established to support bee populations and provide fresh local honey to Google kitchens.
2. How does Google contribute to sustainability at its data centers?
Google operates energy-efficient data centers and is committed to using advanced cooling systems instead of refrigeration.
3. What is the significance of the sticky-note art in Google’s London office?
Over 200 Googlers contributed to the sticky-note art gallery in London, showcasing creativity and collaboration.
4. How does Google promote accessibility in its offices?
Google incorporates features like braille signage, wider spaces for wheelchair mobility, and automatic sliding doors in its offices to create accessible spaces.
5. Where is Google’s largest hardware engineering hub outside of the U.S.?
Google’s largest hardware engineering hub outside of the U.S. is located in New Taipei, Taiwan.
6. What is the story behind Stan the T. Rex at Google’s Mountain View headquarters?
Stan the T. Rex is a giant bronze Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton at Google’s Mountain View headquarters, symbolizing the idea that change and evolution are positive things.
Google’s offices and data centers around the world are not just places of work; they are hubs of innovation, sustainability, and community engagement. These 25 fun facts about Google offices and data centers showcase the company’s commitment to creativity, environmental responsibility, and inclusivity as it continues to evolve and expand globally. So, whether it’s supporting bee populations, creating accessible spaces, or even planning an office on the moon, Google is always finding new ways to make the world a better place.