Google's home campus dreams dashed by local officials

Google on Thursday was stinging from a decision by local officials to reject the bulk of a proposed plan for a grand expansion of its Silicon Valley home campus.

A long debate at Mountain View city council ended early Wednesday with members approving just one of four sites where Google envisioned futuristic buildings blending with natural settings in a cutting-edge addition to its main "Googleplex."

Council members instead endorsed plans by career-focused social network LinkedIn to build a new headquarters, along with a cinema and shops in a more traditional architectural style in that part of Mountain View.

"We know the city council had a tough decision to make and thank them and our community for more than six hours of debate," Google vice president of real estate David Radcliffe said in an email response to an AFP inquiry on Thursday.

"We're pleased that the council has decided to advance our Landings site and will continue to work with the on Google's future in Mountain View."

At the meeting, Radcliffe called the council's decision a "significant blow," according to a report in the Mercury News.

Google unveiled its plan in February for a new headquarters campus that includes waterways, public gardens, covered bikeways and modular building structures.

The redesign was by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels and London-based Thomas Heatherwick and touted as leading to "a better way of working."

© 2015 AFP

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