Google has hired a new superstar architect to design its £1 billion London HQ
Google has commissioned high-profile British designer Thomas Heatherwick to work on its new £1 billion ($1.56 billion) London headquarters, a source close to Heatherwick tells Business Insider.
Heatherwick is already designing the search giant's new Californian headquarters and our source indicates that Google has now asked him to look at London, after rejecting proposals from architecture agency AHMM.
London-based AHMM drew up plans that included an indoor climbing wall and a running track on the roof but Google CEO Larry Page reportedly found the designs "boring", according to the Daily Mail. You can see AHMM's proposals here.
The Architecture Journal reported back in February that several frustrated AHMM staff working on the project left the company as a result. It is not clear whether AHMM has been taken off the project or will work with Heathwick Studios.
Heatherwick Studios and Google both declined to comment. We contacted AHMM for comment and will update when we hear back from them.
Heatherwick's profile has rocketed in recent years thanks to projects such as the Olympic cauldron for the 2012 London games, and a redesign of London's iconic Routemaster buses. He's currently working on plans for a new "garden bridge" across the Thames.
Heathwick's design agency was one of two appointed to work on Google's new Mountain View offices earlier this year.
His agency's ambitious plans for the new offices include translucent canopies that can control the climate within. Google and Heatherwick released a video outlining their plans earlier this year.
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