The Hills Are Alive, in Google’s Swiss HQ [UPDATED: New Pics]

Google gondolas

There’s lots of perks at Google HQ out in California, but the design itself is a snooze. Things are a lot more interesting at their just-completed engineering offices in Zurich, Switzerland.

The common spaces are particularly zany, and they play off of lots of tropes of Swiss culture. Above: Meeting rooms in the form of ski-lift gondolas.

The library, meanwhile, is very ski lodgey:

Google lodge

The designers, Carmenzind Evolution (who also recently designed an office we just featured) say they undertook an rigorous study of “personality types, representational systems, values andmotivational factors.” Which I guess is Swiss for, “We tried to think of fun ways to monkey around.” The profusion of common areas–from a library to a games room–is meant to tap research (which we’ve noted here and here) showing that relaxation and water-cooler time is crucial in the innovation process.

Swank as these offices are, they’re still not even close to Facebook’s.

[For more pics, check out World Architecture News]

UPDATE: Looks like we’ll have to eat our words about the Facebook comparison. Arch Daily has secured more pics of the interior design, and it’s jawdropping. Warning: Prepare to be sickened with envy.

The massage area:


A mess hall (note the slide in the background–one of many slides and firepoles designed to speed-up how you get from floor to floor):


Games, games, and more games:


Just a bunch of bathtubs filled with foam, for chilling out and watching fish swim:


I’m pretty sure that the Zurich-based Googlers–who call themselves Zooglers–must laugh have laughed if they ever saw the mega-lame Twitter HQ.

View the full set at Arch Daily.CK