The Daily Telegraph had a photo series on the “quirky” new Google Headquarters in London. If “quirky” stands for “our decorator just cleared out all the tacky floral fabric and fringed shades from his store room” then quirky it is.
Though, the outdoor rooftop garden is less quirky. It’s more typical-modern-urban-industrial.
The company is even trying to encourage their employees to cultivate their green thumbs, just what a non-eee-vil company should do. But consider this caption the Telegraph ran for their rooftop allotment gardens:
“Employees are encouraged to have green fingers, with allotments situated on the ninth floor. Those interested can put their name on a waiting list to be assigned certified IPE timber tubs in which to sow their seeds. However, if someone does not tend their garden well, they lose the privilege and the next person on the list gets their chance.”
There’s something about a Google rooftop allotment Stasi that’s deeply unsettling. This is my libertarian-streak talking, but if a Google employee wants to use his allotment to grow nothing but purslane and bindweed, and even if that makes his neighbors really, really angry, he should be allowed to do it. Now, the litigious side of me says that these are Google’s rules and you agree to them as a condition of participation, so you shouldn’t complain when they weed you out for your purslane-bindweed scheme.
Still, as quirky-cool as the rest of the office is with its tongue-in-cheek “Padded Cell meeting room,” there is something, dare I say it—eee-vil—in keeping their gardening employees’ imaginations clipped.