21 Jan 2020 • Work
Google humanizes its smart offerings with a brand space in Paris
The opportunities to interact with the Google brand go far beyond the search bar. In the 21 years since its founding, the Californian tech giant’s impact on the world has been nothing short of revolutionary, and, in the 2010s, the Google team began diversifying its already-universal reach with smart products. The range includes the Pixel phone – first released in 2013 – the Google Home smart speaker (2016) and most recently, the comprehensive Google Nest Hub (2019).
With these products has come the need for an experiential, physical brand world. Elodie Ricord Studio and Uzik Agency have closely collaborated to fulfil this, designing a space for Google France in Paris’ Saint-Lazare area that’s an office also open to select customers. The 300-sq-m plan is divided by two areas – L’Atelier offers space for conferences, private events and training for VIP clients, a small lounge and coffee break spot, while The Workshop is totally dedicated to relaxation. Here, there is a cafeteria and a larger-lounge-cum-library.
‘Google sought a friendly, warm cultural place inspired by nature,’ explains Ricord. ‘The library layout is intended to open up to the world with a multitude of small, original objects that imbue a fun spirit and atmosphere like that at home.’ She explains that opting for residential-esque environment was an aim to replicate the ‘freedom of expression, creativity and innovation’ that so often takes place in the privacy of intimate spaces.
What’s notable about this larger, well-being-focused lounge is that the space allocated to it is nearly half of the entire project – 120 sq-m. The interior is splashed in green, both natural and artificial, and the primary colours and raw materials of the surfacing, furniture and décor humanize the design (while also reflecting the visual language of Google’s logo). The Workshop is a flexible, adaptive 180 sq-m area ‘where everyone participates in one way or another in the transformation of the place’.