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Google to launch facility for new ventures

Monday, 13 February 2012 | By Oliver Milman

Google is to launch a $120 million overhaul of its Googleplex headquarters with the addition of an “experience centre” that will be used to create new projects and work with start-ups in secret.

 

The new facility, set to be 11,148 square metres in size, is anticipated to be home to Google’s testing labs and Solve for X conferences. It will also be home to the new @Home automation venture, which will allow users to control home appliances via Android.

 

According to The Mercury News, an architect involved in the project said: “The Experience Center would not typically be open to the public — consisting of invited groups, and guests whose interests will be as vast as Google’s range of products, and often confidential…”

 

“Therefore, the Experience Center must also operate somewhat like a museum, exhibit, or mercantile space allowing flexibility in the exhibits so that as Google’s products and needs change, the space can adapt.

 

The revamp of Google’s Californian base comes as its first ever hired employee leaves to join a start-up.

 

Craig Silverstein, who is credited in being instrumental in building Google’s search engine, is defecting to Khan Academy, a non-profit education venture that teaches various subjects to children in deprived areas via online video.

 

Google said in a statement: "He was instrumental in the development of search and made numerous contributions to Google over the years.”

 

“We wish him all the best at the Khan Academy and know that he will do great things to help them promote education around the world."