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Functional and fanciful fabric sculptures embrace Google building

Projects | December 1, 2023 | By:

When Google’s Bay View campus opened in Mountain View, Calif., last year, employees entering the largest building were greeted by fabric sculptures Eddy and Shroud, designed by Jenny Sabin Studio. They stand tall in the open courtyard area, where there are collaboration spaces and cafes. The second floor contains employees’ individual workspaces.

Eddy is a 42-foot-tall stainless steel diagrid structure that wraps around and integrates with one of the columns supporting the building’s canopy system. The artwork’s initial design included more than 5,000 repurposed and recycled yarn spools as its structure, “with a soft net of knitted cells fabricated from recycled yarn from around the world, inspiring both local and global connections,” the studio’s website says about the project. 

The design was revised to be less flammable by using a steel diagrid and 3,000 cones suspended in fabric, rather than a densely packed configuration of spools. The colorful, perforated yarn cones came from Beschi di Beschi Oscar & C. SNC in Italy. Designers 3D-printed custom parts to attach each cone securely to the double-sided fabric components to keep everything in tension without puckering. Eddy’s lights change color, rhythm and speed based on local wind velocity.

The double-membrane tensioned fabric structure Shroud serves as a functional covering over the security gate and lower part of the staircase leading to the private work areas on the upper floor. Its structure is five hoop-like elements and bracing made of steel pipe. Openings at 30% porosity allow for sight lines between the two floors. 

Project Name: Eddy and Shroud

Location: Google Bay View campus, Mountain View, Calif.

Principal and Lead Architectural Designer: Jenny E. Sabin, Jenny Sabin Studio

Project Manager: Dillon Pranger

Design and Production: John Hilla, Claire Moriarty, Michael Paraszczak, Hancheng Zhang

Consultants: Engineering design: Clayton Binkley, ODD Lot 

Fabricators and Installers: One Hat One Hand, Rainier Industries

Fabric: Sioen B71

Images: Jenny Sabin Studio/One Hat One Hand

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