When complete, Google’s new London headquarters will measure longer than the Shard — the tallest skyscraper in the United Kingdom — is tall. The Shard measures 1,016 feet tall. Google’s London headquarters is similar in size, but flipped on its side at 1,100 feet long.
The building’s architects — Bjarke Ingels Group and Heatherwick Studios — call it a “landscraper,” meaning it gains most of its size by stretching horizontally rather than vertically.
“Landscrapers will create entirely new city footprints that we just haven’t seen yet in the US, and could make life easier and more realistic,” said Webb, who identifies socioeconomic, geopolitical, and business trends based on quantitative data.
Here’s what we can expect from the landscrapers of the future.
Four major trends point toward landscrapers, Webb said.
The first is a growing migration from America’s densest centers, like New York City and San Francisco, to cities with more undeveloped land, like Austin, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona. Webb predicts that landscrapers will thrive in metros with more sprawl, since there will be more room to build them.
Source: The United States Census
“We will be freed to locate new economic centers and expand outward, not upward,” she said. “There’s no reason that other cities — in what most people would consider flyover states — now, in 2017, can’t decide that, by 2030, we are going to become America’s hub for X, which could be bio-tech, agriculture, genome editing, etc.”
In addition, investors and tech companies are pouring a tremendous amount of money into autonomous drone technology, especially for transporting goods. Amazon, for example, unveiled its plans to deliver packages by drone earlier this year.
Source: Business Insider
In the coming years, Webb expects delivery drones to crowd urban skies. To cope, local governments will likely need to regulate their airways, which could include limiting building heights.
“We’re going to have more things flying overhead,” she said. “The challenge is that the overhead airspace is not regulated, but it will wind up becoming regulated. We’ll have invisible highways in the sky.”
Lastly, climate change-driven weather events like hurricanes are becoming more frequent and aggressive. In the future, it will become increasingly risky to build high-rises, which can sway several feet in extreme wind, Webb said.
Source: Business Insider
Set to start construction in 2018, Google’s 11-story landscraper will span 1 million square feet and house 700 employees when complete.