The design of offices has come long way since they first appeared in the US in the late 19th century. Then, you would have found rows of identical desks with workers (usually women) furiously plugging away at typewriters while bosses looked on from private offices. For many of us office work is still no picnic, but for those lucky enough to work at the new London offices of search engine provider Google, work feels more like a walk in the park than desk-bound drudgery.
A park scene, complete with trees, picnic tables and deckchairs arranged on a lawn of green carpet, is just one of the quirky details in this interior by London-based design practice Pitch Studios and workplace consultant Peldon Rose. Another is a genuine Routmaster bus, which has been converted into a rather unusual meeting room.
Google likes the design of its offices to reflect their location, and this one, on London's Buckingham Palace Road, is no exception. Much of the interior references the 'swinging Sixties', when London was at the centre of a cultural revolution. In the reception, a rug emblazoned with the union flag, retro wallpaper and brown leather chesterfield-style chairs reference the original era of cool Britannia, while vintage television sets create unusual wall displays.
Also in the reception, a bathtub that once belonged to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy author Douglas Adams has been topped with glass so that it can be used as a table.
Richard Wilkinson, Creative Director at Pitch Studios said of the project: 'It was a fantastic experience working with Google. Their approach to the project was very unique and encouraged abstract and creative thinking throughout the design development process. I would like to thank Jane Preston and the Google project team for providing the inspiration behind our original concept scheme which was constructed to a high standard by Peldon Rose.'