Google offices tend to be materializations of a search within the dictionary of interior design: Rooms of different period styles are juxtaposed, resulting in a montage of atmospheres that is far removed from the homogeneity of modern office interiors. Thus, space age interiors are joined to folklore rooms or areas that resemble stage sets of a soon to be filmed movie. We meander in those offices thrilled as Keanu Reeves was, when in the film Matrix Reloaded, he opened consecutive doors of a corridor leading to conflicting worlds.
The Google offices in Athens, recently designed by Fluid architects (Elena Kamboukou, Julie Spartinou-Patroni, Basil Kalaitzis), disclose a similar diversity of rooms: Within a rather introverted environment, spaces offer varying degrees of privacy, ranging from the intimate (framed images on the walls evoke a rather domestic feeling), to the public (featuring yellow traditional kiosks still to be found in numerous spots throughout the Greek city, here serving as telephone booths).
Merging the house and the street, this Athenian interior retains a familiar iconography, using wooden or plastic crates (found in open air markets), a multitude of colors (pertaining to a more casual mood), traditional decorative ceramic tiles, blackboards and segments of Greek movie billboards. The formality of a typical office interior is further questioned here with pendant lights of various heights, strong visual patterns on the floor and filters (such as the curved, flexible molo screens) that offer privacy within open plan areas.
Fittingly for the search engine specialists of Google, this becomes a meeting point where the urban and the domestic are connected virtually as well as materially.