New York, NY



Located in the public space surrounding Google’s new headquarters in Mountain View, Halo takes its formal inspiration from the pavilions typically found in Romantic English Gardens. Situated on a subtle hill in the landscape surrounding the new building, Halo is visible from the surrounding traffic thoroughfares. From this vantage point Halo is visible just above the tree line and acts as a pavilion in the round that has no front or back. As visitors approach Halo, the cylindrical form is pierced at the base by arches of varying sizes. These archways produce glimpses into the interior of Halo and unexpected cantilevers as they intersect the simple exterior form. While the exterior is clad with vertical aluminum tubes, the interior is formed by a crystalline structure clad in dichroic acrylic. The stark difference between the simple exterior and faceted interior gives the impression that visitors have entered a geode.

During the day sunlight entering from the open top of the cylinder reflects off the iridescent facets of the interior onto visitors and the surrounding ground, painting them with shifting color and light. The dichroic facets of the interior filters light into various spectrums determined by the angle of view. When sunlight hits the front face of the panels this spectrum is in the range of orange, green, and yellow hues. At night LEDs in the upper portions of the aluminum tubes shine through perforations on the inner surface of the tubes creating an animated constellation of light that is filtered through the inner crystalline structure. At night the dichroic facets are lit from behind shifting the tonal range of light that is filtered to green, blue, and purple hues. From a distance the LEDs reflect off the structure revealing a more rational logic and the X bracing of the construction. The reflected light of the generative atmospheric animations gives the sense that light is blowing through Halo like wind and the structure comes in and out of focus as if it is dematerializing behind the exterior aluminum tubes.

The atmospheric shifts between day and night on the interior is meant to be an otherworldly place that visitors and google employees can escape to and that might foster new ideas, a place to recalibrate, or simply enjoy the magic of the sunlight as it filters through the structure.

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Status: Built
Location: Mountain View, CA, US
Firm Role: Designer
Additional Credits: Engineer: Arup
Photos: Alan Tansey