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Google Reveals Mystery Building

Friday, November 8, 2013

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One might not consider four-story structures growing from shipping containers smack dab in the middle of San Francisco Bay especially mysterious.

But, apparently, when the unexplained barge-top project (and another one like it in Portland, ME) is associated with tech company Google, they are.

For weeks, Google kept mum about the hidden-in-plain-site projects, creating a stir about their purpose. (You can see images of the barge buildings here.)

Speculation about the buildings and their purpose has ranged from floating data centers (which Google owns a patent on) to luxury showrooms and everything in between.

Treasure Island
Treasure Island Development Authority /

The search for what Google is up to on a barge in San Francisco's Treasure Island is over.  Or maybe not.

“What is Google building in San Francisco Bay?" queries on (of course) Google produced about 255,000,000 results—but, for days, no answers.

'Interactive Space'

Finally, on Wednesday (Nov. 6), after two weeks of silence (and free global press), Google officials spoke out about the mystery barges, offering this terse explanation in an e-mailed statement:

“Google Barge ... A floating data center? A wild party boat? A barge housing the last remaining dinosaur? Sadly, none of the above,” according to Google's press team.

“Although it’s still early days and things may change, we’re exploring using the barge as an interactive space where people can learn about new technology.”

The statement is now kicking up its own media storm, due to the crafty lack of elaboration.

“The statement is the equivalent of someone plugging in a nightlight across the room,” reports Gizmodo, a design and technology blog.

“It gives you something to stare at, but you’re still clueless about what else is in the room.”


Tagged categories: Building design; Building operations; Color + Design; Shipyards

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