Client: Alphabet / Google

Location: Mountain View, CA, United States

Completion date: 2023

Project Team


Marc Fornes






The Orb – a nimble architecture of experience and light. Against the grand staging of the new Charleston East building—an architecture of lightness in its own right—this pavilion performs as a complementary structure: one developed from the computational protocols and spirit of play that guide the work that happens on the premises. This system of many parts in ultra-thin aluminum will perform as an icon and a point of engagement for both Google employees and the Mountain View public. At this prominent intersection where Google campus meets public space, our expressive pavilion establishes an inspiring outdoor room that will draw curiosity and host interactions of many possible kinds— day and night.


Underneath the airy and acrobatic minimal surface of The Orb, we carve out a moment of shade where you can slow down even as you remain connected. Inside, the riveted surface and non-linear environment beckons attention and distracts you from your devices. We call it “visual wandering” -- the journey your eye takes to understand an unfamiliar space. It’s our meditative challenge to the viewer, to figure out how it comes together, to see the continuities across parts, and to discover new details while finding unique perspectives each time you return. The Orb compels productive distraction, an ease of mind and spirit that gives rise to other informal occupations: a quick meeting for a sunny afternoon, a rendezvous for a walk, a weekly playdate, the origin point of a tour, an outdoor concert, a performance after sunset, or an evening detour.