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Biggest hub outside US: Google opens third location in Zurich | 07/12/22

• At the end of June, Google opened a third Zurich location at Euroballi

• This will make Zurich the largest Google development center outside the US

• Sustainability was prioritized while selecting the building

Inauguration of the new Google campus on June 27

Google has been in Zurich in the Hürlimann area since 2007, and in the former Sihlpost area since 2017 and now in Europalee since the end of June. The new premises next to the train station opened on June 27 and is the largest Google location in Zurich: a total of 2,500 employees are expected to work here. But the campus alone isn’t extraordinarily large—the three locations in the city and their roughly 5,000 employees together make up the largest Google development center outside the United States.

The location in Europe is particularly stable

Handelszeitung quotes Google Switzerland country director Peter Warking as saying: “We are very excited about this location. Switzerland and Google have always focused on innovation.” In Zurich, people benefit greatly from the opportunity to engage in joint ventures with local universities, NGOs and companies. The new Google building, totaling 15,000 square meters, is also innovative: according to a press release, real estate developer Swiss Prime Site bought it in 2018 from Credit Suisse Asset Management’s real estate fund. Google applied to become the new sole tenant of the campus after the contract with the former tenant expired in 2021.

Special feature of the property: It is designed according to the principle of “Circular Economy”. Lucas Stolwijk, Regional Workplace Services Manager, EMEA, Google Switzerland, commented on the new location in a Swiss Prime Site press release: “The property’s central location and proximity to our other locations in the city of Zurich were compelling for us and our employees. The Swiss Prime Site Immobilien building transition to state-of-the-art technology and sustainability The concept of fundamentally changing to a very high standard is also promising for us. We look forward to continuing to invest in Zurich, the location and our collaboration with local partners in the local innovation ecosystem.”

Campus Europalee is intended to draw employees back to the office

By moving to sustainable building, Google is taking another step towards its planned zero-emissions: from 2030, the technology team no longer wants to be climate-neutral, but not to consume any CO2. Recommending stability for employees should also contribute to this – for example the proximity of a train station to the new premises.

But according to the Handelszeitung, sustainability isn’t the only thing on the agenda for the new Zurich Google employees (“Zoogler”): the new space will have coffee corners, pinball machines, quiet zones, a gym, free food and a permanent, more. Individual workspace for each employee. This is how employees should be drawn into the office. Google Media spokesman Samuel Leiser told Handelszeitung that they were “relatively flexible” but usually worked three days at the office and two at home. An office is an ideal place to work as communication with colleagues from teams and other departments works well here.

Google chief engineer Urs Hölzle explained to the Tagesanzeiger that the development center in Zurich could continue to grow if the new Europaallee campus proves its worth. However, this is a future dream for now.

Olga Rogler / Editor finanzen.ch