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The 180K SF Tech Office Move That The Whole Of London Property Missed

DeepMind's new London HQ

A major office relocation by a rapidly growing tech firm was announced late in the first week of March, and almost the entire London property world ignored it.

It was not a new deal per se. But it does hit home the ridiculously fast pace of growth of the tech giants in London, and how their space needs are likely to continue to grow.

Google is allocating the entirety of the 180K SF S2 Handyside building it leases at King’s Cross Central to DeepMind, its artificial intelligence division. DeepMind will take occupancy of the 11-storey building in 2020.

DeepMind currently occupies just two floors of a nearby building, but the pace of its growth necessitated the move.

Google bought DeepMind in 2014 for £380M, and keeping the company’s HQ in London was a key part of the deal, according to Wired. The new building will have a double-helix staircase, library, lecture theatre and roof garden, and because DeepMind brings together people from different disciplines, the workspace design will try to encourage collaboration.

“We’ve tried to create an environment that will enable cutting-edge research and inspire collaborative working,” DeepMind Chief Executive and co-founder Demis Hassabi said in a statement. “I want this building to help foster energy, contemplation and collaboration — ingredients required for pioneering scientific research.”

DeepMind hit the headlines in 2017 when a program it created, AlphaGo, beat a top-ranked human player at the ancient Chinese board game Go. It had previously been thought the complexity and creativity of the game meant humans would always beat computers.

Google is building a new UK HQ elsewhere in King’s Cross Central, at a cost of up to £1B. The building will total 1M SF, of which Google will occupy at least 650K SF.