The Grove: Google Experience Center

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The Grove Experience Center has recently been awarded a 2020 World Class Center Award from ABPM, as well as an IES Award of Merit for Interior Lighting Design. Congratulations to our teams and partners who brought this incredible project to life!


The Grove Lobby, Google Experience Center

Google had developed and built a variety of brand and corporate briefing centers around the world, aimed at different tiers of customers and types of engagement, from their BrandLabs for more hands-on workshops to Google Partner Plexes for high-level executive briefings. When they identified a gap for their biggest and broadest tier of customers, they came to Thinkwell to design a first-of-its-kind corporate briefing center that could host a wide range of customer and partner focused events.

A new Google campus in Redwood City, California, became home to The Grove, Google Experience Studio’s latest and largest space. For the design, Thinkwell and the Google Experience Studio team took inspiration from the redwood forests of Northern California, a stunning locale unique to the region. The goal was to create an innovative, accessible, and authentic space that built in flexibility while showcasing Google’s position at the cutting edge of technology. Guests to The Grove shouldn’t just walk away excited, but transformed.

The Grove Digital Campfire, Google Experience Center

Every element of the guest experience at The Grove is intended to be distinctive and memorable, immersing guests in an incredible fusion of nature and technology for an unforgettable guest journey. Thinkwell began by looking to the flora and fauna of the redwood forests. From the immense Redwood Chandelier in the lobby—a massive, custom sculptural and lighting installation built from 3D scans of actual redwoods—to the trillium-bedecked ceiling of the studio space, each room is shaped by playful and beautiful designs drawn from real native plants and animals. The soundscape, lighting, and even scent are carefully crafted to build an inspiring and enveloping experience.

And of course, no Google space would be complete without exciting, technology-driven wows—but Thinkwell’s goal was to ensure the technology was always in service of the story, fully integrating it with the center’s environment to provide interactive and playful moments. Guests might encounter thematic tales of growth and scale when they sit around the Digital Campfire, surrounded by the reactive lighting installation of towering trees and a canopy overhead, or delight in discovering the reactions of the Redwood Trail, an interactive tunnel that uses machine learning algorithms to improvise and play sound and music live based on guest movement and the circadian rhythms of the redwood forest.

From meeting rooms with seamlessly integrated Google technology to subtle design touches inspired by native plants and trees, Thinkwell was excited to explore every detail at The Grove to shape a one-of-a-kind and intensively guest-centric experience.