Inside Google's London Campus, an Incubator for Tech Startups

A look at Google's new 7-floor co-working fortress in London.

How would you like to enter a co-working arrangement with Google?

Co-working has long been the hip way for young startup companies to get work done by combining the sociability and cost-sharing of formal offices with the relaxed atmosphere that comes from working from home. If you remember how Mark Zuckerberg's Palo Alto bungalow was portrayed in "The Social Network," then you have an idea of how co-working environments can be both productive and fun.

Google is now getting into the action on its own with its new seven-story co-working space known as the Campus in the heart of London's Tech City. In this slideshow we'll take you through some of the Campus' major features, such as an in-house café and work areas that come complete with pool tables.

(Pictures taken from the Official Google Blog)

The location: 4-5 Bonhill St., London

While the exterior of Google's London Campus may not look especially glamorous, it is located in East London's Tech City area that's home to all sorts of U.K. office branches for big-time tech companies such as Facebook, Intel, Cisco and, yes, Google. And since this is Google, you can imagine that the inside of the building will look top-notch even if the outside looks a wee bit shabby. The site itself is just over 25,000 total square feet, so you can imagine it's much larger than your standard co-working flat.

The reception desk

The reception desk, located on the ground (or "0") floor, is the first thing most people will encounter when entering the Campus. As you can see, even the reception area has lots of comfy nooks where people can work.

A work area, complete with pool table

No, this isn't your typical formal office environment. Since co-working habitats try to keep things on the casual side, they're often stocked with amenities that give workers an outlet for leisure when they need a break from coding. The pool table, seen in the background here, is just one such amenity. 

The café menu

The Campus basement contains a café where non-Campus members can get there work done while munching on a snack. As you can see, the café menu is most certainly tailored to British tastes, as bangers, porridge and other U.K. staples dominate the menu. Thankfully for those who don't relish traditional English food, there are also some Indian dishes including tandori chicken and beef maussaman curry.

A retro work station

This little cubby hole is definitively old-school with its typewriter, film projector and microfiche reader. It's doubtful that Google's workers use any of these old-timey tools to develop cutting-edge code, but you never know ...

A more modern work space

This is definitely a more modern-looking work area that provides all sorts of space for people to collaborate, socialize and share ideas. The two gents in the background look pretty laid back even as they're doubtless working on some ground-shaking innovation.

A Techhub

The Campus' Techhubs, which take up two whole floors of the building, are the main areas where Campus members work. The Techhubs are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the Campus' permanent members.

An event room

The Campus has two major event rooms, one on the ground floor that has a capacity of 110 people and one on the third floor that has a capacity of 70 people. The picture from this particular event room was taken during the Campus' official launch party.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.