Google barge called ‘curious and visually stunning’

Posted by Brandon Bailey on November 9, 2013 

Google’s mystery barge is still under wraps, but new documents obtained Friday show that its builders are hoping to create “a curious and visually stunning” structure that will serve as both a floating studio and temporary exhibition space at waterfront sites around San Francisco Bay.

The barge will have a dozen massive sails, “reminiscent of fish fins, which will remind visitors that they are on a seaworthy vessel,” according to a proposal submitted to the San Francisco Port Authority by the shell company that owns the barge.

The four-story structure, built from recycled shipping containers, will have more than 13,000 square feet of exhibition space, a large open atrium and catwalks that “will afford views down through the atrium, while a roof-deck will offer new sightlines of the spectacular San Francisco skyline and waterfront,” the proposal enthused.

Google finally broke its silence about the barge last week, in a brief statement which said only that the giant Internet company hopes to use the massive floating structure “as an interactive space where people can learn about new technology.” The company did not specifically dispute earlier speculation that it might be planning to use the vessels as a floating showroom for its wearable computing device, Glass, and other cutting-edge products from its secretive Google X division.

The proposal says the backers hope to attract hundreds of visitors a day when the vessel is moored at different sites around the bay, including Fort Mason Center, Angel Island, Richmond and Redwood City.

In their proposal, the project backers say the barge would stay in each location for a few weeks and eventually move on to San Diego.

They describe it as “an unprecedented artistic structure that will attract new and repeat visitors to the San Francisco waterfront, raising awareness of the Bay’s compelling history, offerings and public goods.”

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