After lockdown was introduced in late March, many of the UK’s construction firms have paused their operations. This has delayed developments for numerous different tech giants’ new offices in London, waiting for updates on lockdown measures before building can resume.
Silicon Valley has pushed to make an impact in London throughout the past decade, the likes of Amazon, Facebook and Twitter now having an established, multi-story presence within the capital. However, major projects that are in the process of being developed, including Apple and Alphabet’s UK headquarters, have now faced indefinite delays as the COVID-19 crisis continues.
As coronavirus cases rise to over 170,000 in the UK, the country continues to undergo strict lockdown measures, with non-essential businesses shut and the public urged to save lives by staying in their homes.
Whilst the country tries to slow the spread of infection, construction projects everywhere have come to a halt, the shiny new HQs for some of Silicon Valley’s finest being no expectation to this.
What Building Projects Have Been Delayed Due to COVID-19?
Building work on Google’s King’s Cross campus has been put on hold due to coronavirus, developments remaining on pause as we surpass a month into the new lockdown measures.
This campus has received a lot of attention not only due to the Google name, but also the interesting “groundscraper” design, which includes a swimming pool, a large sports hall, and a running trail on the rooftop.
Whilst coronavirus has had a considerable impact on the development of this project, the opening of the new London headquarters is already running years behind schedule, initially planned to be open by 2016. Google has since revised plans, and is said to be aiming for a finishing date around 2023 – 2024.
Apple’s new Battersea site has also stopped construction at the moment, which was to move 1,400 employees to a 6-floor office in a former power station. The only people currently working on this building site are security and other members of staff carrying out essential maintenance.
Additionally, design work will continue from staff working remotely if and where possible, helping to prep the project for an optimal start once construction can again resume.
Alphabet’s DeepMind AI lab has also faced delays due to the UK lockdown. It’s new building, said to include a roof garden, library and a lecture theatre, was set to open this year, however, due to the current pandemic crisis, it’s unclear when work on the 11-storey building will start back up.