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Google Pittsburgh moves into industrial-chic space at Bakery Square, hiring a lot

From the pool table to vegan bar to netting draped across the ceiling like a giant hammock, Google's new office might be the coolest place to work in Pittsburgh. If only we all were computer scientists.

Long known for work spaces that inspire mental gymnastics, Google Pittsburgh has raised the bar with a 45,000 square-foot office in the old Nabisco factory on Penn Avenue.  More than 150 employees (those lucky ducks) are bouncing around the bright, industrial-sized space, with open work stations and a candy bar and cafeteria serving a healthy buffet. You can even get a free breakfast, take a yoga class or get a massage for a small fee.

There's hiring too, lots of it, specifically for software engineers, statisticians, research scientists and Internet technicians. The company also recently added a two-person sales staff.

"We expect people to think big so space is very important," said  Andrew Moore, director, during an invitation-only open house last week. "Pittsburgh is a world center of computer science. It's one of the places in the world you go if you are really interested in advanced systems."

And if you are going to do extreme mental labor, you might need a place to recline, added Moore, who prefers doing math lying down.

The region's universities, particularly Carnegie Mellon's stature in the world of computer science, played into Google's decision to establish a major presence in Pittsburgh. Pet projects include work on Google Sky, an app for Google Earth, and Recaptcha, the Carnegie Mellon startup that was acquired by Google in 2009.

Many of the employees at Google Pittsburgh are boomerangers, Moore noted. "Please tell your kids if they left Pittsburgh, to come back," said Moore. "Call them up." 

The $131 million Bakery Square redevelopment project, by Walnut Capital with design by Strada Architects, also includes tenants Anthropologie, Coffee Tree, Springhill Suites and Urban Active.

Check out the Google slideshow in Pop City!

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Andrew Moore, Google Pittsburgh

Inside Google image copyright Brian Cohen

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