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LA Times critic disparages Apple Campus 2 as 'retrograde cocoon' - Page 2

post #41 of 306
I decided to register because of this discussion.

I remembered reading an article that mentioned something interesting about Jobs and his mentality when it came to architectural design and how he wanted people to interact within the given space...

Quote:
The building in Emeryville is, in Lasseter's words, "Steve Jobs's movie." Jobs not only designed it; he designed it so that people inside it would behave a certain way. "Steve really believes in the accidental meeting," Lasseter says, and to that end he designed the building around a cathedral-like atrium, which is also where he located all the bathrooms and the subsidized company commissary. "Steve really believes that it's important to have great food," Lasseter says.

So I'm assuming in some part, that idea was incorporated into this building.
post #42 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunks View Post

While Im far from an expert on the subject Ive read a little about designing/structuring spaces to enhance particular ways humans interact with the environment.

The comment that this campus is not well integrated within the rest of the city is a valid point, but in all fairness which company really does that with their HQ now that secrecy is paramount to maintaining a competitive advantage?

The design is not bad its just emphasising internal rather than external collaboration. The low profile encourages people to walk between floors and office spaces rather than take elevators. And the circular shape encourages outdoor excursions [and exercise] by making them the shortest route between any two points.

The all glass exterior makes this less imposing. Much like Apple products, it doesnt pretend to fit into the existing landscape, but rather invite you into a new one.

Great points!

I would argue (as others have) that the lack of integration into the urban sprawl/concrete community is a positive thing, providing an example for the rest of the city to emulate/adapt to.
post #43 of 306
Opinions are like belly buttons, everyone has one.

Apple brings out all of these critics due to their high public profile, it's kind of like click bait for print media.
post #44 of 306
To me, the building also looks very inefficient. Ok, with 4 levels, you don't need an elevator, but to go from north to south you seed a Segway. A cube or a skyscraper would have been more efficient to get from point a to point b. I also don't understand why apple is already planing campus 3. Look at all the completely unused space around the circle building. Why not just adding something to this structure? Why not just building 6 instead of 4 floors and problem is solved?
post #45 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by photoshop59 View Post

I would not want to work in a circular environment like that. There is a reason that most of our architecture is right angled, and logical. People will feel out of sorts, disoriented, and uncomfortable in a space like this.

You evidently haven't been paying attention. People have been living and working onboard the USS Enterprise for years quite happily. The scale of the thing provides the illusion of nice, cosily-familiar, right-angled corners to nearly all the roomsI just wouldn't want to be the drywall guy!
post #46 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post

"removing the feeling of a collective metropolitan realm"

Once I read that, I knew this guy was a kook. He says that as if it is a bad thing. As if everyone and their dog should live in a crowded dirty inner city. The very fact that this building does "[remove] the feeling of a collective metropolitan realm" is a HUGE plus beyond beliefe.

One of the more interesting things about rhetoric and the peculiar "wrapper" in which it is ensconced, is that there is often a plurality of perspectives at work in a discussion like this, all having validity within their own framework and all typically either "dissed or dismissed" by adherents within each perspective.

Here there seems to be no less than three different viewpoints (please see below), each with their own internalized dialogue for validation – and perhaps many more, once one removes themselves from the pedestrian nature of this particular query.

1. Your viewpoint - the "Tomato, Tomahto – Potato, Potahto view" (which essentially states that the presenter's entire assumption set is invalid and hence imminently discardable; - btw, I am inclined to agree (if not embrace) the overall logic you present.

2. The presenter's viewpoint - the "It is part of my mundane job that I create a tempest in a teapot by often commenting in a derisive manner about things I ultimately don't really understand" view, underscored by the fact that they buy ink by the barrel.

3. The architectural critics' viewpoint - the "Great Conversation" by internal experts that any discipline develops in its ongoing effort to define and refine itself. Often misunderstood by outsiders, it is often a memorial to both the need to distinguish and the need to publish, and is typically misunderstood by those not familiar with the internal conventions of the Conversation.

There is, of course, other viewpoints that should be mentioned - perhaps Steve Jobs' most notably. Although I have never met him, much less know him - I can pretend to try to understand him given the vast storehouse of anecdotal information available. His view seems to be instinctual - the ability to know - at an atavistic level - what needs to be done (often while flying in the face of the so-called collective wisdom of one's time).

Given Mr. Jobs' track record, it would seem as though Christopher Hawthorne might check his Michael Dell hole card - and conclude that, despite all the tea leaves, bone tosses, and murmurrings from lesser sons of a disgruntled proletariat, on further reflection, he might posit that a round spaceship disconnecting one from the secular rhythms of civil mendacity that must ripple through any metropolitan area is an excellent idea and the overall order of the day.
post #47 of 306
I would worry if there weren't differing opinions on design.

Of course, I've never been to fond of Architects. They barely can handle basic calculus, let alone a statics course and often are failed fine arts majors who chose architecture as the intersection of various fields they didn't thrive in.
post #48 of 306
The critic is a pompass a$$. The building is absolutely gorgeous. One question, though... Where is the parking? The renderings show a park surrounding the building. Is parking underground? Or, is the rendering not accurate in this regard?
post #49 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by sideshowlol View Post

You evidently haven't been paying attention. People have been living and working onboard the USS Enterprise for years quite happily. The scale of the thing provides the illusion of nice, cosily-familiar, right-angled corners to nearly all the roomsI just wouldn't want to be the drywall guy!

If there was one foot of drywall in this building I'd be shocked and disappointed.
post #50 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by meh 2 View Post

The architectural critics' viewpoint - the "Great Conversation" by internal experts that any discipline develops in its ongoing effort to define and refine itself. Often misunderstood by outsiders, it is often a memorial to both the need to distinguish and the need to publish, and is typically misunderstood by those not familiar with the internal conventions of the Conversation.

This is a terrific summary of the primary problem with Architectural Theory: in order to really engage in and make meaningful contributions to Architectural discourse, you pretty much need at least a few semesters of Art History and Architectural Theory under your belt, unless you've read enough on your own that you can decrypt essays like this.
post #51 of 306
This thing looks beautiful and that is all I care about. And to all critics if you have something better show us or shut up.
English is not my native language so feel free to correct me.
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post #52 of 306
Well... I have to agree that tone of article was poor, also written for fellow archs. No concrete(pun intended) suggestions.

In terms of modern 'office' buildings, in the US cash is king, so pretty boring stuff compared to our earlier work. Now look at china and some unique things are being built.

IMO, the only architect that ever 'moved me' was Frank Loyd Wright. He designed some great office buildings. Always over budget, but great stuff. Wow, can you imagine FLW and Steve Jobs working on a project?

As for Apples design.... IMO it seems pretty basic, as Steve undoubtable likes; which is all that really counts right?(Ayn Rand would be proud). From the ground, it will look like any other building but with a curve to it.

Some call it a spaceship... Well if it didn't have a hole in it maybe. IMO looks like a 'glazed' donut.
Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster by your side, kid.
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post #53 of 306
ESRF:

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=esrf&l...dius=0.27&z=17

APS:

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Advanc...src=6&t=h&z=16

Diamond:

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=diamon...15000&t=h&z=16

Yeah we have a many more of those in science facilities....

The concept of it being "green" without adequate public transport access is frankly laughable and unthinkable in the EU...
post #54 of 306
It looks cool.
post #55 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Those folks, like this clown whining about the spaceship just end up disappearing into obscurity.

They don't actually. The more spectacularly the thing they canned excels, the more they are remembered as the one who canned it.
post #56 of 306
Another species, another enemy architected.
post #57 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by bodypainter View Post


To me, the building also looks very inefficient. Ok, with 4 levels, you don't need an elevator, but to go from north to south you seed a Segway. A cube or a skyscraper would have been more efficient to get from point a to point b. I also don't understand why apple is already planing campus 3. Look at all the completely unused space around the circle building. Why not just adding something to this structure? Why not just building 6 instead of 4 floors and problem is solved?

It may be a long walk around the diameter of the new building.... but Apple is probably smart enough to place cooperating departments close enough to each other to avoid long walks.

It's gotta be more efficient than walking between buildings.

Look at the old campus... how often do people from building IL3 meet with people all the way over in building B8 anyway? That's a car ride!

post #58 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Oh, and square, angular buildings are done that way because they are easy (i.e. "cheaper") to build.

No
post #59 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Wilkie View Post

It's considered to be a shame when company keeps all these talented, wealthy, and well-educated people cooped-up within the confines of a suburban setting, rather than mixed into a larger group that would greatly benefit from the presence of the type of people that work for a company like Apple.

Here's what you theorists (or theorist apologists) are missing/ignoring. Jobs and his architects didn't design this building for a theoretician's views about what might or might not be good for some mythical idyllic urban society. He designed this building for the needs of its users. There is nothing shameful about designing any product to suit its users.

This, in the face of competing constraints:

- The building is going to be in Cupertino. End of story. Not only because Jobs likes the city and it has been good to him, and Apple, but because that's where the main campus is right now, and there will still necessarily be much travel between buildings. So the closer the two campuses (3 eventually) are, the more efficient (and therefore more green) they are in aggregate. All else equal, of course.

- As others have mentioned, Cupertino is not a metropolitan city. Public transportation is not the main form of travel as it is in a place like NYC, and without a central business core, the argument that Apple could create one is ridiculous. Even with as many employees as Apple has, nothing they do with one or two buildings will change the attitude of the region's culture. We like trees and open space.

- Here's something I didn't see anyone else mention: whatever building design they use, it needs to take security into consideration. High security. Every time an employee enters or leaves a building they are dealing with security. Been there, done that. With the donut design, employees can use the entire area in the middle of the building without "checking out", encouraging them to get sunshine, greenery and fresh air without any hassle. It's large enough to allow many people to be out there without feeling crowded, but also, I believe, to help facilitate the "accidental meetings", as mentioned by since1986 above. It doesn't have to be perfectly circular to achieve this, of course, but it's efficient use of space.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Wilkie View Post

He didn't cite a specific example, but he clearly articulated that large workspaces should exist within metropolitan areas bearing greater civic weight.

But is Cupertino actually considered a metropolitan area? Because that's where the building is going to be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post

The Soleri's of the world have been dreaming of that for decades but it is far from the reality we live in. What Hawthorne calls a "collective metropolitan realm" tend to be a dirty, crime ridden inner cities. The idea that people actually want to live in densely populated space with minimal personal space because we want to interact all the time is absurd.

Thank you for the splash of reality. Some people actually do like this, but they tend to be young and single, not the majority of society.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Wilkie View Post

...the cities envisioned for the future will be vertical, yes. But they will also be rich with vegetation, vertical farms, and centered around major civic structures like museums, theaters, and municipal buildings. If Apple's not the company that will embrace that idea, and build a new campus that could serve as the foundation for such a city, then who?

As far as I understand it, Cupertino doesn't want that kind of growth. What are you suggesting Apple should do? Relocate to another city and lose 1/2 their employees? Try to change the culture of their city?

The best theory stays within the bounds of reality!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Wilkie View Post

Of course nobody wants to live 200,000 per square mile, but nor is it realistic to think the earth can continue to support all the sprawl required to support an ever-growing population that wants to be surrounded by nothing but trees. There's a happy medium.

Is there any reason to think that we must continue to be an "ever-growing population"? This is the flaw that overshadows the entire conversation. Much better than "vertical cities" (for most of us) would simply be a reduction in birth rate and immigration numbers. Now THAT'S a happy medium.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlayer View Post

If you grew up in or around Cupertino you'd know a few things right off the bat: the area is almost entirely car-driven, and there is no "downtown" to speak of. There's no subway, light rail or commuter train. To reach the local train station requires a 15-minute drive to Sunnyvale. There's an older mall which was once innovative but has faded badly with mismanagement. That mall has the only thing resembling a transit hub and that only serves buses. If a transit -oriented development were suitable (or even possible) then it might make sense. That anchor or magnet doesn't exist. The critic isn't proposing moving out of Cupertino, but he also isn't taking the historical context into account. At least this is in keeping with the history of the Valley, which has few architectural gems and where office buildings are knocked down everyday to make room for new ones. It's not a place for a grand, phallic tower. With a few exceptions, it's a place of understated humility, not Vegas.

All that. Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post

It may be a long walk around the diameter of the new building.... but ... It's gotta be more efficient than walking between buildings.

Look at the old campus... how often do people from building IL3 meet with people all the way over in building B8 anyway? That's a car ride!

And that. Exactly.

This building is genius, for its intended purpose.
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post #60 of 306
Speaking as an architect, campus planner and Apple lover, I completely agree with the his critique. There is nothing more hermetic and isolated than a circle, turning inward upon itself. Unfortunately, the design represents the worst of Apple's culture and values.

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post #61 of 306
This media hack is obviously--like 95% of them--a bleeding Lib. Libs LOVE anything 'urban' and they HATE anything 'suburban.' It's why every Lib's dream is 'high-speed rail' that connects urban centers.
post #62 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Wilkie View Post

A "crowded dirty inner city" is hardly the Architectural ideal. Most Architectural theorists envision cities that are far more organized and better-planned than any that exist today.

That said, I don't like this guy's tone, either. What he should have said was something about how Apple is such a visionary, wealthy, and influential company that it perhaps should have used this new building as an opportunity to set a new standard in Architecture and urban planning. It would be possible, for example, that this new campus could serve as the foundation of a "city of the future", if you will.

I like that point...in every generation there are trendsetters in multiple fields and in this day and age for the foreseeable future that trendsetter is Apple.

Maybe the 3rd campus will be even MORE groundbreaking.
post #63 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisNH View Post

This media hack is obviously--like 95% of them--a bleeding Lib. Libs LOVE anything 'urban' and they HATE anything 'suburban.' It's why every Lib's dream is 'high-speed rail' that connects urban centers.

first of all a high-speed rail is a great idea as if implemented correctly (which is the biggest issue) it could cut out on work commutes and highway clutter thus less polution which is a good thing whether you buy into Anthropomorphic global warming or not.

second of all it seems like you have a lot of issues with teh liberalz...for no real reason...

Fox talking points?
post #64 of 306
A horrible uninspired "design" that looks backwards about 80 years to bullishit utopian visions of Le Corbousier. I couldn't agree with with the LA Times critic.
post #65 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post

It may be a long walk around the diameter of the new building.... but Apple is probably smart enough to place cooperating departments close enough to each other to avoid long walks.

It's gotta be more efficient than walking between buildings.

Look at the old campus... how often do people from building IL3 meet with people all the way over in building B8 anyway? That's a car ride!


I personally like the circle. And that image sheds a lot of light.
post #66 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwfrederick View Post


FWIW, I'm not a fan of modernist architecture, mainly for the reasons mentioned above, but I'm a big fan of Apple architecture, which, in my opinion, almost by itself justifies the modernist movement. Simple, austere structures, often reflecting the local environment, which happen to be perfect spaces to display Apple products.

what works for a 5,000 sf building or storefront does not work for a freestanding building of millions of square feet. You don't like modern architecture? This is the most Modern building designed in decades. It represents the worst of a style I thought we had put behind us in the '70s.

Imagine walking up to a seamless wall of glass 50' high, that is a mile long. That is not the kind of environment that we should be building. What looks good in a model or rendering can be horrible at the scale of real life.

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post #67 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

A horrible uninspired "design" that looks backwards about 80 years to bullishit utopian visions of Le Corbousier. I couldn't agree with with the LA Times critic.

And what have you designed recently of note? My guess is nothing. Now back on your hole.
post #68 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Wilkie View Post

In addition to that, culture and diversity are typically scarce in suburban areas relative to a city. It's considered to be a shame when company keeps all these talented, wealthy, and well-educated people cooped-up within the confines of a suburban setting, rather than mixed into a larger group that would greatly benefit from the presence of the type of people that work for a company like Apple.

I think it would be stifling to work in a suburban office park. Not only are they the worst examples of sprawl architecture, but most are mind-numbingly bland. And they require cars to access them, and to get anywhere else.

Sprawl architecture is hugely inefficient. Apple could have integrated the office into the built environment, but instead, chose to erect an impenetrable blank facade, the same from every angle, which screams inside/outside rather than adding to the neighborhood in any sort of welcoming way.

They express their internal culture with the building, rather than adding to the city.
post #69 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisNH View Post

This media hack is obviously--like 95% of them--a bleeding Lib. Libs LOVE anything 'urban' and they HATE anything 'suburban.' It's why every Lib's dream is 'high-speed rail' that connects urban centers.

If it weren't for "liberals" there would be no Apple. For an example of "conservative" business thinking, look at Microsoft and Dell.
post #70 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

That just sounds like an opinion... no theory involved.

How about this stuff?


The more interesting question is whether a place like Cupertino can maintain its low-density sprawl in future decades, as the Bay Area's population continues to grow,...


...the pastoral corporate campus "precludes the concentration of population that makes public transportation feasible for governments and users." And even if suburbs like Cupertino decide to make tentative moves in the direction of greater density and better transit, the architecture of the corporate estate the land it eats up and the automobile infrastructure it requires helps fix in place land-use patterns that are tough to dislodge.

"If all you see in your workday are your co-workers and all you see out your window is the green perimeter of your carefully tended property," she writes, and you drive to and from work in the cocoon of your private car, "the notion of a shared responsibility in the collective metropolitan realm is predictably distant."

...a nation that from its earliest decades loved "to turn its back on cities and stake a claim on the suburban pastoral idyll isolated, proprietary, verdant, and disengaged from civic space." Those adjectives, of course, perfectly describe the planned Apple headquarters. There are unmistakable echoes in Apple's new building of the headquarters of Merck, the pharmaceutical giant, in suburban New Jersey,
post #71 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

I think it would be stifling to work in a suburban office park. Not only are they the worst examples of sprawl architecture, but most are mind-numbingly bland. And they require cars to access them, and to get anywhere else.

Sprawl architecture is hugely inefficient. Apple could have integrated the office into the built environment, but instead, chose to erect an impenetrable blank facade, the same from every angle, which screams inside/outside rather than adding to the neighborhood in any sort of welcoming way.

They express their internal culture with the building, rather than adding to the city.


Cupertino is not an urban environment. Given the existing surroundings, the new Apple headquarters are a dramatic improvement, aesthetically and environmentally. Aside from replacing ugly, cookie cutter concrete slabs with beautiful glass and steel, note how acres of asphalt will be replaced with green spaces as parking is moved underground.

http://tinyurl.com/5tzzlzu

The architectural ideal of an efficiently planned, urban environment incorporating green spaces is great, but requires you start with an urban setting and the collaboration of civic, business and community leaders - a combination that's largely nonexistent in most US cities (with NYC demonstrating a few promising examples.)

It's unfair and unrealistic to expect a single company - even Apple - to singlehandedly create a revolutionary urban community, especially when it's headquarters are away from any urban areas.
post #72 of 306
"People will feel out of sorts, disoriented, and uncomfortable" I feel like that everywhere I go.
post #73 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

What a prick. Did anyone actually ask for his two-bit opinion? That idiot would have raised hell over the erection of King Tut's tomb and said that a sand mound a simple headstone was all that was needed. I think that circular headquarters is very attractive and possibly an early design by one of the Ringworld Engineers.

you have no idea where King Tut was buried, do you? Hint, it's not a pyramid.

I personally like the mothership design, but let's all be honest, this is a Steve Jobs vanity project. Period.
post #74 of 306
what do you expect from a Yale B.A?
post #75 of 306
I love the campus, the number of trees and open space and the low profile way this building sits in it's faux natural surroundings but this critic couldn't be more correct. The overall building design looks like an idea of the "future" from the American 1950's. It may be the case that the actual building seen in real life with it's high end construction materials and architectural details may create a different effect than seeing the donut from overhead but there is not much other than hope and "trust me, it'll be awesome" to indicate that that would be the case.
post #76 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Conrail View Post

you have no idea where King Tut was buried, do you? Hint, it's not a pyramid.

I personally like the mothership design, but let's all be honest, this is a Steve Jobs vanity project. Period.

And unfortunately, Steve is great at designing objects, not environments. This building will be an object, on a scale almost unheard of in history. Buildings, BTW, are not objects, they are environments.

I wonder if Steve's mortality has influenced this design. It appears to be a sort of "monument."

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post #77 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

...a nation that from its earliest decades loved "to turn its back on cities and stake a claim on the suburban pastoral idyll isolated, proprietary, verdant, and disengaged from civic space." Those adjectives, of course, perfectly describe the planned Apple headquarters. There are unmistakable echoes in Apple's new building of the headquarters of Merck, the pharmaceutical giant, in suburban New Jersey,

I was also immediately reminded of the Merck headquarters. How sad.

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post #78 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by strask View Post

I love the campus, the number of trees and open space and the low profile way this building sits in it's faux natural surroundings but this critic couldn't be more correct. The overall building design looks like an idea of the "future" from the American 1950's. It may be the case that the actual building seen in real life with it's high end construction materials and architectural details may create a different effect than seeing the donut from overhead but there is not much other than hope and "trust me, it'll be awesome" to indicate that that would be the case.

Not to be mean yu do have points, but isn't "trust me, it will be awesome." What made Apple what it is g'day?
post #79 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I guess you have to presuppose that the feeling of a metropolitan realm (which I read as a concrete canyon) is a good thing.

I'm not sure where it has the suburban feel, because even those are littered with cookie-cutter houses with a circuitous layout. The "spaceship" is a more effective use of the land than the existing buildings and you get a bonus of a lot more and better green space.

I couldn't disagree with you more on that. Metropolitan in this context is building a community, rather than isolating the campus from the community-- literally turning inward to a protected plaza. The complete (historical) disregard for public transit from the city of Cupertino is part of the problem, but the campus could have worked much better with what urban fabric exists in the area.

Logistically, however, I'm not sure there are many other realistic types of solutions. You need the protected quadrangle if you want the secrecy. You want a single structure if you need the flexibility that large footprints allow. From a security and internal culture standpoint, you want to keep people inside the circle.
post #80 of 306
Quote:
The critic also went on to challenge Apple's assertion that the campus would be green, arguing instead that the site's "dependence on the car" undermines environmentally friendly efforts.

An LA Times critic complaining about "dependence on the car" has to be the height of hypocracy.

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