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Architecture critic pans Apple's 'spaceship' campus as 'troubling,' 'scary' - Page 4

post #121 of 194
In other news - in a break from his regular appearances on the Geico "Caveman" commercial series, Ooog say, "Fire Bad!" "It scary"
post #122 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Look at the size of this proposed building compared to the entirty of the other campus with it's four main structures. It might be large enough that you won't notice the curve.

A mile in circumference... you're probably right.
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post #123 of 194
I don't know why people care what this person thinks. it's their job to find fault.
post #124 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

There's something odd about placing the words parking and spaceship in the same sentence.

Weel, they could add a bunch of electric recharging stations so some cars could "dock".
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post #125 of 194
It's a shame, it's easy to be a critic, in fact any of us can be a critic but it takes genius to create. In today's society far too much glory is placed in the hands of a critic (look at the x factor) in reality it's a bunch of no talent burnt out jealous with their cynical views which at the end of the day account for sod all in the history books. Just sayin.....
post #126 of 194
Beercules was here..
post #127 of 194
I M not that impressed with apple's new campus, but this guy's criticism is rubbish, it's only coincidental that we both don't like its, cause he -to me- doesn't like it for all the wrong reasons.
post #128 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

I think that you are a fanny. Nothing wrong with that statement. I don't know you or where you are coming from, your education level or background but my gut says your a fanny. ( by the way, that's the polite UK way of saying you are a cunt)

yeah that was a dirt low blow to Steve, you are right, and the c word goes perfectly well to the op.
post #129 of 194
A revolutionary design choice would be to ban all gas-powered cars and have the capacity to generate it's own electricity on-site. Run the whole building and charge plug-ins with solar, hydrogen, or something else new. Can you imagine a $0 cost facility and the competitive edge it would give Apple?
post #130 of 194
I am also an architect, so you can call me names too, if you want.

Goldberger's major critique of this design is scale. He is right. Imagine this:

You walk up to this building - there is NO character or detail, just an infinite plane of reflecting glass 50' high, stretching to infinity to your left and right (although it does curve out of view in a quarter mile or so). That's it. That's all folks, there is nothing more to see.

Is that great design? If you think so, please tell me why.

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post #131 of 194
To be not "over-the-top,“ it would have to be smaller.

And then it wouldn’t be enough space, so.... over-the-top it is!

As for it being minimalist—people have different tastes. I like the idea. Detail/ornamentation/pinstripes/“character” are only one approach to design. The detail and interest here is more in the green space within/around it: more green space than that land currently has. The building itself gets its interest from simplicity not busy detail. That IS still character.

Why is detail necessary for character? It’s necessary only if that’s your taste.
post #132 of 194
This comment from the New Yorker page where the original piece appears is worth quoting, from a reader named "HDBOY."

I always hate to burst the bubble of any condescending New York critic, but a glass-encased circular building in an area with wide open spaces is no more an oddity than a tubular skyscraper in a big city landscape. Imagine how odd and constricting a skyscraper rising out of a Montana prairie might feel to a cowboy or a rectangular swimming pool to a dolphin. Art is contextual. Steve Jobs understands his own business. He knows that hardware and software engineers spend many hours each week, hundreds each month and thousands each year living inside a virtual world, staring at endless, mind-numbing code on computer screens, often in windowless environments that are locked away from prying eyes for security reasons. It could just be that Apple's circular "Mothership" design maximizes every employee's quick access and exposure to windows, sunlight and a regular glimpse of the real world. It could be that a long, circular daily walk will force dedicated, overzealous workers to get out from behind those computers and get a little exercise as they migrate to the lunchroom or meetings each day. It could be that the design accomplishes this for 11,000 workers simultaneously, with minimal use of elevators imagine that! Besides, it's only one building in a sea of millions of rectangular boxes across the planet. What's the big deal? In fact, if you've ever lived in Silicon Valley and seen it from the air, you'd know that it consists of thousands of mind-numbing, low-slung rectangular buildings that all look alike and are linked together by paved ribbons of crowded freeways. From above or on the ground, this land use bears more than a passing resemblance to the pattern of circuits and chips on a computer motherboard. It could be that someone finally asked "Why build just another another rectangular building," or even, "why build another skyscraper in the middle of earthquake country?" Apple's new "donut-shaped" headquarters building breaks these patterns in spectacular fashion and in this context, may come to be viewed as more genius from the guy who taught us all to "Think Different.". My point is that Steve Jobs has a habit of looking at design problems differently than most people and deliver successful solutions that are both highly functional and transcend what is expected. I think that given his design track record, he's earned the right to conceive and build a circular building if he feels that it will be best for his campus and the unique needs of his workers. At this point, I'm not willing to bet against his ideas. So, dear New Yorker readers, who are you going to trust? The New York critic? Or the master inventor?

I'd add that those who think the design is "pedestrian" are right in one sense. It is meant to be strolled through or around or across. It is profoundly human-scaled from that point of view. And its design is clearly meant to evoke repose, not agitation. The Pentagon comparison is especially cynical from this point of view. What is more agonized than a five-sided, mark-of-Satan warren of rectilinear offices?

Now for a more general critique of the critic: What has happened to grown men in America that they feel it is ok to use the word "scary" in serious writing?

And he uses the word "sleek" three times, referring to Apple designs. This is evidence either of a lazy mind at the time of writing, or more likely of someone who only has the most superficial visual sense of Apple's stuff. You can call my iPad or iPhone "sensuous" or full of tactile eroticism, but don't you dare use that two-bit, tin-eared journalist's cant in a serious piece of art criticism.
post #133 of 194
The critic likened the concept proposed by Apple to "a gigantic donut."

Mmmm. Donuts!
post #134 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

It would be a lot more expensive for Apple to put it underground. And besides - its not like Apple owes a nice view to the people on the freeway. The tall parking lot will shield Apple's property from the noise and pollution.

[aside - since when you are you Apple booster? ]

But doesn't that just point out the ... cognitive dissonance, for want of a better phrase, of having this giant, much-ballyhooed green space all around the main building -- and then shove a giant parking structure on the edge? It's like saying, "look mom, I cleaned my room - just don't look under the bed or in the closet!"

And Apple has more money than the federal government (literally); they could extend Caltrain to the campus and still have enough left for coffee. (I'm not saying they should; I'm just pointing out that "in for an inch, in for a mile", and money is the least of Apple's constraints right now.)
post #135 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by JONOROM View Post

I am also an architect, so you can call me names too, if you want.

Goldberger's major critique of this design is scale. He is right. Imagine this:

You walk up to this building - there is NO character or detail, just an infinite plane of reflecting glass 50' high, stretching to infinity to your left and right (although it does curve out of view in a quarter mile or so). That's it. That's all folks, there is nothing more to see.

Is that great design? If you think so, please tell me why.

Uh... it's not an infinite plane of glass 50 feet high... each floor has a band around it that appears to be a couple feet high used as an overhang of some sort [or, when standing next to the building it will appear to only be about 12 feet high]... plus the entrances, where you actually would walk up to the building, have vertical beams on either side... nowhere in the drawings did I see a 50 foot wall of glass other than what appears to be the dining area... but again, the vertical poles.
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post #136 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Uh... it's not an infinite plane of glass 50 feet high... each floor has a band around it that appears to be a couple feet high used as an overhang of some sort... plus the entrances, where you actually would walk up to the building, have vertical beams on either side... nowhere in the drawings did I see a 50 foot wall of glass other than what appears to be the dining area... but again, the vertical poles.

Thank you. And if the glass is in fact reflective, you will see nothing but nature and animals, er, people, in it. Imagine that. How inhuman.
post #137 of 194
Great post (#132) Flaneur.
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post #138 of 194
Goldberger also criticized the old woman who lived in a shoe:

"But buildings aren't shoes, any more than they are broth."
post #139 of 194
Suggesting the proposed new campus is "like a donut" is a fair assessment, just as you could say every skyscraper is "like a candy bar".

The question is whats wrong with a donut?

The HUGE benefit to this style of architecture is that it provides employees with a maximized number of window offices. A square layout (most skyscrapers) provide the least percentage of windowed offices. Research suggests employees are more productive and have a better outlook on their work environment when they aren't crammed into offices with no view.

The downside is that this layout will make walking from one side of the building to the other quite a long walk, but its always possible that they could put some people mover things like some airports have to reduce the walking time.

Honestly, this type of building is one that I think even the dissenters will admit is functionally superb, even if they aren't fond of the aesthetics. But as someone who enjoys architecture (even though Im not an architect, but have a friend that is) I really like the design.
post #140 of 194
1. Agreed - no one gives a rats... about this guys opinion...

But then again, nobody is paying you guys anything to design anything now are they? So +1 to the critic. -1 to you.


2. This project is Steve Job's version of a Pyramid.

Long after Apple is uncool and your kids are saying "Awww, you got me a stupid iPod" the building will still stand... until someone else with a lot of money... tears it down.
post #141 of 194
This building resembles the IBM Watson Research building in Yorktown Heights, NY, except the "spaceship" is a complete circle rather than just an arc. That IBM building is wonderful to work in; very light and spacious and gracefully curved.

I can't understand what this architectural critic is all worked up about. Does he want all buildings to have flat planes and sharp angles? Does he actually get paid for pontificating about his aversion to curved surfaces?
post #142 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

Thank you. And if the glass is in fact reflective, you will see nothing but nature and animals, er, people, in it. Imagine that. How inhuman.

Wow. A mirror a mile long and 50 feet high. Brilliant, human scale design. Great idea. Never been thought of before. Never mind about frying the vegetation with twice the sunlight they evolved to handle.

I am sure Thomas Jefferson, FL Wright, Lois Kahn and other great American architects would really appreciate the incredible creativity.

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post #143 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by JONOROM View Post

Wow. A mirror a mile long and 50 feet high. Brilliant, human scale design. Great idea. Never been thought of before. Never mind about frying the vegetation with twice the sunlight they evolved to handle.

Come off it.

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There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #144 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4fx View Post

Suggesting the proposed new campus is "like a donut" is a fair assessment, just as you could say every skyscraper is "like a candy bar".

The question is whats wrong with a donut?

The HUGE benefit to this style of architecture is that it provides employees with a maximized number of window offices. A square layout (most skyscrapers) provide the least percentage of windowed offices. Research suggests employees are more productive and have a better outlook on their work environment when they aren't crammed into offices with no view.

Wrong!

Simple geometry tells us that a circle has the LEAST exterior surface of any shape, certainly far less than a square plan would have. So if you want employees to actually have views and windows, this shape is the last one you would pick.

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post #145 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by JONOROM View Post

Wrong!

Simple geometry tells us that a circle has the LEAST exterior surface of any shape, certainly far less than a square plan would have. So if you want employees to actually have views and windows, this shape is the last one you would pick.

1) You could at least put a little effort into your trolling. Note the inside of this "circle" is all windows showing off a very large outdoor area. This design has more windowed siding than any solid square structure you can put forth for the internal floor area. If you don't believe us why don't you point to a square plan that has more vertical windows area per internal floorspace; a usable building, not a corridor between buildings.

2) How much of an asshat must you be to hate take your hatred for Apple into a project not actually designed by Apple or have to do with one of their products?
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post #146 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by JONOROM View Post

Wow. A mirror a mile long and 50 feet high. Brilliant, human scale design. Great idea. Never been thought of before. Never mind about frying the vegetation with twice the sunlight they evolved to handle.

I am sure Thomas Jefferson, FL Wright, Lois Kahn and other great American architects would really appreciate the incredible creativity.

You're not even paying attention are you.

Other than the dining area tell me where there is a 50 foot high wall of glass.
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post #147 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

1) You could at least put a little effort into your trolling. Note the inside of this "circle" is all windows showing off a very large outdoor area. This design has more windowed siding than any solid square structure you can put forth for the internal floor area. If you don't believe us why don't you point to a square plan that has more vertical windows area per internal floorspace; a usable building, not a corridor between buildings.

2) How much of an asshat must you be to hate take your hatred for Apple into a project not actually designed by Apple or have to do with one of their products?

2) Wrong. I have owned and loved Apple products since my beloved Mac 512Ke in 1987.

This building is NOT an Apple product, don't get confused OK? This is asshat Sir Richard Foster, the most famous and insensitive architect in the world, pulling a fast one on Jobs and Apple.

1) That is just a courtyard scheme. The glass on the inside of a "round" courtyard has less surface area than a square courtyard would have. If one is doing a courtyard design (which is not a bad idea) you would get more windows with a square courtyard, in the ratio of 4 to 3.1417. Is that so hard to understand?

The reason (one of them at least) we architect do designs that are more complicated shapes is to maximize the surface area and get the most light and views for the inhabitants.

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post #148 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

You're not even paying attention are you.

Other than the dining area tell me where there is a 50 foot high wall of glass.

Oh, excuse me. The last time I say the design (on the video of the City Council meeting) it was ALL glass. Now it is, what, 80% reflective glass? Wow, that makes a HUGE difference.

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post #149 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by JONOROM View Post

2)
This building is NOT an Apple product, don't get confused OK? This is asshat Sir Richard Foster, the most famous and insensitive architect in the world, pulling a fast one on Jobs and Apple.



You're too funny.
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post #150 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by JONOROM View Post

Oh, excuse me. The last time I say the design (on the video of the City Council meeting) it was ALL glass. Now it is, what, 80% reflective glass? Wow, that makes a HUGE difference.

So, in other words, you haven't been paying attention.

When you actually have a look at the drawings get back to me.

Until then you're just looking rather stupid.

... and it looks like you are changing your original statement to suit your argument. Your original statement, as everyone knows, was that it was a 50 foot wall of glass. Wrong. Educate yourself.
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post #151 of 194
Let's call it, the Great Gaping Annulus.
post #152 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Those who can... do

Those who can't... teach

Those who can do neither... become critics

But there will always be critics, and I'm certainly not qualified to comment on architectural matters, but I seriously think Apple and Jobs won't lose any sleep worrying about what some critic has to say about the new headquarters building.

The reason that Apple gives discounts to teachers is that:

Those who can, teach.
Those who can't, go into some less significant line of work.

(You'll be shocked to learn that I'm a teacher....)

post #153 of 194
Looks very nice to me. It makes perfect sense to have a donut shape to maximize the views of the landscaping that they plan on. The building really becomes minimal with the lush trees, shrubs, and grasses.
post #154 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Those who can... do

Those who can't... teach

Those who can do neither... become critics

But there will always be critics, and I'm certainly not qualified to comment on architectural matters, but I seriously think Apple and Jobs won't lose any sleep worrying about what some critic has to say about the new headquarters building.

I could not agree more. In the words of Mel Brooks:

"And of course, with the birth of the artist came the inevitable afterbirth... the critic"
-History of the World Part I
post #155 of 194
Aesthetically I love the building but, functionally, I can see some quirks: organizing a meeting between people working at diametrically opposed sides of the building is going to be impractical.
post #156 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by tailwaggers View Post

Let's call it, the Great Gaping Annulus.

Describing yourself is never as funny as you think.
post #157 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernard SG View Post

Aesthetically I love the building but, functionally, I can see some quirks: organizing a meeting between people working at diametrically opposed sides of the building is going to be impractical.

Is it any worse than organizing a meeting with someone in a building across campus? In the rainy season?

No, that whole line of reasoning is highly overblown and couch potato-centric in its origins. At least you can stay under roof the whole time and being able to take a long mind clearing walk around the ring even in nasty weather is something every designer and engineer could appreciate.

Geez, at least folks could put some thought into their points rather then serve them up as tasty niblets for the grist mill. And at least this critic amply stated a whole bunch of obvious personal opinion, rather then trying to cloak it in faux academic ramblings. While I don't agree entirely, he is entitled to an opinion and having the guts to lay it out like that is more upstanding than the wormlike column of Hawthorne.
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post #158 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by JONOROM View Post

2) Wrong. I have owned and loved Apple products since my beloved Mac 512Ke in 1987.

This building is NOT an Apple product, don't get confused OK? This is asshat Sir Richard Foster, the most famous and insensitive architect in the world, pulling a fast one on Jobs and Apple.

1) That is just a courtyard scheme. The glass on the inside of a "round" courtyard has less surface area than a square courtyard would have. If one is doing a courtyard design (which is not a bad idea) you would get more windows with a square courtyard, in the ratio of 4 to 3.1417. Is that so hard to understand?

The reason (one of them at least) we architect do designs that are more complicated shapes is to maximize the surface area and get the most light and views for the inhabitants.

I used to have an office in one of those maximized interior courtyard corners. They are highly overrated, a happy day was the move to a non-stuck in the interior corner office.

Remember, individuals aren't equations to be optimized. What matters to the individual is the quality, not just the equation optimization of a surface area.
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post #159 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

1) You could at least put a little effort into your trolling. Note the inside of this "circle" is all windows showing off a very large outdoor area. This design has more windowed siding than any solid square structure you can put forth for the internal floor area. If you don't believe us why don't you point to a square plan that has more vertical windows area per internal floorspace; a usable building, not a corridor between buildings.

2) How much of an asshat must you be to hate take your hatred for Apple into a project not actually designed by Apple or have to do with one of their products?

Actually, as annoying as JONOROM is, mathematically he was correct. The circle has the minimum circumference per enclosed volume.

What he happened to be missing is that design isn't about blindly selecting a mathematical relationship to optimize, and that the circular ring will contain the minimal exterior surface area for the internal enclosed volume. Which happens to be a good engineering tradeoff for heating/cooling concerns. Meaning the building will inherently have a head start on maintaining human environmental energy efficiency.

It also means everyone is connected so nobody has to take anything sensitive outside between campus buildings, or you get to stay out of the rain on the way to the other side if you want.

It is also more egalitarian. No premier corner offices for ego-straining jerks to aspire to and hold over underlings as a status symbol.
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post #160 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post

Actually, as annoying as JONOROM is, mathematically he was correct. The circle has the minimum circumference per enclosed volume.

No one is arguing basic geometry, but it's a pointless argument to say that Apple design is inefficient because they didn't build a [I]square[/I design]. You get even more of an enclosing boundary from a triangle. On top of that, he ignored that you get even more of an enclosing boundary from a non-square rectangle than you from a square, which he should recognize as having 4 equal sides. But all that is beside the point because this is a building to be used by humans, not a 2 dimension drawing used in a primary school math class.

Quote:
also means everyone is connected so nobody has to take anything sensitive outside between campus buildings, or you get to stay out of the rain on the way to the other side if you want.

Do to the sheer size of this structure I would image there are at least 2 underground walkways going across the courtyard space.

Quote:
It is also more egalitarian. No premier corner offices for ego-straining jerks to aspire to and hold over underlings as a status symbol.

I'd think there will be prime office space that butts up against a glass wall looking into the courtyard. No matter what you do to curb it [professional] status will naturally unfold.
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