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Architecture critic pans Apple's 'spaceship' campus as 'troubling,' 'scary' - Page 5

post #161 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.

It's not reflecting glass. You can see right through the structure. The detail is inside instead of outside. That alone is worth consideration, putting all the visible detail on the inner parts of the building instead of the outer. And it's an 800+ ft radius - so the round thing is no longer round when you're next to it. The renderings seem to show that it curves just enough so you'll never see the immensity of the building, just the part near you. That's pretty cool. (When you're next to it, it curves out of view a lot sooner than 1/4 mile.) And there's plenty to see if you're inside: the outdoors.

Look, the history of architecture is like the history of art and of science and of literature and of music: it's the history of getting in dutch with people who claim the new thing is against god, nature and decency. 50 years later, it's a classic / breakthrough / visionary. No architect ever distinguished him or herself by doing the same thing everyone else did. "Great design" marries form and function and often in a new model of doing so. I believe this does.
post #162 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.

Wrong!

The shape is a donut, not a simple circle.

Double (almost) the outside surfaces by having an interior "exterior" adjacent to landscaping and window views and you have a much higher percentage of windowed offices. Yes you could do this with a rectangular building too, but that's not the point I was making.

"inside" offices should be nearly as pleasing as an outside office due to the size of the interior portion.
post #163 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpellino View Post

It's not reflecting glass. You can see right through the structure. The detail is inside instead of outside. That alone is worth consideration, putting all the visible detail on the inner parts of the building instead of the outer. And it's an 800+ ft radius - so the round thing is no longer round when you're next to it. The renderings seem to show that it curves just enough so you'll never see the immensity of the building, just the part near you. That's pretty cool. (When you're next to it, it curves out of view a lot sooner than 1/4 mile.) And there's plenty to see if you're inside: the outdoors.

Look, the history of architecture is like the history of art and of science and of literature and of music: it's the history of getting in dutch with people who claim the new thing is against god, nature and decency. 50 years later, it's a classic / breakthrough / visionary. No architect ever distinguished him or herself by doing the same thing everyone else did. "Great design" marries form and function and often in a new model of doing so. I believe this does.

+ on many levels.

I got it -- it's a hol-istic building. (!)

Inaccessible to sinistrocerebral thinkers.
post #164 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by thrang View Post

What I don't understand about the design is the flow - how does one efficiently move through a large circular building?

Certainly, the organization of people and departments will be carefully planned to minimize the need to take a sweeping walk around the circumference, and knowing Apple, there may be some pioneering horizontal conveyors to move people quickly, but the design seems to present challenges from this perspective.

Otherwise, I kind of like the futuristic feel, and the large amount of glass and openings in and around the exterior spaces will likely make it feel like an incredibly open environment, as opposed to something confining like many offices do.

See, now this is a legitimate critique. Good job.
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post #165 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuristic View Post

See, now this is a legitimate critique. Good job.

A chief lesson of the new Pixar Campus is that by spreading things out and having large common areas, people move around, interact, and there's more cross-fertilization of ideas.
post #166 of 194
Regardless of technology there will still be times when people meet face to face. I wouldn't want to walk the extra steps too often going around a circle when a straight line is quicker and shorter.

Quicker and shorter. That sounds like the ease of use and minimal size and shape that Apple is known for.

On the other hand having the window washing contract on this big glass circle could make a man rich.
post #167 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

Regardless of technology there will still be times when people meet face to face. I wouldn't want to walk the extra steps too often going around a circle when a straight line is quicker and shorter.

Quicker and shorter. That sounds like the ease of use and minimal size and shape that Apple is known for.

On the other hand having the window washing contract on this big glass circle could make a man rich.

I'm no geometry or architecture expert but isn't the point of the donut is that the maximum travel distance for anyone from one point of the donut to another is the diameter of the donut. I expect the area in the middle to be where a lot of cross-travel occurs and heck, it involves people getting some outside air, that must be good, right? Given the SF Bay Area weather, it would only be troublesome (ie. having to take your coat with you to go to another department across the donut) during winter. Heck, take the stairs, and with the walking and outdoor air it should all be good for employees!

Again given the architecture you could conceivably travel faster cutting through a small whatchamacallit straight line rather than travelling say 1/10th the circumference.

Of course the only caveat is all this kind of shortest-distance travel, besides being outdoor, will have to be made only at the ground floor. So one would have to note elevator points and elevator time. Then again, it's only four or so floors so... Possibly not too horrible walking to elevator, going down, walking across to other side across courtyard, taking elevator up, walking to destination.
post #168 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

I'm no geometry or architecture expert but isn't the point of the donut is that the maximum travel distance for anyone from one point of the donut to another is the diameter of the donut. I expect the area in the middle to be where a lot of cross-travel occurs and heck, it involves people getting some outside air, that must be good, right? Given the SF Bay Area weather, it would only be troublesome (ie. having to take your coat with you to go to another department across the donut) during winter. Heck, take the stairs, and with the walking and outdoor air it should all be good for employees!

Again given the architecture you could conceivably travel faster cutting through a small whatchamacallit straight line rather than travelling say 1/10th the circumference.

Of course the only caveat is all this kind of shortest-distance travel, besides being outdoor, will have to be made only at the ground floor. So one would have to note elevator points and elevator time. Then again, it's only four or so floors so... Possibly not too horrible walking to elevator, going down, walking across to other side across courtyard, taking elevator up, walking to destination.

I would imagine that there won't be too much interdepartmental travel anyway. If Apple sets up the offices by department (ie. HR, admin) then employees will only be travelling within their own area. Inter-department couriers will be the people moving around the most. ... but it may be a bitch getting to the cafeteria and back on time.
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post #169 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

The problem is that Cupertino doesn't have access to good public transportation. The only thing available is the county bus system, VTA, but that's too slow.

It's miles away from the two main rail services: Caltrain and VTA Light Rail.

For a few years now Apple has its own fleet of buses "connecting" the 2 Cupertino campuses and to the surrounding cities.
post #170 of 194
So, once again we get the fanboi "Apple can do no wrong" reaction here. Big surprise.

The fact is, this building is ugly. I'm not saying Apple can't build it, it's not like there's anything historic or interesting about the HP campus they're going to be tearing down. I'm just saying that this building is absolutely butt-ugly.

The disappointing bit is that rather than attempting to integrate into a city with a sensible and sane high-rise building, Apple appears to be trying to recreate a rural setting with a ridiculous ugly structure on it. This thing is so isolated there will be no good way to drop by a neighborhood restaurant for lunch, no walking to the bar after work, no interaction with the city at all. You'll drive in to the underground garage, work, eat in the company cafeteria, go back to the parking lot in the basement, and drive home. It's as if the city doesn't matter, or even exist most of the time.

It's an incredibly inefficient use of land in a city, and it's essentially fighting with the entire concept of a city. And it's ugly.
post #171 of 194
I do tend to wonder why Apple's renderings show uncut grass... it makes the building look abandoned.
post #172 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by cajun View Post

I do tend to wonder why Apple's renderings show uncut grass... it makes the building look abandoned.

You have a point.
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post #173 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkVader View Post

The fact is, this building is ugly.

Subjective. Like the rest of your post.

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post #174 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkVader View Post

So, once again we get the fanboi "Apple can do no wrong" reaction here. Big surprise.

The fact is, this building is ugly. I'm not saying Apple can't build it, it's not like there's anything historic or interesting about the HP campus they're going to be tearing down. I'm just saying that this building is absolutely butt-ugly.

The disappointing bit is that rather than attempting to integrate into a city with a sensible and sane high-rise building, Apple appears to be trying to recreate a rural setting with a ridiculous ugly structure on it. This thing is so isolated there will be no good way to drop by a neighborhood restaurant for lunch, no walking to the bar after work, no interaction with the city at all. You'll drive in to the underground garage, work, eat in the company cafeteria, go back to the parking lot in the basement, and drive home. It's as if the city doesn't matter, or even exist most of the time.

It's an incredibly inefficient use of land in a city, and it's essentially fighting with the entire concept of a city. And it's ugly.

Well, there's no accounting for taste, or tastelessness. I think it's a very good-looking building. And it has more serenity and composure than any rectilinear thing that I've ever seen. Most important, people will most likely look forward to going to work there.

Have you ever been to Cupertino? I thought not. There is no city there. Maybe this building will create some cafe space around it, who knows?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cajun View Post

I do tend to wonder why Apple's renderings show uncut grass... it makes the building look abandoned.

They're going for the savannah effect, like the world was when we first got out of the trees and started living on the ground on two legs. Classic retro-evolutionary thinking from the company that wants to change the world.
post #175 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

Well, there's no accounting for taste, or tastelessness. I think it's a very good-looking building. And it has more serenity and composure than any rectilinear thing that I've ever seen. Most important, people will most likely look forward to going to work there.

Have you ever been to Cupertino? I thought not. There is no city there. Maybe this building will create some cafe space around it, who knows?

There's a beautiful strip mall along North Wolfe... and the employees can play a game of chicken on the 280... maybe the people living along Homestead will invite the employees into their homes for lunch...
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post #176 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapporobabyrtrns View Post

Apple could also be gearing up their own production facilities. Now wouldn't that be a kick in the head for all of the nay-sayers. Apple products designed and produced in the good ole USA.

Keep dreaming. There is no building planned on this campus for manufacturing. And the plan submitted to the local approval board has to include everything they're planning to build. There is an underground and a separate garage, a power plant, a separate set of buildings for research & development, an auditorium, etc.
post #177 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

Keep dreaming. There is no building planned on this campus for manufacturing. And the plan submitted to the local approval board has to include everything they're planning to build. There is an underground and a separate garage, a power plant, a separate set of buildings for research & development, an auditorium, etc.

They could have saved money on the fitness center by having a track on the top of the main building.
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post #178 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkVader View Post

It's an incredibly inefficient use of land in a city, and it's essentially fighting with the entire concept of a city. And it's ugly.

The inefficiency doesn't bother me - I actually think it's a benefit because all urban environments need more open space. But the price for that open space in this case is that it's a completely isolated environment from the rest of Cupertino. I think this was done partially because of Apple's paranoia about security and partially simply because it's consistent with the concept of a suburban corporate campus.

Although it's been years since I've been to Cupertino, it seems to me that unless Apple was willing to build a new town center, there's almost no choice. I do find it unfortunate that as others have already posted, this new Apple campus does not seem to encourage any interaction with the rest of the town. It's designed to drive to, work, stay on campus the entire day and to then drive home. And it's definitely still designed around the car as the primary method of transportation. But these things would be true regardless of the shape or architectural style of the building and they would have been true regardless of whether the building was set in the middle of the campus or alongside a street.

If Apple had really wanted to shake things up, they would have built their own transportaton system to link CalTrans and other local public transportation with the campus.

I personally don't think the building is ugly. As to whether it's impersonal will be difficult to determine until it's actually constructed. The question is what will people think of the building five, ten, twenty, fifty years from now? Will it be perceived as a warm, inviting and productive place to work or will it be perceived as an ill-conceived and aesthetically displeasing gimmick that will seem like the pavillions of the 1964 New York World's Fair seem to us now?
post #179 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

The inefficiency doesn't bother me - I actually think it's a benefit because all urban environments need more open space.

When Jobs went before the Cupertino Elders one of the aspects he triumphed was the dramatically increased open space compared to the HP campus. It's by design, not because some architects got lazy and said "let's plants some trees and be done with it."
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post #180 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

When Jobs when before the Cupertino Elders one of the aspects he triumphed was the dramatically increased open space compared to the HP campus. It's by design, not because some architects got lazy and said "let's plants some trees and be done with it."

Not to mention that this open space can used in the future to increase density around the main building... including shopping, residential and office space.
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post #181 of 194
I am 64 years old and a retired General Contractor, I dealt with renovation, restoration, remolding along with residential and commercial construction. In all the 40 years I had my company I met only one Architect who was worth a damn, the rest were blind as a gnats and not one creative bone in the whole bunch. These guys need to learn how to think out four 90 degree walls and stop over charging and arm and a leg for copied plans that don't work!
post #182 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

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.

Exactly, so why are you arguing it? You're just confusing the issue when you argue with those who agree with you on the main ideas.


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

Maybe, maybe not. It doesn't matter because even if there isn't a covered walkway across the courtyard you can still get from A to B out of the elements.


Quote:
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.

Supply and demand. Exterior corner offices are the prime offices in rectangular buildings and by geometric necessity a scarce resource. In a round building all offices that have windows are essentially equal, no power corners to fight over or use as ego badges. Sure there will be windowed office vs interior or cube dwellers, but since there will be so many of them, all just as good window-wise as the others, the ego-usefulness is much diminished.
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post #183 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by cajun View Post

I do tend to wonder why Apple's renderings show uncut grass... it makes the building look abandoned.

Cut grass requires lots of water, and energy to manicure it. Both things trend against the environmentally friendly aspect Apple is proposing.
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post #184 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

There's a beautiful strip mall along North Wolfe... and the employees can play a game of chicken on the 280... maybe the people living along Homestead will invite the employees into their homes for lunch...

You got me looking at the map. The liquor store north of the gas station on Wolfe could be a good place to hang out. And, whattyaknow, there's a Starbucks! I'd love to see pictures of the laptop species in there.

Anyway, this mandate to make Apple part of the "urban environment" is such miserably misguided limp-wristed ecothink. It would be funny if it weren't so sad.

Gertrude Stein on Oakland comes to mind. "There is no there there." Apple is putting something there, but it's for them, not us. They are not building a tourist destination or a town for you, people!
post #185 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by mganey View Post

I am 64 years old and a retired General Contractor, I dealt with renovation, restoration, remolding along with residential and commercial construction. In all the 40 years I had my company I met only one Architect who was worth a damn, the rest were blind as a gnats and not one creative bone in the whole bunch. These guys need to learn how to think out four 90 degree walls and stop over charging and arm and a leg for copied plans that don't work!

I'm by no means a GC but I do know to swing a hammer. Here's a story you may enjoy:
My brother in law is an architect. For mothers day he drew up some plans to build a new deck on my mothers house. As he and I were building it, toward the end, we ran into a problem. I actually don't remember exactly what anymore but pretty much the classic "reality won't let us follow these plans" situations. After he looked over his plans for a while he wryly said, "these plans don't seem to account for everything" at which point I told him told hold that thought there are some people I need to call that would appreciate hearing that from you.
On the other hand he drew up remodel plans for my brothers kitchen. When the contractors tried to convince my brother to not move the dishwasher he almost caved. Then our brother in law mentioned that the dishwasher would be in the way of the sink when opened which would be as lame as it gets.
I'll listen to an architect if he has reasonable things to say. Most of the critics of this new HQ don't offer me anything interesting to consider. Traffic is an area that should be looked at because it almost always gets worse wherever you are. If that involved things beyond the apple buses then the community should get involved as far as planning and money since they have to live with it.
On the other hand with this building apple has given me lots of things to consider. The "scary" and "troubling" comments from this architecture critic show to me apple is being bold about their re-imagining of a corperate campus. I expect bold moves from apple and lots of hand wringing from others. I think it's been like that for a long time.
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post #186 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

There's a beautiful strip mall along North Wolfe... and the employees can play a game of chicken on the 280... maybe the people living along Homestead will invite the employees into their homes for lunch...

I'm sure the city of Cupertino would be happier having the old HP business campus lie empty while their biggest single employer built elsewhere....

/sarcasm

Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

They could have saved money on the fitness center by having a track on the top of the main building.

It sounds good, but in reality it would be a huge security risk. At the facility where I work, no part of our building has more restricted physical access than our roof.

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post #187 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

I'm sure the city of Cupertino would be happier having the old HP business campus lie empty while their biggest single employer built elsewhere....

/sarcasm



It sounds good, but in reality it would be a huge security risk. At the facility where I work, no part of our building has more restricted physical access than our roof.

I'm absolutely positive that you misread my intent.

At a certain point in any thread I feel that all one can do is joke.
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post #188 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

I'm absolutely positive that you misread my intent.

At a certain point in any thread I feel that all one can do is joke.

Doh! Of course you were!

/headslap

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post #189 of 194
i hope the new building has secret underground floors, similar to "The Hive" in the first Resident Evil film.
post #190 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtm135 View Post

i hope the new building has secret underground floors, similar to "The Hive" in the first Resident Evil film.

HaHa Yeah!!!
post #191 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuristic View Post

See, now this is a legitimate critique. Good job.

Not really. You can walk across the central park area to get to the section you want if they put in enough doors in the donut hole.
post #192 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by JONOROM View Post

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.

See...90% of the criticism is based on the fact that the critics hate Foster. The guy could boil an egg for breakfast and these folks would bitch about the poor aesthetics of a plain white egg and what kind of message is he making with such a completely enclosed retro-cocoon inward looking shape?

BTW, your jealousy is showing.
post #193 of 194
The reason I like this thread so much is that we can talk about Apple and not deal with all of the current headline patent war bullshit.
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post #194 of 194
Yep, and the fact that it's interesting because the building is Apple's most ambitious product yet, their biggest statement in 3D about who they are, or want to be.

It looks like they expect to be around for a while to be able to use it to work off the costs. It seems also that it will be a world-class headquarters building without really looking like one, except from the air. I don't see any grandiosity or arrogance or hubris, other than maybe just confidence about the future. It is very low-profile, really. It's just as much about the park as the office building/work space. They may even find a way to do without cubicles. Anti-alienating.

And the fact that we've had two or three critics pan it adds to the pleasure of this thread. It reminds me of how the New York film critics panned 2001 when it first came out. Those of us who did the proper thing and got high before seeing the movie, almost everybody that is, had a lot of fun with those poor left-brain critics for a long time after, even though it was sad to see them not get it, infuriating actually. Same thing here. I think this is a new kind of building that you have to grok the gestalt of, and if you don't, you find it threatening.

Oops, I mean 'scary' and 'troubling.' Or 'pedestrian.'
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