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

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  • Reply 221 of 305
    I agree that it is quite odd that Jobs does not acknowledge Foster's involvement in the project. I am reminded of Jonas Salk's collaboration with architect Lois Kahn on the Salk Institute. Neither would have ever dreamed of "dis"crediting the other. It is noteworthy that the idea for the plaza between the two wings is (anecdotally) Salk's.



    The quality of the result speaks for itself: Salk Institute is one of the great works of architecture and is universally loved. Apple's Spaceship will likely be forgotten at best, and judging by the early returns, reviled by some.
  • Reply 222 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JONOROM View Post


    Apple's Spaceship will likely be forgotten at best, and judging by the early returns, reviled by some.



    Be careful. The Vietnam War memorial was widely reviled when it was announced. Now it is iconic. Even inspired the victim inscriptions on the new 9/11 memorial.



    I would also add that one must judge the product, not the plan. There is something about being in the space, in the presence, that cannot be duplicated by even 3D walk throughs. The scale, and the human dimension, even the presence of other people are vital to success or failure. The map is not the territory.
  • Reply 223 of 305
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,930member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post


    Edit2: Gruber has a link to a newly banned anti-iPhone game, that really targets Apple as a global eco-villian. So soon we will be having a philosophical debate on how Apple is directing or misdirecting our future. At least I hope we have such a debate. It is the topic of the century, so far. The mothership should be framed in this debate, not the obsolete urban/anti-urban paradigm. That is the real "retrograde" in this building controversy.



    How the heck did it get approved for the market to begin with? Someone obviously not looking at it very closely.
  • Reply 224 of 305
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,511member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JONOROM View Post


    I agree that it is quite odd that Jobs does not acknowledge Foster's involvement in the project. I am reminded of Jonas Salk's collaboration with architect Lois Kahn on the Salk Institute. Neither would have ever dreamed of "dis"crediting the other. It is noteworthy that the idea for the plaza between the two wings is (anecdotally) Salk's.



    The quality of the result speaks for itself: Salk Institute is one of the great works of architecture and is universally loved. Apple's Spaceship will likely be forgotten at best, and judging by the early returns, reviled by some.



    I will make a drama-queenish, arrogant prediction of my own:



    The building will be loved passionately by the people who work there, which is all that really matters, since it's intended to be the greatest possible place to work.



    Not an egoic statement for fawning admiration; rather a place to design "great products for people."



    If they offer weekend tours, they will be booked in advance for months.
  • Reply 225 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post


    These are very good questions.



    Sadly, the other doctor won't respond to them... probably because I'm too stupid to understand his answers.
  • Reply 226 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    Be careful. The Vietnam War memorial was widely reviled when it was announced. Now it is iconic. Even inspired the victim inscriptions on the new 9/11 memorial.



    I would also add that one must judge the product, not the plan. There is something about being in the space, in the presence, that cannot be duplicated by even 3D walk throughs. The scale, and the human dimension, even the presence of other people are vital to success or failure. The map is not the territory.



    Good points I am pretty far out on a limb with my prediction of failure - but isn't that what these forums are for?



    I did however like Maya Lin's proposal long before it was completed. In a funny way it is quite humble. Kinda the opposite of the updated 70s bombastic design that this appears to be. But we will see.



    Have you seen the 9/11 memorial yet?
  • Reply 227 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post


    I will make a drama-queenish, arrogant prediction of my own:



    The building will be loved passionately by the people who work there, which is all that really matters, since it's intended to be the greatest possible place to work.



    Not an egoic statement for fawning admiration; rather a place to design "great products for people."



    If they offer weekend tours, they will be booked in advance for months.



    The food better be good in the cafeteria or Apple's screwed...
  • Reply 228 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JONOROM View Post


    Good points I am pretty far out on a limb with my prediction of failure - but isn't that what these forums are for?



    I did however like Maya Lin's proposal long before it was completed. In a funny way it is quite humble. Kinda the opposite of the updated 70s bombastic design that this appears to be. But we will see.



    Have you seen the 9/11 memorial yet?



    I'm curious... bombastic how?



    I thought it was understated just because of the fact that nobody will be able to see it in its entirety unless you view it from the air. If it was put on high ground for everyone to see then I'd have to agree about it being bombastic.



    I guess this falls under the category of, "If a tree falls in the forest etc.".
  • Reply 229 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post


    I'm curious... bombastic how?



    I thought it was understated just because of the fact that nobody will be able to see it in its entirety unless you view it from the air. If it was put on high ground for everyone to see then I'd have to agree about it being bombastic.



    I guess this falls under the category of, "If a tree falls in the forest etc.".



    Bombastic isn't the word. Its different enough from any other corporate campus that I'm sure lots of interesting adjectives will get thrown at it. I'm excited to see this huge apple creation when it's done. From what we've seen, the drawings, I'd say they are going to try to change the UX of a large building. It's what they do on a bits and bites level. For the past almost 30 years they've worked to apply the metaphor of a desktop to a computer screen, this project will just have actual desks.

    All in all I expect this to be a very apple like project. From the design to people's reactions both pro and con.
  • Reply 230 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post


    "... Normally, the involvement of a rock star architect of the caliber of Norman Foster takes center stage in any presentation on a building his firm has designed. It is indeed odd that Steve failed to even mention Foster, and odder yet that Apple still officially won't confirm that the architect for the project is Foster. I think it's fair to ask whether rock star technologist Steve Jobs believes his fame trumps rock architect Norman Foster..."-Dr Millmoss



    Your wondering who's rock star fame trumps the other. I got the impression Hawthorne thought the same thing. That is an ego battle to me. Guess we'll have to agree to disagree.



    I wasn't implying any sort of ego battle between Jobs and Foster, and I did not think Hawthorne was either. This implies to me that the two men are competing with each other for publicity or credit. This could be going on behind the scenes I suppose, but I doubt it.
  • Reply 231 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hiro View Post


    My point is who cares who the rock star architect is other than name droppers or those in the field? I find it pretentious when someone claims my ____ will be ____ because it will be designed by ____, sight unseen. Hawthorne was way to caught up in that rather than the design itself.



    People who are interested in architecture care. Some architects, a handful, have made important contributions to architecture.



    Quote:

    I'd have to disagree here. The project doesn't break any new architectural barriers, fine, but that hardly makes it not work with it's surroundings. And the comparisons to clear-cut paved office parks only shows a lack of context. It is a big freaking building, sited to not overshadow the surrounding community or impose it's bulk over too close neighbors. Pulling that off and making the building something other than a box is a nice thing. Who cares if it's not a revolutionary thing.



    The design is not problematical because does not fail to break new ground. It is problematical because it is in fact conceptually retrograde.



    Quote:

    Quite pretentious to assume I have no prior interest in architecture. I'm not an architect, and I haven't studied it, but that is a long way away from not having a working relationship with design, psychology and how they inform each other. I find much of the architectural discussion here ignores the realities of that interplay as it sits in the actual context of infill and what could have gone there or what was there.



    I see a case of one pretentious person writing a hack of an article, mainly because they want to throw a hissy fit over not being told who is designing an office building. And that said office building is not some magical breakthrough that ignores the existing city, site and infrastructure. That isn't an inditement of Architecture, it is an indication that a person who considers themselves architecturally astute is out of touch with reality -- something an architect cannot blindly ignore for sake of a favorite -ism theory.



    Your repeated use of the "pretentious" criticism is itself pretentious. There was no "hissy fit." No "magical breakthrough" was implied as required.
  • Reply 232 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post


    Sadly, the other doctor won't respond to them... probably because I'm too stupid to understand his answers.



    No, I'm just tired (and too occupied by other thing) to provide answers to your questions knowing in advance that you will ignore them.
  • Reply 233 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    No, I'm just tired (and too occupied by other thing) to provide answers to your questions knowing in advance that you will ignore them.



    The answers to those questions would inform this discussion greatly. It may not provide many opportunities to use the word retrograde however.
  • Reply 234 of 305
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    People who are interested in architecture care. Some architects, a handful, have made important contributions to architecture.



    First sentence is exactly the problem. More than one person is having a problem with understating the 'rockstar' involvement. And way too personally sensitive. Nobody is disparaging Architecture. We are calling attention to an out of touch attitude of architecture for architectures sake. That isn't architecture's role, architecture's role is to serve the people. All the people, not just judgmental architects.



    Quote:

    The design is not problematical because does not fail to break new ground. It is problematical because it is in fact conceptually retrograde.



    Fake, manufactured, tripe. It sounds just like the two months of verbal and textual abuse the iPad took before it was released. Not that a building an an iPad are the same thing, but Apple tends to cause these shortsighted, jealously fueled negative reactions amongst those 'in the know'. Then the rest of us proclaim them not so smart after the fact. A couple years later everyone forgets.



    Quote:

    Your repeated use of the "pretentious" criticism is itself pretentious. There was no "hissy fit." No "magical breakthrough" was implied as required.



    That's the best retort you have? A throw-back to ~I know you are but what am I? I can understand your unwillingness to identify the first 1/3 of the article as something other than a spoiled hacks jealous raspberry towards 1 Infinite Loop. But because you are showing signs of professional defensiveness where it really isn't needed, you are just blinding yourself to reality as those of us not in the architectural inner circle see it. And just because we aren't card carrying architects doesn't mean we cannot spot a good solution that fits radically better into the environment than what was there before.
  • Reply 235 of 305
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    No, I'm just tired (and too occupied by other thing) to provide answers to your questions knowing in advance that you will ignore them.



    Wah.



    Cut out the stealth FU posts. Either say your piece or don't. You look pretty childish pulling crap like this.
  • Reply 236 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hiro View Post


    Wah.



    Cut out the stealth FU posts. Either say your piece or don't. You look pretty childish pulling crap like this.



    I'm happy that he answered my questions this way... it proved my point about his attitude.
  • Reply 237 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post


    The answers to those questions would inform this discussion greatly. It may not provide many opportunities to use the word retrograde however.



    I gave him a real shot at some meaningful dialogue. Sadly, all he did was to make my earlier remarks true. Posters have to expect that their comments are going to be challenged; acting as if your argument is unassailable because of self professed superior knowledge just doesn't cut it. Answering questions is the only way that people can truly assess whether or not your argument might be valid.



    I really do enjoy this topic. I even listened to the entire 1 hour EIR Scoping meeting from last Thursday.
  • Reply 238 of 305
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,511member
    New epic phrase:



    "Apple is conceptually retrograde."



    No, no, you say, I was just talking about this building of theirs.



    But I say this building expresses perfectly what they are about. Therefore, if that is true, whatever you say about this building applies to the company as a whole.



    Hiro's comparison to the iPad misjudgment is correct, I think.
  • Reply 239 of 305
    The design of the new Apple campus is striking, and a big improvement over what's there now. But Hawthorne's critique is valid; the design is retrograde--it’s futuristic only in a mid-20th-Century kind of way. Designed as an isolated island, rather a 12,000-person part of Cupertino, the design might be a good one for Apple and very much in it's image, but it's not a great design overall. It's very much like failed mid-century attempts at urban renewal, and Le Corbusier's discredited modernist visions of freeway connected skyscrapers in park-like settings--just with the building laid on it's side.



    This type of development and land use is increasingly being abandoned because it's sterile and unsustainable. Portland, Greenwich Village, and Boston provide some great examples of how more integrated "metropolitan" settings can develop as beautiful and vibrant engines of broader economic and social development--the likes of which you will not see in a private walled garden.
  • Reply 240 of 305
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dalesun View Post


    This type of development and land use is increasingly being abandoned because it's sterile and unsustainable. Portland, Greenwich Village, and Boston provide some great examples of how more integrated "metropolitan" settings can develop as beautiful and vibrant engines of broader economic and social development--the likes of which you will not see in a private walled garden.



    How out of touch are you? This is CUPERTINO we are talking about. With NONE of the civic urban infrastructure available to support the ecosystems of those places. Daly City and north, you might be able to start having that conversation as a realistic thing to consider. South San Francisco and below, it's just completely not relevant. Don't they teach architects how to assess a particular site as well as working with the site and surrounding environment anymore?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dalesun View Post


    The design of the new Apple campus is striking, and a big improvement over what's there now. But Hawthorne's critique is valid; the design is retrograde--it?s futuristic only in a mid-20th-Century kind of way. Designed as an isolated island, rather a 12,000-person part of Cupertino, the design might be a good one for Apple and very much in it's image, but it's not a great design overall. It's very much like failed mid-century attempts at urban renewal, and Le Corbusier's discredited modernist visions of freeway connected skyscrapers in park-like settings--just with the building laid on it's side.



    Urban renewal failed to take the realities and capabilities of their sites into proper context, forcing something the community wasn't into the community. Even worse it was forced economic relocation and upheval. Here the example you tried to use fails for the same meta-reasons you are proposing as flaws in the Apple design-- that Apple's design is disconnected, because there isn't upheaval, relocation of infrastructure and community it must be a flawed design, hurting or at least depriving the people of the world. It sounds like a harsh comparison and it is but it's fair. You can't get a Greenwich Village, hipster Portland or Boston feeling neighborhood without catastrophically changing what Cupertino is. That would be just as tragic to try to force as urban renewal was.



    It's a private office complex, not a shared public space. How hard is that to remember? It replaces haphazard nondescript but very visible boxes with trees and a big interestingly shaped building actually sited to not overpower the neighbors. It is being engineered to use significantly less grid-electricity than a standard comparable service buildings serving the number of employees planned. It is the kind of infill that should be embraced wholeheartedly and used as an example of what can be done with ugly office parks in the future, rather than lament it isn't Greenwich Village, hipster Portland or South End Boston, forgetting what the rest of Cupertino actually is.
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