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

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  • Reply 241 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hiro View Post


    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.



    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.



    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.



    The thing you and others need to understand is that something can be true even if you don't know enough to accept it. The problem here is you are delving into subjects which you have no preparation to intelligently discuss, and using that lack of knowledge to disparage those who do. That's a pretty sad state of affiars, and I feel sure you'd agree if the shoe was on the other foot.



    Anyway, if you hated Hawthorne you'll loathe this:



    http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_18890271?



    But then Allan Hess must also be a hack, because, you know.
  • Reply 242 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.



    Been there, done that -- in this thread and others, which would be easy enough for anyone to find. For those who can't be bothered, I essentially agree with the criticism of Hawthorne and with Hess (the other article I linked). In fact I agree with pretty much all of the commentary on this project that I've read from informed individuals. So far, I have yet to see one that praises it, and the disappointment all follows more or less the same lines. But as I said before, if you find something to the contrary, feel free to post a link.
  • Reply 243 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hiro View Post


    This is CUPERTINO we are talking about. With NONE of the civic urban infrastructure available to support the ecosystems of those places.



    I mentioned those specific places not as models for Cupertino, but just as good examples of the "collective metropolitan realm" that Hawthorne mentioned, which are not "crowded dirty inner cities," "crime ridden," or "concrete canyons," as others have suggested here. They?re also great examples of the dynamic economic and social development that?s lacking in large isolated single-use developments like Apple?s new campus. While I?m happy to see Cupertino working through it?s General Plan to build civic infrastructure and become more pedestrian friendly, I?m not suggesting it should try to build a hipster downtown area. There's much to be learned from the successes and failures of other cities.



    Although the new campus doesn?t displace residents, it otherwise follows old urban renewal patterns of consolidating land parcels, removing roads and buildings, and replacing them with a massive isolated building. The increasing development in Cupertino means It?s time to think different, but the new campus just embraces and extends the paradigm of suburban sprawl, which will have a continuing impact on Cupertino and it?s traffic (the overwhelming concern of residents at the Sept. 8 environmental impact meeting).



    The retro design is an improvement over what?s there now, and may have considered it?s geographic place, but by cutting itself off from the surrounding community it ignores it?s place in time.
  • Reply 244 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post


    Would Apple have to leave Cupertino to address the transportation issue?



    No. They would have to think outside the box...err....circle. It is very typical for those who generate new civic demands on infrastructure to pay for infrastructure improvements. Traffic mitigation measures are something that many communities would expect the builder of a huge campus to provide.



    Around here, it is common for new buildings to be built near transportation hubs. Owners often provide free shuttle busses for their employees, in order to reduce car trips. Am I correct that Apple is building a 4 story above-ground parking garage for thousands and thousands of cars? IIRC, they are putting in an additional parking space, equal to a minimum of two car trips per day, for pretty much each and every employee.



    What we have not yet heard about are any incentives Apple might provide to employees who carpool. Nor have we heard about Apple building any nearby housing/shopping/nightlife for employees and other members of the community. Incentives for electric cars? Free daytime charging stations? Nothing yet, but these are the types of things demanded by communities around here.



    Had Apple made the building more space-efficient, rather than sprawling it in the wasteful low-rise suburban manner it chose, it could have easily fit combined-use amenities on the land, thereby relieving a portion of the impact on local infrastructure. It could also have created public space, in the manner of Pepsico.



    Retro sprawl is not Thinking Different. It is a failed paradigm. The absence of innovation is astounding for a company like Apple. They should be part of a solution, and not an exacerbation of an existing problem.
  • Reply 245 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dalesun View Post


    I mentioned those specific places not as models for Cupertino, but just as good examples of the "collective metropolitan realm" that Hawthorne mentioned, which are not "crowded dirty inner cities," "crime ridden," or "concrete canyons," as others have suggested here. They?re also great examples of the dynamic economic and social development that?s lacking in large isolated single-use developments like Apple?s new campus. While I?m happy to see Cupertino working through it?s General Plan to build civic infrastructure and become more pedestrian friendly, I?m not suggesting it should try to build a hipster downtown area. There's much to be learned from the successes and failures of other cities.



    Although the new campus doesn?t displace residents, it otherwise follows old urban renewal patterns of consolidating land parcels, removing roads and buildings, and replacing them with a massive isolated building. The increasing development in Cupertino means It?s time to think different, but the new campus just embraces and extends the paradigm of suburban sprawl, which will have a continuing impact on Cupertino and it?s traffic (the overwhelming concern of residents at the Sept. 8 environmental impact meeting).



    The retro design is an improvement over what?s there now, and may have considered it?s geographic place, but by cutting itself off from the surrounding community it ignores it?s place in time.



    Finally, someone who not only gives us examples but is also willing to discuss the subject at hand and does a good job explaining Hawthorne's position.



    ... but, of course, there are questions.



    I think the one thing that has been forgotten in all of this is... does Apple give a rat's ass about any of this architectural/city planning exercise? Is this campus built for a specific reason and purpose (security)? Are we to believe that Jobs knows nothing about architecture and planning? Did he ignore the new urban realm because of ignorance or did he feel it wouldn't work for Apple for the new campus? Did Jobs feel that the new urban realm idea wouldn't work in the one place where he wanted Apple to stay, Cupertino? Without strong political will (Portland and Boston) and/or strong community involvement (Greenwich) will the new urban community development actually prosper in other areas?
  • Reply 246 of 305
    All of this has been said many times before. You simply ignored it.
  • Reply 247 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post


    No. They would have to think outside the box...err....circle. It is very typical for those who generate new civic demands on infrastructure to pay for infrastructure improvements. Traffic mitigation measures are something that many communities would expect the builder of a huge campus to provide.



    Around here, it is common for new buildings to be built near transportation hubs. Owners often provide free shuttle busses for their employees, in order to reduce car trips. Am I correct that Apple is building a 4 story above-ground parking garage for thousands and thousands of cars? IIRC, they are putting in an additional parking space, equal to a minimum of two car trips per day, for pretty much each and every employee.



    What we have not yet heard about are any incentives Apple might provide to employees who carpool. Nor have we heard about Apple building any nearby housing/shopping/nightlife for employees and other members of the community. Incentives for electric cars? Free daytime charging stations? Nothing yet, but these are the types of things demanded by communities around here.



    Had Apple made the building more space-efficient, rather than sprawling it in the wasteful low-rise suburban manner it chose, it could have easily fit combined-use amenities on the land, thereby relieving a portion of the impact on local infrastructure. It could also have created public space, in the manner of Pepsico.



    Retro sprawl is not Thinking Different. It is a failed paradigm. The absence of innovation is astounding for a company like Apple. They should be part of a solution, and not an exacerbation of an existing problem.



    One thing to note... there was more building and parking lot sprawl in that location previously, Apple is actually putting more into less. It's what Apple is doing with the rest of the parcel that fits your argument. The parcel is actually bounded by 4 cities... so it's actually infill and not sprawl. Apple built the campus specifically for cutting itself off from the rest of the community in the name of security. Apple is actually closing one of the streets (something which would bug me) and is fencing off the compound (for lack of a better word) to create zero public access (another thing that would really bug me).



    Apple is providing parking for approx. 2/3 of its expected work force... approx. 1/2 underground, approx. 1/2 above ground in a four story structure. The other 1/3 of the employees take other modes of transportation. Apple does have its own bus system. Someone else noted that the amount of parking provided might be a temporary quick fix and that, as time goes on, Apple, working with Cupertino, might increase the use of other modes of transportation and use the parking structure for something else or demolish it.



    As mentioned before... we have no idea what was considered during the planning stage of the campus. We also have to note that our comments are just opinions. In the end there are no rules as to what will or wont work in a particular location. It's Apple's baby and there (and Cupertino's) right to fuck up if they wish.



    BTW - the EIR scoping meeting makes me think that Apple may have to make a few changes... especially in the way that they intend to cut the community off from that area.
  • Reply 248 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    All of this has been said many times before. You simply ignored it.



    If it has all been said before then why are you ignoring it.



    If you don't want to discuss or you're incapable of discussing the subject and/or are unable to answer the questions then, please, fuck off.
  • Reply 249 of 305
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,511member
    Herr Dr. Millmoss,



    Maybe you could a provide a link or two with some argument as to why Apple has any obligation whatsoever to create public urban space in a place the likes of Cupertino?



    Maybe also something on what sort of building other than a glass torus would be suitable for mass immersion of the workers into nature (Hess's objection was that it "walled off" the workers in a "garden" -- is that absurd or what? Does he think the trees and bushes should be inside the building? (Maybe they will be.)



    Your phrase, "The thing that you and others need to understand" is the sort of imperiousness I'm sure you could avoid if you actually linked to past discussions rather than expecting us to dig up and react to your past comments.
  • Reply 249 of 305
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    The thing you and others need to understand is that something can be true even if you don't know enough to accept it. The problem here is you are delving into subjects which you have no preparation to intelligently discuss, and using that lack of knowledge to disparage those who do. That's a pretty sad state of affiars, and I feel sure you'd agree if the shoe was on the other foot.



    That is a cloak on insecurity talking there. Scared professionals often wrap their arguments in jargon to try to keep out the riff-raff? This has been noted by leading minds several times in the past two to three hundred years. You keep digging yourself a bigger hole. At this point you have seriously abused your credibility as a true professional, a level which never talks down to the lay community. Asshats talk down to the lay community, welcome to your new chosen club.



    Quote:

    Anyway, if you hated Hawthorne you'll loathe this:



    http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_18890271?



    But then Allan Hess must also be a hack, because, you know.



    As for this, you really don't think critically do you. <flat out statement, not question> This article reads like Hess read this thread and wrote to avoid the identified pitfalls. Or maybe he didn't have to, he just wrote like a true journalist doing an opinion column. He makes his point and counterpoint up front and continually addresses both sides. He makes his opinion known with constant references to other real world designs in similar contexts, rather than trump up some ridiculous comparison to an out of context urban-civic utopia in a book.



    Hess thinks the design could be better. I won't disagree, he makes lucid points with clear logical reasoning. I'll even spot him the Frank Lloyd Wright citation despite the fact Wright's architectural brilliance masked his structural engineering weaknesses. I'll even let pass the reference that it could be a long walk to a meeting if someone had to go to the other side of the building (which is obviously true), but happens to ignore the current dispersed nature of the off Apple campuses where someone may have to drive 20 minutes in traffic and still walk that far in parking lots to get to a meeting. At least Hess wasn't derisive about it, he just stated it. A tone that allows a discussion to take place rather than a hostile pronouncement from on high that must not be questioned lest our uneducated, unprepared and incapable minds blow up or something.



    Now go reread both articles, sit down and do a bit of real analysis and reconcile how both can be less than Pollyanna-Apple-is-Perfect in tenor, yet one is a mere hack, while the other is an enjoyable discourse. If you cannot see that, and I already suspect it might be beyond your willingness to admit, there is no hope in your Mudville, "Casey" Millimoss.
  • Reply 251 of 305
    Something I keep wondering about when I constantly hear the words, "failed paradigm", is whether or not Apple's structure/use of land is a failed paradigm. Are Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and San Jose failing? Really?



    Apple hasn't placed this campus on the outskirts of a city... they are smack dab in the middle of these cities.



    The building itself might be from a past era but does it really follow a "failed" paradigm?



    Hawthorne basically talks about that himself at the end of his piece when he talks about LA.
  • Reply 252 of 305
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    Been there, done that -- in this thread and others, which would be easy enough for anyone to find. For those who can't be bothered, I essentially agree with the criticism of Hawthorne and with Hess (the other article I linked). In fact I agree with pretty much all of the commentary on this project that I've read from informed individuals. So far, I have yet to see one that praises it, and the disappointment all follows more or less the same lines. But as I said before, if you find something to the contrary, feel free to post a link.



    Hess actually does praise the project. He just thinks it could be even better yet, and gives reasonable justifications for his points. Only the final sentence is truly and bitingly critical, yet it is made in the context of a well laid out set of points that went before. That's called well written and respectable. You have missed the whole issue to this point, that's just plain unfortunate for you.
  • Reply 253 of 305
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,511member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post


    It could also have created public space, in the manner of Pepsico.



    Retro sprawl is not Thinking Different. It is a failed paradigm. The absence of innovation is astounding for a company like Apple. They should be part of a solution, and not an exacerbation of an existing problem.



    Pepsico is selling sugar water to failed children and adults. Apple is building spaceships for the mind.



    You're acting like you should be able to play Frisbee on JPL's front lawn.



    So now it's "retro sprawl" is it? It's infill, not sprawl, as has been pointed out numerously here. Are you just going to ignore that?



    Explain how it's any kind of sprawl, advanced or retro. Please.
  • Reply 254 of 305
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post


    The building itself might be from a past era but does it really follow a "failed" paradigm?



    In tech (and design), a maxim that must be remembered if the company or engineer is to flourish is "What's old is new again". The rule of thumb for that is about 30 years before technological advances make an old discarded technology worth dusting off and repurposing/reinventing. Small embedded devices are using updated algorithms and design principle minted in the '50s and '80s, with large swaths of tech in between pretty much not suited for the job at hand. It's all cyclic, and those that understand that well enough to find the cycle rather than just notice it as it passes back into disuse reap the benefits.



    So it's not so intellectually safe to merely say something is from a past era. You need to know if it is just copied and drug forward, which would be deserving of criticism. Or if it was stolen from the past and reimagined going forward, which has a far greater possibility of being successful than might otherwise be evident. Only Time can tell.
  • Reply 255 of 305
    nhtnht Posts: 4,494member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Michael Wilkie View Post


    You may not hold that position if you were to engage in more Architectural discourse. Many of the most influential and well-respected ideas in Architecture come from theorists, not practitioners.



    The same is true in engineering, of course. The Mac wouldn't exist without Xerox's "non-practical, proof-of-concept" research on the desktop metaphor, for example.



    Bull. First, Xerox created products, not theories. Products that didn't sell but that's a different issue.



    Second, those concepts were developed at Stanford by Engelbart. Engelbart wasn't just a theorist but a practitioner...as in he built stuff.



    Pure theorists have a place, certainly but considered most influential? I would argue that the most influential are those that can marry their theory to actual practice that works.



    Tell me which pure theorist is more influential than Gropius, Le Corbusier, Mies, Wright, etc?



    Who was more influential, Ruskin or Morris?



    Who should someone be more influenced by with respect to urban planning? A theorist that never built anything or someone like Rouse who developed several planned communities? Weirdly, I've lived in Columbia, Greenbelt and a short while in Reston.



    All planned communities, none of which are urban but suburban. The evolution of Cross Keys (urban planned community in Baltimore) is an interesting one from the perspective of planned vs reality.



    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.



    This is why pure theorists are only the most influential in fields that don't matter to anyone. The real world never conforms to theory.



    Quote:

    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.



    Others have pointed out that they aren't building a city but building a workplace. One that should be compared to other workspaces and not urban planning.



    It is very functional and green within the context of the building. As far as how "green" transit will be depend on the adoption rate of green cars by Apple employees and how close they live to work.



    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.



    +1



    Although in actual space limited environments like Hong Kong or Shanghai an arcology makes sense.



    You guys clamoring for Apple to delve into urban planning probably hate Masdar City as well.
  • Reply 256 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hiro View Post


    In tech (and design), a maxim that must be remembered if the company or engineer is to flourish is "What's old is new again". The rule of thumb for that is about 30 years before technological advances make an old discarded technology worth dusting off and repurposing/reinventing. Small embedded devices are using updated algorithms and design principle minted in the '50s and '80s, with large swaths of tech in between pretty much not suited for the job at hand. It's all cyclic, and those that understand that well enough to find the cycle rather than just notice it as it passes back into disuse reap the benefits.



    So it's not so intellectually safe to merely say something is from a past era. You need to know if it is just copied and drug forward, which would be deserving of criticism. Or if it was stolen from the past and reimagined going forward, which has a far greater possibility of being successful than might otherwise be evident. Only Time can tell.



    Actually, I started writing that exact thing (cycles) in one of my responses but it got too wordy even for me.
  • Reply 257 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post


    Herr Dr. Millmoss,



    Maybe you could a provide a link or two with some argument as to why Apple has any obligation whatsoever to create public urban space in a place the likes of Cupertino?



    Maybe also something on what sort of building other than a glass torus would be suitable for mass immersion of the workers into nature (Hess's objection was that it "walled off" the workers in a "garden" -- is that absurd or what? Does he think the trees and bushes should be inside the building? (Maybe they will be.)



    Your phrase, "The thing that you and others need to understand" is the sort of imperiousness I'm sure you could avoid if you actually linked to past discussions rather than expecting us to dig up and react to your past comments.



    So again we have the same logic: knowledge of the actual subject (architecture and planning) only gets in the way of having an opinion.



    Alan Hess is an absurd sort of guy, but I'm sure you know that from reading his books and commentaries over the years.
  • Reply 258 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hiro View Post


    Hess actually does praise the project. He just thinks it could be even better yet, and gives reasonable justifications for his points. Only the final sentence is truly and bitingly critical, yet it is made in the context of a well laid out set of points that went before. That's called well written and respectable. You have missed the whole issue to this point, that's just plain unfortunate for you.



    He finds a few good points, but if you think he was offering praise in general, I would ask you to revisit his conclusion.



    Quote:

    Respecting nature, Apple will integrate an impressive list of green technologies into the new compound. But except for some trees at the perimeter, almost all of them now on the site will be removed and replaced with new ones. And the white metal-and-glass building stands at arm's length from the pleasantly ragged, unmanicured look of the new landscaping. The building will be a place from which to observe nature, but not one to welcome it in.

    We retreat inside our machines, which we trust to solve our energy-dependence problems. The Apple design does not ask us to make a philosophical adjustment that would bring our lives into balance with nature.



    If we're seeing the rest of the 21st century more clearly in this project, the view is not entirely encouraging.



    He also uses the dreaded r-word in his criticism.
  • Reply 259 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    So again we have the same logic: knowledge of the actual subject (architecture and planning) only gets in the way of having an opinion.



    Alan Hess is an absurd sort of guy, but I'm sure you know that from reading his books and commentaries over the years.



    Fuck me... why don't you answer the question instead of all these mind games.

    h

    Hess doesn't give us an example of how he would immerse us in nature while housing 13,000 employees... or as Hess puts it, "The Apple design does not ask us to make a philosophical adjustment that would bring our lives into balance with nature.." Hess leaves us hanging at this point.



    The proper response to Flaneur would be to give us your interpretation of what Hess is saying and then provide an example.



    Instead we just get more bullshit.



    by the way... Hess does make a mistake when he says the planning process will take a year... the planning process has been more or less completed... the EIR will take a year to complete.
  • Reply 260 of 305
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,511member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    So again we have the same logic: knowledge of the actual subject (architecture and planning) only gets in the way of having an opinion.



    Alan Hess is an absurd sort of guy, but I'm sure you know that from reading his books and commentaries over the years.



    I'm interested in what he's saying now, not what his history has been. I'd be interested in anyone, including you, commenting on two points raised in all this discussion:



    How is it incumbent on a corporation in the business of inventing the technology of the future to open its central transparent building to the public, which everyone is cloyingly euphemising as "the urban environment."



    How is it possible to design a building that is more in contact with nature (for the benefit of the workers and their creativity) than the four-story glass torus, without compromising its human scale?



    I can imagine that Apple may provide some public access to their park at the fringes, by the way. But not to their glass-walled Arcadia in the center. That's for the workers. What is so hard about that to deal with that you architecture critics fail to assume it as a primary fact?



    Edit: Nicely anticipated by island hermit above. #2 And by nht below. I'm getting fed up, but it's an important topic, because it's Apple's objective statement about how it views its future. It seems to reveal some confidence about expansion. And it makes a new statement about the importance of nature as a background for technology design. That's how I interpret the glass circle anyway. "Pastoral capitalism" indeed. What horseshit.
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