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

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  • Reply 101 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bigdaddyguido View Post


    I'm most intrigued by the comments that this campus won't inspire the designs of future cities. I'm no urban planner or architect, but I think it's dangerous to disregard the advantages of this structure.



    Moving bodies up requires far more energy than overcoming the forces of mu and moving side to side. vertical buildings require significant portions of the structure to be devoted to this vertical movement, including stairs, elevators, plumbing and sometimes alternate fire escapes.



    This huge low profile circle idea has other advantages to city planning. here, vertical transportation is minimized, also minimizing the amount of structure responsible for getting us up and down the building.



    If future cities were designed in one giant beltway with huge gardens in the middle, I think there could be strong potential for that succeeding. Particularly if you consider having concentric loops of building space , keeping everything close, but little impeding your movement around the structure.



    I think his main concern is the idea that with this design we are moving from one cocoon (home) in a cocoon (car) to another cocoon (office)... totally divorcing us from any interaction with the rest of the collective... but I think that idea totally negates the idea that we are thinking beings. Quite a few critics (Snobs) forget that other people can also think.



    I tend to believe that if we can make the home and office environments as tolerable as possible then we as individuals will be happier and therefore more willing to socialize and to spend more time with people in our communities.
  • Reply 102 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by justbobf View Post


    The critic is a pompass a$$. The building is absolutely gorgeous. One question, though... Where is the parking? The renderings show a park surrounding the building. Is parking underground? Or, is the rendering not accurate in this regard?



    There's a huge-a$$ parking garage forming a wall hundreds of yards long along Interstate 280.



    I was much more supportive of the new campus before I began diving into the details, such as the size and location of the parking garage. The more I examined the entire proposal, the less I liked it -- why can't the parking be underground? why not do a 6-story building and obviate the need for campus 3? with all of Apple's money, why not do something even better - a Geery Apple HQ, for instance?
  • Reply 103 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Michael Wilkie View Post


    If there was one foot of drywall in this building I'd be shocked and disappointed.



    Uh, what do you suppose makes up office walls? Every office wall in 99% of the buildings in the world are drywall. (The rest are glass, bamboo or plywood.) Do you think Steve's going to build this out of transparent aluminum?
  • Reply 104 of 305
    "we express fundamental American values of openness and respect for the surrounding environment. "



    You're kidding, right?
  • Reply 105 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by John.B View Post


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



    Uh, why? Did this guy single-handedly create L.A.'s car culture? Did he force every Angeleno, decades ago, to vote against public transit and build freeways?



    Don't be so snide and simple, it just negates anything substantive might you have to say.
  • Reply 106 of 305
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,510member
    Hawthorne's misunderstanding could not be more profound.



    Apple is not turning its back on the civic environment, it's building in "downtown" Cupertino. What does he want, a skyscraper in San Jose?



    Apple's imperative is to maintain its connection is to the world at large, to make things that the entire world uses to amplify their minds. Making such products requires free, open, but still grounded minds to do the designing and marketing.



    For that mindset you need trees, open space, a minimum of boxes, a building for the right brain. You don't want left-brained cubes and rectangles, or some Gehry-like, irrational, tour de force. You want repose, a quiet, meditative space that allows you to connect with nature both visually and tactilely, if that's a word.



    That's what this building is about. It's an Apple product for designing Apple products.



    To ask that it engage with a fictitious urban environment in Cupertino is sophomoric.
  • Reply 107 of 305
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by robot View Post


    "we express fundamental American values of openness and respect for the surrounding environment. "



    You're kidding, right?



    Kidding himself, as usual, on this subject.
  • Reply 108 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JONOROM View Post


    I agree with many posters here that this design is consistent with the way we have done things in America for the past 50+ years. The new campus will be a ideal example of what American corporations and suburbs are about. Maybe there is nothing wrong with that. And, there is a good chance that the building will be beautiful, as an object, just like all Apple's products are.



    But I think the LA Times critic and others here wish that the greatest American company of this era, a company that has changed for the better so much about the way we work and live, could have been as ambitious for this campus as they are for their products. As they tell us repeatedly, it is not just about the design, what really matters is the way it changes our lives and work.



    It may be no coincidence that the public philanthropy issue (or lack thereof by Jobs and Apple) is also hitting the news these days. Many of us wish that Apple would act more like a forward-looking corporate citizen of the 21st century.



    There is a great dissonance between Apples products (and apparent values as expressed in those products) and their behavior as a corporation.



    Very well said. The new campus is perfect for what it is - a suburban office campus - but I'd like to think that Apple could do more than simply perfect an existing solution; I'd like to think they could come up with something that breaks the mold.
  • Reply 109 of 305
    As an L.A. Times subscriber I read the entire article. What the AI posting left out I found to be the most interesting . . . and problematic. The first part of Hawthorne's piece was devoted to implying that Steve was presenting the building as though he had designed it--by his never mentioning the architects by name. The fact that the firm's name was stamped all over each sheet presented notwithstanding. It came across to me like those folks who kept carping about the White House "refusing" to release President Obama's "original" birth certificate. Hawthorne seemed to want Steve to bring the "original" architect to the meeting to take a bow. Anything less being some effort to "cover up" the truth. Left a bad taste in my mouth, and caused me to receive the rest of the piece with much more skepticism.



    His piece was not so much an architectural critique as it was the intellectual exercise of shining some light on otherwise obscure architectural theories. Not a bad thing in itself, but framed as it was, came across as unreasonable carping.
  • Reply 110 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sierrajeff View Post


    There's a huge-a$$ parking garage forming a wall hundreds of yards long along Interstate 280.



    I was much more supportive of the new campus before I began diving into the details, such as the size and location of the parking garage. The more I examined the entire proposal, the less I liked it -- why can't the parking be underground? why not do a 6-story building and obviate the need for campus 3? with all of Apple's money, why not do something even better - a Geery Apple HQ, for instance?



    Half of the parking is underground... and there will be a row of trees between the 280 and the "parking wall".



    One real beef will come from bicycle crowd who use Pruneridge as a quieter cycling street. That will disappear to become the entrance to the underground parking and further down the campus that is where the auditorium and fitness centre will sit... and that is in complete contradiction to what I believe should be Apple's goal, limit car traffic and encourage bicycle traffic.
  • Reply 111 of 305
    Ironic that someone from LA is castigating the fact that the building relies too much on the car. If anyone would know about a suburban wasteland, it should be someone from LA. The building isn't in a dense urban environment that would lend itself well to public transportation or alternative means of transportation.
  • Reply 112 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sierrajeff View Post


    Very well said. The new campus is perfect for what it is - a suburban office campus - but I'd like to think that Apple could do more than simply perfect an existing solution; I'd like to think they could come up with something that breaks the mold.



    I think they are breaking the mold... housing 13,000 employees is no easy task and I think Apple's solution is a lot more elegant than most, if not all, companies.



    My biggest beef is with the use of emission producing automobiles, the bane of my existence... but I don't think Apple could fix that problem with any design. Maybe the gang at Apple will develop the iCar or iTransit at some point in the future.
  • Reply 113 of 305
    What a whiner. Leave it to California where liberals complain about other liberals. I'm not an Apple apologist, but this guy is out to lunch.



    1. What is wrong with a suburban setting?



    2. Old fashioned? It wouldn't matter what shape was chosen, this guy would dig back through history to find something to compare it to, and still call it old fashioned.



    3. I agree is has a decidedly 60-70's look to it. Is there something wrong with that?



    4. Apple is one of the "greenest" companies around. The new campus will be replacing old HP buildings which means reuse of existing developed land, and they will be planting more trees and plants than any other company is ever likely to do. It will also be fueled with as much "green" energy sources as possible...



    5. This guy uses cars as an argument against Apple's environmental efforts? What a bone-head. First, where in the world can you put a building where people won't need cars to get there? Oh that's right, nowhere. Get a clue. The world has been built around cars. No amount of wishful thinking is going to change that. People are NEVER going to give up their cars. Just accept that and get back to reality. Second, this campus replaces a previous company's campus. It should not have a significant impact on traffic from when HP's folks were working at capacity. If anything, with the improved building design, and how Apple will probably manage worker hours, traffic congestion will be reduced compared to times past.



    6. His use of "pastoral capitalism" as an argument suggests that if he had his way, everyone would work in big cities. Guess what dude, not everyone wants to do that. A great deal of folks have indeed "turned their back" on cities - it's because they've figured out that big cities suck. Another factoid that you're just going to have to wrap your brain around and get used to, is that lots of people want to get out of big cities.



    7. This was an interesting phrase: "Apple's campus... keeps itself aloof from the world around it to a degree that is unusual even in a part of California dominated by office parks." So, Chris, what, you're a conformist then? Or maybe a communist? Maybe Apple wants to stay a bit detached from the noise, congestion and commotion going on around them, so they can focus on their work in a quiet, peaceful environment. Once again you paint this as a negative. What the heck is wrong with it?
  • Reply 114 of 305
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,453member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post


    [on edit: we could argue all year long about what is the best environment for working and living but at the end of the day we have to ask ourselves how we feel and what is our ideal. Personally, I've always liked working at home and have done so for most of my working life. If I had to go outside of the home to work then I would rather go to the Apple campus than into some busy urban maze... no matter how good it's supposed to be for my collective responsibility towards society. I really would like to see Hawthorne and/or Mozingo give us an example of how they would house 12,000 employees into their ideal framework... maybe their theories only work with an employee base below 500, but until we see an example then it's only a theory... one that may or may not work. I think Mozingo envisions a Utopia, but has absolutely no practical way of getting there without disastrous results.]




    You can certainly house 12,000 employees in an urban setting. I'm working in a building right now for a media company that is nowhere near any of the largest, but there are 3000 employees and there are 100 more buildings down the same avenue with similar numbers.



    While I don't agree with everything Hawthorne says, I do agree that there are tremendous advantages to a society where its workers interact with each other in a streetscape with everything that entails: restaurants, cafes, cultural centers, parks, etc. The problem with suburban settings isn't the settings or architecture itself (even though it's frequently dull) - it's that workers walk out of their office and into their cars, drive home and never interact with anything else. That's the difference between what I call "live downtowns" like New York, Boston and maybe San Francisco and "dead downtowns", where the place rolls up after 6pm and you never see any pedestrians on the street.



    That's why many new suburban developments are moving towards mixed used (retail, office, residential) that include "town centers" and modes of human interaction and away from the shopping mall, big box stores and strip malls that constitute much of American suburban development today.



    I'm biased because I prefer cities, but the reason I do so is because I want something more to life than driving everywhere, shopping malls, gas stations and chain stores (although our cities are also devolving into chain store meccas). We used to have distinctive architectures and environments in this country - now almost all suburbia look pretty much the same - like New Jersey.
  • Reply 115 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by photoshop59 View Post


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



    Exactly. Departing from the rectalinear environment in which our species evolved is foolish. Human beings are too detached from our environment already - we need to return to the comforting right angles of the natural world.
  • Reply 116 of 305
    Taken from someone who lives in and (probably) loves the concrete jungle.... and coming from someone so close to tinseltown that he probably worships the pretentious, the audacious and the pseudointellectualist... I'd say his critique is predictable.

    The design is a minimalist and environmental tribute to, not only the company, but the man that built it. The campus at 1 Infinite Loop is similar in that it's a structure surrounding an atrium of sorts.



    What would have been pretentious and audacious and, probably loved by critiques of his ilk, would have been a building, shaped like the Apple logo and been ten floors of mirrored glass surrounded by a hardscape of reflection pools and fountains.
  • Reply 117 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sierrajeff View Post


    There's a huge-a$$ parking garage forming a wall hundreds of yards long along Interstate 280.



    I was much more supportive of the new campus before I began diving into the details, such as the size and location of the parking garage. The more I examined the entire proposal, the less I liked it -- why can't the parking be underground? why not do a 6-story building and obviate the need for campus 3? with all of Apple's money, why not do something even better - a Geery Apple HQ, for instance?



    LOL WUT? The parking IS underground
  • Reply 118 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JONOROM


    By creating continuity with nature and the community, we express fundamental American values of openness and respect for the surrounding environment.



    There are many secure buildings today that don't turn their backs on the world. Today we use technology for security, not 11th century planning ideas.



    Respect for the environment is a "fundamental American value"?



  • Reply 119 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post


    You can certainly house 12,000 employees in an urban setting. I'm working in a building right now for a media company that is nowhere near any of the largest, but there are 3000 employees and there are 100 more buildings down the same avenue with similar numbers.



    While I don't agree with everything Hawthorne says, I do agree that there are tremendous advantages to a society where its workers interact with each other in a streetscape with everything that entails: restaurants, cafes, cultural centers, parks, etc. The problem with suburban settings isn't the settings or architecture itself (even though it's frequently dull) - it's that workers walk out of their office and into their cars, drive home and never interact with anything else. That's the difference between what I call "live downtowns" like New York, Boston and maybe San Francisco and "dead downtowns", where the place rolls up after 6pm and you never see any pedestrians on the street.



    That's why many new suburban developments are moving towards mixed used (retail, office, residential) that include "town centers" and modes of human interaction and away from the shopping mall, big box stores and strip malls that constitute much of American suburban development today.



    I'm biased because I prefer cities, but the reason I do so is because I want something more to life than driving everywhere, shopping malls, gas stations and chain stores (although our cities are also devolving into chain store meccas). We used to have distinctive architectures and environments in this country - now almost all suburbia look pretty much the same - like New Jersey.



    You must also remember that Apple is a publicly owned company with a responsibility to its shareholders... 4 buildings housing 3000 people each in a highly taxed urban setting and can Apple find a space where that is even possible... hmmmm....



    I know what you are saying... and, to some extent, I agree... but who says we have to mix and mingle and create a real community feeling. Is that idea in itself not a dream of days gone past... the agrarian village... the tribal home... are we confusing our working environment with our living environment. Do they have to be one and the same?



    Believe me... I don't know the answer... but I like to live and work in a peaceful setting. My home, although in the middle of an urban setting, is quite idyllic but yet very close to one of the most lively cultural settings in our city. I don't think it's the workplace that has to be changed... I think it's the area where we live that needs to be more progressive.
  • Reply 120 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sierrajeff View Post


    There's a huge-a$$ parking garage forming a wall hundreds of yards long along Interstate 280.



    I was much more supportive of the new campus before I began diving into the details, such as the size and location of the parking garage. The more I examined the entire proposal, the less I liked it -- why can't the parking be underground? why not do a 6-story building and obviate the need for campus 3? with all of Apple's money, why not do something even better - a Geery Apple HQ, for instance?





    If you'd dug a little deeper, you'd have learned that there IS underground parking under the main structure. The problem with having all the parking underground is two-fold... it isn't geologically feasible it isn't safe. Remember that Cupertino straddles the San Andreas Fault. It's just not feasible or safe to bury all the parking structures. ... and, I'd rather have a parking structure border ten lanes of freeway than a neighborhood, wouldn't you?
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