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

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  • Reply 161 of 193
    4fx4fx Posts: 258member
    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.
  • Reply 162 of 193
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member
    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.
  • Reply 163 of 193
    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.
  • Reply 164 of 193
    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.
  • Reply 165 of 193
    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.
  • Reply 166 of 193
    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.
  • Reply 167 of 193
    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.
  • Reply 168 of 193
    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.
  • Reply 169 of 193
    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.
  • Reply 170 of 193
    I do tend to wonder why Apple's renderings show uncut grass... it makes the building look abandoned.
  • Reply 171 of 193
    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.
  • Reply 172 of 193
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DarkVader View Post


    The fact is, this building is ugly.



    Subjective. Like the rest of your post.
  • Reply 173 of 193
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member
    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.
  • Reply 174 of 193
    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...
  • Reply 175 of 193
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,654member
    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.
  • Reply 176 of 193
    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.
  • Reply 177 of 193
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,654member
    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?
  • Reply 178 of 193
    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."
  • Reply 179 of 193
    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.
  • Reply 180 of 193
    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!
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