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

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  • Reply 201 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post


    I thought the time Hawthorne spent on the ego battle of who gets credit a waste of time and space that could have been spent on the merits (or lack thereof) of this building.



    We don't know whether any ego battle has taken place, so I think that's a misinterpretation of the issue. All major buildings have a backstory. These buildings are very much about the people who finance, design and build them. Then we live with the decisions made by these individuals, in a very real and tangible fashion, sometimes for a century or more. The result is not an abstraction, it's literally a concrete reality. So no, discussing the personal dynamics behind how the design was conceived is hardly a waste of space. In fact I would say that this topic will be hotly debated among people who are interested in such things for many years to come. It's very much in the nature of major buildings for this to occur.



    I believe Hawthorne was quite clear about his opinion on the merits of the building. He thinks it's a throwback and a wasted opportunity. I happen to agree, and not because he said it. I said very much the same thing weeks ago in other threads on this subject, for many of the same reasons he stated in his piece. But we can wait patiently for an alternative view to emerge from the architecture and planning communities. I have yet to see one. Perhaps if you do, you can point us to it.
  • Reply 202 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post


    Me too.



    I doubt it. The transportation problems are inherent with the concept.
  • Reply 203 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss 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.



    Normally, the main point of interest about a building built for gray suits and a gray corporation would be the architect. Not the case here. Steve Jobs is a household name, Norman Foster, not so much.



    Not odd at all that Apple won't officially confirm anything. That seems to be their default position on everything. Especially unreleased products, and unreleased buildings too evidently.
  • Reply 204 of 305
    .



    Robin Huber Quote:



    Would someone please drive a stake into Ayn Rand's heart once and for all?



    .



    island hermit Quote:



    Ayn Rand has a heart?



    ..................



    Good, least few of you know who Howard Roark is ...



    And you may even possess the potential to discuss Ayn Rand ?

    As well as her views on 'Arches' ?









    Let's not go into all that now, but here's a question ...



    Wonder if Rand would consider Steve Jobs as one of her 'Heros' ?

    He and Roark do have a lot in common

    (so to speak)



    No need to answer, just something to Think Different? about







    .



    Now ...



    Others of you keep commenting - 'This sucks and that sucks'



    We'll assume you're new to Mac Family

    And still using your Windoze way of 'Thinking Same and Shallow'

    (so to speak)







    .



    (is ok, we love you anyway)







    .
  • Reply 205 of 305
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,721member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    One doesn't need a degree in Architecture (or Art, for that matter) to judge the aesthetic of a building. But that's not the issue here. People (including the hack journalist who started this whole thing) are arguing that the building us UNSUITABLE, not ugly. To judge the suitability of a building, you SHOULD understand at least the basic principles of how architecture fits with its environment and, more importantly, the needs of the user.



    Clearly, he's out of touch with the general public, so why should we give his opinion any additional weight beyond that of an individual who doesn't live in the area?
  • Reply 206 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BC Kelly View Post


    .



    And you may even possess the potential to discuss Ayn Rand ?

    As well as her views on 'Arches' ?



    Wonder if Rand would consider Steve Jobs as one of her 'Heros' ?

    He and Roark do have a lot in common

    (so to speak).



    Sorry, not elite enough to even attempt to grapple with the world-class intellect of Ms. Rand.



    As far as Steve being one of her heroes? Unless he suddenly morphs into Joe McCarthy, I doubt it.
  • Reply 207 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    We don't know whether any ego battle has taken place, so I think that's a misinterpretation of the issue. All major buildings have a backstory. These buildings are very much about the people who finance, design and build them. Then we live with the decisions made by these individuals, in a very real and tangible fashion, sometimes for a century or more. The result is not an abstraction, it's literally a concrete reality. So no, discussing the personal dynamics behind how the design was conceived is hardly a waste of space. In fact I would say that this topic will be hotly debated among people who are interested in such things for many years to come. It's very much in the nature of major buildings for this to occur.



    I believe Hawthorne was quite clear about his opinion on the merits of the building. He thinks it's a throwback and a wasted opportunity. I happen to agree, and not because he said it. I said very much the same thing weeks ago in other threads on this subject, for many of the same reasons he stated in his piece. But we can wait patiently for an alternative view to emerge from the architecture and planning communities. I have yet to see one. Perhaps if you do, you can point us to it.



    I meant the ego battle that Hawthorne brought up about Jobs and Apple not identifying the architect to his satisfaction. You alluded to it also in talking about rock star architects. I don't think I misinterpreted anything.
  • Reply 208 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    I doubt it. The transportation problems are inherent with the concept.



    Are the transportation problems inherent to the concept or are they inherent to Cupertino?



    Don't forget... Steve said that he doesn't want to leave Cupertino.



    Forgetting all of the symbolism etc.... would any other concept (ie. the Salesforce project) alleviate the transportation issue at this site? Would Apple have to leave Cupertino to address the transportation issue?
  • Reply 209 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    Sorry, not elite enough to even attempt to grapple with the world-class intellect of Ms. Rand.



    As far as Steve being one of her heroes? Unless he suddenly morphs into Joe McCarthy, I doubt it.



    There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old?s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

    --John Rogers
  • Reply 210 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    Normally, the main point of interest about a building built for gray suits and a gray corporation would be the architect. Not the case here. Steve Jobs is a household name, Norman Foster, not so much.



    Not odd at all that Apple won't officially confirm anything. That seems to be their default position on everything. Especially unreleased products, and unreleased buildings too evidently.



    El Economista disclosed the partnership between Apple and Foster back at the end of November 2010... so it was old news by the time that the June meeting took place.



    http://www.eleconomista.es/empresas-...Cupertino.html
  • Reply 211 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    Normally, the main point of interest about a building built for gray suits and a gray corporation would be the architect. Not the case here. Steve Jobs is a household name, Norman Foster, not so much.



    Not odd at all that Apple won't officially confirm anything. That seems to be their default position on everything. Especially unreleased products, and unreleased buildings too evidently.



    It may be standard operating procedure in an Apple context, but it is very odd in the context of architecture. That was my point.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post


    I meant the ego battle that Hawthorne brought up about Jobs and Apple not identifying the architect to his satisfaction. You alluded to it also in talking about rock star architects. I don't think I misinterpreted anything.



    I think you missed something, or I did. I found no reference or even inference in Hawthorne's column to an "ego battle." The context was more what you suggested above, which is that Apple/Steve are secretive by reflex, even when it comes to a building. It is noteworthy.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post


    There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old?s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

    --John Rogers



    Good one. Fortunately I waited until adulthood to read that book, and consequently had a great laugh all the way through.
  • Reply 212 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post


    Are the transportation problems inherent to the concept or are they inherent to Cupertino?



    Don't forget... Steve said that he doesn't want to leave Cupertino.



    Forgetting all of the symbolism etc.... would any other concept (ie. the Salesforce project) alleviate the transportation issue at this site? Would Apple have to leave Cupertino to address the transportation issue?



    These are very good questions.
  • Reply 213 of 305
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,721member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post


    There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old?s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

    --John Rogers



    Thank you for the best laugh I've had all day!
  • Reply 214 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    It may be standard operating procedure in an Apple context, but it is very odd in the context of architecture. That was my point.







    I think you missed something, or I did. I found no reference or even inference in Hawthorne's column to an "ego battle." The context was more what you suggested above, which is that Apple/Steve are secretive by reflex, even when it comes to a building. It is noteworthy.







    Good one. Fortunately I waited until adulthood to read that book, and consequently had a great laugh all the way through.



    "... 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.
  • Reply 215 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by John.B View Post


    Thank you for the best laugh I've had all day!



    Had the same effect on me. Glad you enjoyed it.
  • Reply 216 of 305
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,511member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    I believe Hawthorne was quite clear about his opinion on the merits of the building. He thinks it's a throwback and a wasted opportunity. I happen to agree, and not because he said it. I said very much the same thing weeks ago in other threads on this subject, for many of the same reasons he stated in his piece. But we can wait patiently for an alternative view to emerge from the architecture and planning communities. I have yet to see one. Perhaps if you do, you can point us to it.



    Perhaps you would be kind enough to restate your objections succinctly here, rather than referring to them abstractly? Or do you wish that we do the research into your posts of "weeks ago"?



    I don't think the debate should be framed in this urban vs. suburban dialectic at all, for the following reasons:



    Apple needs to build a campus (not a "headquarters") for 12,000 post-sixties, but still countercultural, eco-minded team members (not "employees") who will presumably look forward to going to work every day to carry out the next revolution in technology that the company is clearly committed to pulling off.



    They need the hive they work in to be human scaled and immersed in nature, and not to seem like a hive at all, but more of an Arcadian academy. I think people calling it a "mothership" are catching the spirit of this temple of innovation. Why all the nature? It keeps us human. Apple designs for humans.



    Cupertino is what it is, half-urban, half-suburban. Apple bought the land and will so greatly improve the use of over HP's asphalt and stucco rectilinear nightmare (which is conventional techno-business "architecture" of the past) that I find it completely mean spirited not to acknowledge this part of the plan. Worse, confusing what Apple is doing with some sinister "sylvan corporatism" is being small-mindedly doctrinaire. Ordinary companies may need to retreat into a fortress from a hostile world, but Apple needs to stay completely focused on what real people want and need, even before they themselves, the buyers, know what that might be, as has often been pointed out.



    The glass torus is meant to be functionally immersed in nature. Or rather, to keep the designers of the future immersed in nature. It is not a monument at all, it's another Apple ecosystem. They are doing something new here: establishing a world-focused academy of design. And there are no signs that it's a corporate or Jobsian ego-statement. At all. It's function as a creativity enhancer is transparent.



    When their transportation plans come out, the urban-planning experts will have some input.



    How it redefines urban or suburban space is an academic side issue.
  • Reply 217 of 305
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,511member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post


    There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

    --John Rogers



    Priceless, the last word on the subject, and hilarious. Thank you. Where did you find it?



    Edit: found the source, but not the exact context:



    http://home.pacifier.com/~ascott/they/quotesr.htm Scroll to "Rogers"
  • Reply 218 of 305
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post


    Priceless, the last word on the subject, and hilarious. Thank you. Where did you find it?



    Edit: found the source, but not the exact context:



    http://home.pacifier.com/~ascott/they/quotesr.htm



    That's better than my memory will provide

    I'm sure glad I found it though. Talk of Ayn Rand makes me want to cram a pencil in my ear.
  • Reply 219 of 305
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,511member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post


    That's better than my memory will provide

    I'm sure glad I found it though. Talk of Ayn Rand makes me want to cram a pencil in my ear.







    Interesting that you need jam one ear only, not both.



    I truly believe that Objectivism (hah!) represents the triumph of the left brain over the right, to a pathological degree.



    And alot ofl the pathology of the twentieth century is embodied in it. I wonder how Nathaniel Branden's books are selling these days . . .



    On topic, I also think the drama over this Apple campus is one between left-brainers and right-brainers. Critics who write tend to be lefties.



    Edit: And Hawthorne's ego-based marveling over Jobs's omission of the architects is another flaming misreading. Jobs hates the star system. He's long past that sort of ego fixation. All design is a team effort -- a basic Buddhist position.



    Though he may still claim the core concept for himself, without crowing about it. Better to just say nothing.



    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.
  • Reply 220 of 305
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    Yes of course I read the article, but I didn't find any gaffe. Perhaps you can point that out. He also did not claim to not know the name of the architect. In fact he discussed the architect at some length. The point he was making is perhaps being misunderstood. 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. To the gearheads who populate these boards, the answer is obvious -- but then, that's just a function of their domain of knowledge (one that does not include architecture).



    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.



    Quote:

    America's love-hate relationship with urbanism is a long and complicated story, going back to the founding of the nation. Probably not worth going into here at length, but Hawthorne is right to introduce this tension in his opinion piece if only because the new Apple campus very clearly retrogrades to an anti-urbanism approach that has been losing favor with architects, planners -- and yes, even the public -- for thirty years or more. It is ironic that Apple may be building one of the last great monuments to the 1970s. If you'd never thought about architecture and planning before, probably this would have never crossed your mind. But it is true nonetheless. Not elitist, and hardly out of touch. It is simply true.



    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.



    Quote:

    In addition to being a functional part of our lives, architecture is a form of symbolism. It speaks to and about who we are. Apple and Steve are clearly conscious of the symbolism of this building, so why deny it? So it is hardly out of bounds for Hawthorne interpret the architectural symbolism of the design. That's part of an architectural critic's job. But again, if you'd never taken any interest in architecture before this, you'd hardly be expected to know that would you?



    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.
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