“With Apple’s characteristic secrecy, the company hasn’t officially released the design, or announced that the architect [for its proposed new campus] is Foster + Partners, the London-based firm known for its super-sleek, elegant, exquisitely detailed buildings,” Paul Goldberger writes for The New Yorker. But images of Apple’s future home, to be built on a campus that it has taken over from Hewlett-Packard, are all over the place, because plans must be presented to the local authorities in Cupertino, who understandably are falling all over themselves with delight.”
“Foster has proposed a gargantuan glass-and-metal ring, four stories high, with a hole in the middle a third of a mile wide. The building, which will house upwards of twelve thousand employees, will have a circumference of a mile, and will be so huge that you won’t really be able to perceive its shape, except from the air,” Goldberger writes. “Like everything Foster does, it will be sleek and impeccably detailed, but who wants to work in a gigantic donut? Steve Jobs, speaking to the Cupertino City Council, likened the building to a spaceship. But buildings aren’t spaceships, any more than they are iPhones.”
“So why is Foster’s design troubling, maybe even a bit scary? The genius of the iPhone, MacBook, iPad, and other Apple products is that they are tools that function well and happen to be breathtakingly beautiful. A building is also a tool, but of a very different sort. In architecture, scale—the size of various parts of a building in proportion to one another and to the size of human beings—counts for a lot. With this building, there seems to be very little sense of any connection to human size,” Goldberger writes. “Flexibility is a hallmark of the iPad, and it counts in architecture, too, but how much flexibility is there in a vast office governed entirely by geometry? For all of Foster’s sleekness, this Apple building seems more like a twenty-first-century version of the Pentagon.”
Goldberger writes, “It’s said that Steve Jobs considers this building to be a key part of his legacy, which would be unfortunate, because it would mean that his last contribution to his company might well be his least meaningful.”
More in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: This much is sure: It’s one infinite loop.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]
Apple’s infinite loop: Mothership campus impressive but enigmatic – September 14, 2011
Architecture critic: Apple’s new mothership campus will be a retrograde cocoon – September 12, 2011
Cupertino Mayor Wong: Apple’s mothership campus ‘definitely not a done deal’ – September 9, 2011
Apple’s mothership campus: What’s the message? – August 22, 2011
City of Cupertino posts further details on Apple mothership campus – August 13, 2011
Apple’s new ‘Mothership’ campus: Full details and gallery – June 16, 2011
Steve Jobs wanted to build mothership campus nearly three decades ago – June 14, 2011
Cupertino mayor: ‘There is no chance we are saying no’ to Apple Mothership (with video) – June 9, 2011
Steve Jobs presents giant 12,000 employee ‘spaceship’ campus to Cupertino City Council (with video) – June 8, 2011