Apple’s monolithic beauty vs. Google’s chaos: What new HQs reveal about their personalities

“Last week, Google released an illustration of its next corporate campus, a complex of nine rectangular buildings, mostly adorned with green roofs, and all connected by a series of elevated walkways,” Ritchie King reports for Quartz.

“As it happens, Apple is also planning a new campus in Silicon Valley, and the design couldn’t be more different,” King reports. “It’s a single, circular structure that people have described as a doughnut or the touchwheel of an iPod and that Steve Jobs once likened to a spaceship. It’s simple and symmetrical, the roof is black (not green).”

MacDailyNews Note: Appels’ roof is covered with photovoltaic (solar) panels. That’s why it’s both black and “green” at the same time.

King reports, “Quartz spoke with an architecture professor and expert on workplace design, Brian Schermer of the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, about the two buildings and what they represent.”

Some snippets of Schermer’s comments:

• Google’s business is somewhat sprawling and disheveled. They started off with search, and now they are getting into hardware, like Pixel and Google Glass. Similarly, their next campus is a thicket of ideas and places to be… The Google vision is perhaps to recruit people who are attracted to the serendipity of messiness.

• Apple’s is an architecture that [one] is meant to behold. The company is shooting for timeless beauty… Apple’s renderings are almost like an Andrew Wyeth painting, with the figure in the foreground, in the grass. There’s an aspiration to the Apple headquarters. It really is trying to be a work of art.

Apple's "Mothership" Campus (left), Google's campus (right)
Apple’s “Mothership” Campus (left), Google’s campus (right)

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Our Lady of Perpetual Beta needs to hire a real architect.

Related articles:
Steve Jobs’ ‘Mothership’ Apple campus delayed until mid-2016 – November 21, 2012
New images of Apple’s ‘Mothership’ campus show amazing detail – September 9, 2012
California Governor Brown fast-tracks Apple’s ‘Mothership’ HQ – June 30, 2012
Apple submits additional info, plans, renderings of Mothership campus in Cupertino (with images) – March 10, 2012
Apple’s Mothership campus solar roof will be among biggest in U.S. – December 7, 2011
Apple submits updated Mothership campus plans to Cupertino, reveals stunning renderings – December 7, 2011
Analyst: 170-acre solar farm, ‘mothership’ campus to push Apple expenses to $8 billion in 2012 – October 31, 2011
New Yorker architecture critic: Apple’s proposed Mothership campus is ‘scary’ and ‘troubling’ – September 27, 2011
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


    1. It is obvious you were never taught how to read a financial statement. Before you show off your ignorance again, get “Financial Statements for Idiots”….

      1. Gee, rick. I am a stockholder. I do know how to read a financial statement. I also know how to react to a falling stock price. I also quite frankly, know that not all innovation comes from Apple. I also know that while Google may not be doing things you’re interested in, the rest of the market sees otherwise.

        No matter the speed or path of innovation, a company that does not address its decline in stock value from $705 to $440 is a foolish company indeed.

        It’s a tired old song about Google stealing Apple’s patents and running amok. Making something thinner or out of some exotic manufacturing process is not innovation. making technology work transparently and for the benefit of the user is innovation.

        Apple isn’t wise enough to emerge from the self-parody they have become.

        BTW- I did read “Financial Statements for Idiots”. It used you as a case study.

        1. Sorry your stock has devalued, that sucks, but is not Apple’s fault.
          Stock price decline is dew to idiots making up outlandish numbers and when Apple has record breaking profits that don’t meet the the numbers analysts made up more idiots cry that the sky is falling.
          The company makes huge profits, and as long as they do they will be doing just fine.
          Apple makes insanely great software, hardware and services, those are their products, not dividends. Remember, at this point in the company’s life, Apple does not need investors to keep afloat, they just need to keep making those insanely great things.

          ps transparent technology has NOTHING to do with innovation. Technology that just works IS innovation.

          1. Stock price is determined by what someone is willing to pay for a stock.

            Managers have a responsibility to protect the assets of a company from reckless speculators. There are many things that they could have done during the free fall. Instead, they rely on PR slogans.

            1. What precisely would you have them do? Become a reactionary company that releases shit to make market speculators and day-traders happy?
              Apple’s brand is as much about not being reactionary as it is about releasing great products. My suggestion would be to sell your shares to someone who believes in the company and go short MSFT. You will be seeing a lot of reactions to stock price there. Not much movement in the stock itself.

            2. Outstanding stock is not an asset of the company. It is more akin to a liability, although it’s not. A share of stock is a fractional ownership OF THE COMPANY. Management does not care what the stock price is even when they need to raise additional capital because what they sell when the company sells stock costs NOTHING… And if the company needs to raise $10 million, it merely sells how ever many shares at the market price until it raises its $10 million. The accountant merely adds the money to the books, and increases the number of shares outstanding. Done. Zero cost except if the company still prints fancy engraved certificates. Those might cost a buck per share or so…

            3. Basically, what I am trying to tell you is that Apple’s outstanding stock and its value are not an ASSET of the company nor are they a proper concern for the board except as a bell weather about whether they’ll keep their jobs. Their job is to watch for the reputation of the products, the profits of the company, and to protect the company and plan for its future and long term survival.the board SHOULD not overly concern themselves about the value, especially temporary fluctuations, of the outstanding shares, including their own holdings, but be aware and concentrate an building the long term upward trend in stock VALUE by building the company’s value through making the finest products and providing the best services at the lowest cost at the best profit margin possible. That is Apple’s manage ment has been doing since the return of Steve Jobs in the late nineties.

        1. Share price means jack shit.

          Share price * shares outstanding = market value

          Apple’s market value: $408.55B (#1 in the world)
          Google’s market value: $264.91B

            1. Apple stock $433 and sinking

              Google $800 and rising.

              The laundry list presented is both irrelevant and outdated. Many citations are 2 years old. Many citations have nothing to do with profitability.

              If you invested $1000 in Apple in August, your stock value would be 36% smaller.

              Who’s t-boning who here?

              I give a shit about the quality of the product, the intelligence of the user, or your own predisposition to Apple products. In spite of the record profits, the stock value plummeted like a stone. So, what level of profitability would make the stock rise?

              Apple’s management stood by and watched the value of the stock drop and didn’t say a word. That is NOT fiduciary responsibility. The $137 billion cash hoard is bad management. Capital on the sidelines is not useful to anyone. Cash reserves are not a scorecard.

              While Apple spends its time in court fighting lawsuits it cannot win, against an enemy it can’t suppress, its competitors have carved out significant beachheads in markets where Apple used to completely dominate.

              Great products- fucked up company.

            2. Primarily because these competitors are making knockoffs of their products!

              What would you do if your others knocked off your inventions that you own patents too? Just let them keep carving away at your beach?? Watch your stock drop because all your hard work is being stolen by competitors?

              You cannot out Innovate people that steal your innovations! Your product will never be unique in the market place no matter what you do! So tell us genius… what would you do to to keep them from knocking off every new thing you make as soon as its released?

            3. Thats the problem with the world. if you sue they will ask why? if you dont sue still they will ask why are you not protecting your share price? what kind of world we are living in? no court is worried about knockoffs but there is a huge loss for Apple investors because of that… now whom to blame?

    2. Oh, yeah, Google’s killing Apple:

      Android’s unit share growth has not hurt Apple’s profit share – February 26, 2013
      Apple iOS dominates mobile video viewing with 60% share vs. Android’s 32% – February 13, 2013
      Android’s Web share down 13% since November; Apple’s iOS now over 60% – February 1, 2013
      IDC: Apple dominates worldwide tablet market with 43.6% unit share – January 31, 2013
      The Android engagement paradox – November 26, 2012
      People buy more Android phone units and do less with them vs. Apple’s revolutionary iPhone – November 14, 2012
      Study: iPhone users vastly outspent Android users on apps, respond much better to ads – August 20, 2012
      Apple utterly dominates mobile device market with 6% market share – and 77% of the profits – August 6, 2012
      Game over, Android: Apple owns 84% of mobile gaming revenue – May 7, 2012
      Wealthy smartphone users more likely to have iPhones; less likely to play games, tweet – April 2, 2012
      U.S. Apple product users split evenly between Republicans and Democrats; Half of U.S. households own at least one Apple product – March 28, 2012
      Study: iPad users more likely to buy – and buy more – online than traditional PC users – September 29, 2011
      Apple iPhone users most open to mobile payments – August 22, 2011
      Apple iPhone users spend significantly more on their credit cards than non-iPhone users – November 5, 2010
      Study: Apple iPhone users richer, younger, more productive than other so-called ‘smartphone’ users – June 12, 2009

  1. I think you’ll find that circular buildings are emasculated, while Google’s design ( which looks from above like a bunch of ice hockey sticks dumped on the ground ) is the very epitome of manliness …. so long as you’re a Google-loving nerd with no taste or sense of style and don’t get out much.

        1. Well, to be honest, Stonehenge is a remarkable and beautiful relic that has stood the test of ages and held visitors in awe.

          Calling something “shithenge” in (dis)honor of Stonehenge is casting a whole lot of scorn and disrespect on the original.

  2. Too much discussion about a building.

    Let’s remember a little bit of Silicon Valley history:

    The now called “Googleplex” is the former Silicon Graphics building. Back when Silicon Graphics was there, the architecture was already amazing. Back then, it was the most awesome building I’ve seen in my life. After Silicon Graphics’d business went down, the building was leased to Google.

    The Facebook facility in Palo Alto was Sun Microsystem’s home before Oracle bought it.

    It’s not only about how the office space looks: It’s how it works. The round design is so to help collaboration between team members. I don’t have a clue what’s behind the new Google’s building, designwise.

    Let’s remember, even Apple started in a standard office.

  3. Scoff all you wish. Apple’s new HQ building is a beautiful design and I predict it will win kudos and awards aplenty when it is finished. iCal that if you like.

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