FutureFive NZ - Architecture critic slams Apple campus

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Architecture critic slams Apple campus

A US architecture critic has skewered Apple’s plans for a new campus in its hometown of Cupertino, California. 

The plans were first revealed to the Cupertino City Council in June, with high-quality renderings unveiled in August showing a circular building enclosing and surrounded by greenery.

Pitching the plans, then-CEO Steve Jobs said the building would have a futuristic design – ‘a little like a spaceship landed’ – while at the same time being very environmentally friendly.

Now, Christopher Hawthorne of the Los Angeles Times has come out criticising the design, saying the positive response from the Cupertino officials was ‘borderline sycophantic’ and that the campus design is ‘practically bursting with contradictions’.

The futuristic claim, for example, is unfounded, Hawthorne says, given the way the symmetrical design recalls buildings like the Pentagon, built in 1943, and other corporate architecture of the 60s and 70s.

Also questionable is the claim the campus is green, given that the 13,000 Apple employees it is to house will have to rely heavily on cars to get to it. 

Hawthorne goes on to summarise the opinion of another writer, Louise A Mozingo, that corporate estates disengage workers from the world they live in and diminish the notion of shared responsibility. 

"The proposed building is essentially one very long hallway connecting endlessly with itself,” Hawthorne concludes.

Read the full column here.

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