Headline Dec 19, 2015/ THE APPLE OF : "' SILICON VALLEYITES "'



FOSTER'S GLASS DOUGHNUT for Apple will have parking for thousands of cars and most of the parking will be underground-

So it won't create create the same visual blight that acres of asphalt do now on most Silicon Valley campuses. But a car tucked out of sight all day uses the same amount gas to transport- its driver to and fro from work as the one left in a surface parking lot, and most people will still drive to work.

While it's also the case that the new Silicon Valley buildings will use less energy, at least per square foot, than older office buildings  -the new Apple headquarters will have operable windows,  natural ventilation, and fuel-cell technology-

A lot of that progress has to be credited to the fact that building codes require everything constructed today to consume less energy than the buildings of the last generation.

In other ways these elegant, alluring new buildings aren't so different from their ugly and ordinary predecessors as they might at first seem to be. They're a lot more exciting to look at and they may be pleasanter to work in, but they're still self-contained, anti-urban objects- auto-dependent and set apart from the world around them.

The Apple site, several open acres hidden by trees from its garden-apartment and strip-mall surroundings, really does look like a place where a spaceship might choose to land.    

GIVEN THE amount of love that younger Silicon Valleyites now seem to feel for things urban, it's curious how indifferent the Silicon Valley culture seems- to be about a city that is just beside it, San Jose. 

Admittedly that San Jose is no San Francisco. It's a sprawling city of no particular character, and like so many American cities it suffers from a sad lack of energy in its downtown.

An austere new City Hall, by Richard Meier, intended to ignite the downtown, merely added a touch of elegant desolation to an otherwise seedy desolation. 

While Adobe Systems and handful of smaller companies are in San Jose, most of Silicon Valley ignores the city, and it continues to struggle, despite the presence of several of the most valuable companies in the world in its neighbouring suburbs.

When you think of the effect that Twitter has had on a single neighbourhood in San Francisco, it's hard not to imagine what would have happened if Apple,say, had decided to ask Norman Foster to design a new tower in downtown San Jose instead of its spaceship in Cupertino. Where apple went, others would have followed.

What's more likely is that San Jose will remain almost entirely off the Silicon Valley radar, while the rest of the region will change  -slowly-  for the better. There are now plenty of plans afoot to increase density along El Camino Real and around the region's train stations.

Tim Tosta, a San Francisco land-use and environmental lawyer,  sees the valley as having no choice but to become gradually more city-like. For better or worse, though, it is the two most architecturally ambitious projects-

Foster's Apple spaceship and Gehry's Facebook workroom under a garden, that will define the region's architecture for the next decade.

It's notable that when Silicon Valley finally felt ready to up the architectural ante it went two of the most established brand names in the business. While neither building is conservative by any standard, neither Foster nor Gehry represents the kind of commitment to being at the cutting edge that these companies try to maintain on the technology front.

It would be intriguing to imagine what architects a generation or two behind Foster, who at the time was 78, and Gehry, who was 84, would have come up with if they had been asked to think about the problem of an office for the future for a company of the future. 

That said, any architect is only as good as his client, and an architect's job, at least in part, is to reflect his client's wishes. And in this case each building stands as a perfect reflection of its corporate culture.

Apple, though a publicly traded corporation, is in all other ways an obsessively private  company that is determined to control every last detail of the environment its workers occupy, just as it has designed its retail stores to reflect the same minimalist aesthetic of its products, and of Steve Jobs himself.

Foster, a modernist celebrated for the elegance of his buildings' details and their highly disciplined finesse, was almost too natural a match for Apple.

He has referred to Job as a  "kindred spirit,"  and worked closely with him for three years on the project- during which Foster came to admire Jobs hugely, "We tend to be unusual as architects because our appreciations of the minutiae of industrial design," Foster disclosed to the author.

"If that is rare in design professionals, it is unbelievably rare in a client. Steve once said to me, "Don't think of me as a client, think of me as a member of the team." 

The Honour and Serving of the ''Historic Technology Operational Research'' continues. Thank Ya all for reading and see you on the following one.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society.

''' The Circle Game ''''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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