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A Peek At Apple's Planned $5B HQ 257

Posted by timothy
from the looks-rather-nice-from-here dept.
theodp writes "The Mercury News has an exclusive sneak peek of Apple's planned headquarters in Cupertino, which Steve Jobs personally sought approval for in 2011. 'We found that rectangles or squares or long buildings or buildings with more than four stories would inhibit collaboration,' Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said, explaining the motivation behind the so-called Apple Ring. Nice, but if you wanted to hurt the feelings of the Design Gods at Apple, you could point out that, for all its $5 billion glory, what Apple calls 'the best office building ever' doesn't look all that different from an old-school $3.95 6250 BPI magnetic tape reel (still available on eBay, kids!)."
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A Peek At Apple's Planned $5B HQ

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  • by ameyer17 (935373) <slashdot@ameyer17.com> on Saturday October 12, 2013 @06:52PM (#45110901) Homepage

    So what if it looks like a tape reel?

    • by andy1307 (656570)
      It's another idiotic auto-green-lighted theodp post...
    • by erroneus (253617) on Saturday October 12, 2013 @09:05PM (#45111515) Homepage

      Looks like a "walled garden" to me.

      • by icebike (68054)

        My thoughts exactly. The company mind-set personified.
        I wonder if they will have unicorns in their internal garden?

      • by quenda (644621)

        Looks like a Panopticon to me. Except the iSight in every monitor makes the central tower obsolete.

      • I wondered if it would have rounded corners.

        It's got one. Or rather it is one!

    • by swillden (191260)

      So what if it looks like a tape reel?

      It reminds me of the Pentagon. Circular instead of pentagonal, of course, but the proportions look very similar. I guess the Pentagon is almost a marvel of office design, it just needs to be rounded out a little more?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Andrio (2580551)

        Apple _does_ have a patent on rounded corners.

      • by Solandri (704621)
        No, you don't want round. The big problem with round is that it's perfectly symmetric. With a rectangle, or even a pentagon, there are distinct segments and directions to the building. You know where you're at, you know to get somewhere else you need to head in a certain direction until you see a wall or corner, then head in another direction. e.g. To get from one place to another in a pentagon, you know you need to walk one way, pass 1 or 2 corners, then walk a certain distance to your destination.

        I
        • by hutsell (1228828)

          ... To overcome this you need either really good labeling, or you have to add architectural landmarks to (virtually) break up the circle into physically "different" segments.

          Another solution to add to that list of several likely solutions: Eveyone will need a really good compass.

          And, it'll most likely be something like that as an iPhone app.

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          No, you don't want round. The big problem with round is that it's perfectly symmetric. With a rectangle, or even a pentagon, there are distinct segments and directions to the building. You know where you're at, you know to get somewhere else you need to head in a certain direction until you see a wall or corner, then head in another direction. e.g. To get from one place to another in a pentagon, you know you need to walk one way, pass 1 or 2 corners, then walk a certain distance to your destination.

          In a cir

      • The Pentagon is the low-poly version.
    • Headline: "Wheel shaped thing looks vaguely like other wheel shaped thing!" Stop the presses.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      It's a reference to the fact that many Apple products look like other [visual.ly], older products [blogspot.com].

      There is of course no shame in taking inspiration from what other people are doing. That's the way the world works and we are all better for it. Apple's problem is they then try to patent the design and sue the person they copied for using it.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    A 1/2" reel of computer tape has a much smaller hub diameter.

  • by bennomatic (691188) on Saturday October 12, 2013 @07:11PM (#45110979) Homepage
    Stupidest Apple-trolling article on /. ever. And considering the number of Apple trolling articles on /., that's saying something.

    Uh, gotta be funny. In Soviet Russia, Apple trolls /.!
  • WIth a diameter of about 1/3 of a mile a collaborator will need to walk about 1/2 mile for a face to face in the other's office on the opposite side of the ring. Good exercise but perhaps a waste of time.

    And where's the write ring?

    • Maybe they'll group people together along the ring in such a method that that walk isn't required.

      Or have a monorail on the third floor.

    • Not unless the hub is closed off. If it's possible to go through the central section, the most you'd have to walk in that case is 1/3 of a mile. And, that's only if both of the offices are on the outer wall of the building.
    • by tyrione (134248)

      WIth a diameter of about 1/3 of a mile a collaborator will need to walk about 1/2 mile for a face to face in the other's office on the opposite side of the ring. Good exercise but perhaps a waste of time.

      And where's the write ring?

      Collaboration isn't spread across buildings in Infinite Loop. Each section will be specifically designed to provide for a collaborative work flow. You don't put some Engineering here, some design there, etc.

  • How long until Samsung and Microsoft both announce their plans to build similar circular "spaceship-like" HQs?
  • Now that Steve Jobs is gone, Apple need another Reality Distortion Field Generator. Why not think big? ...

  • Actually, it looks more like a DECtape.

  • by MrKaos (858439) on Saturday October 12, 2013 @07:42PM (#45111145) Journal
    This is the Vatican.
    • I'll take the one in Rome - much better artwork.

  • The only way to get even less window space in relation to interior volume would be to design it as a sphere. Even a borg cube would have more windows.

    May I suggest a modest design improvement: dig a canal to the bay and moor Steve Job's equally iconic and ugly yacht [theverge.com] right in the center of the frisbee ring. The point is so nobody forgets him, right?

    • by fnj (64210)

      Actually the converse is true. It pretty much maximizes window space. A sphere has the LEAST surface area for a given volume, followed by a cube. This has much MORE surface area for a given volume.

  • The Ring... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Longjmp (632577) on Saturday October 12, 2013 @07:47PM (#45111175)
    I can't believe no one came up with this yet:

    One ring to rule them all...

    ;-)
    • First you see the Ring and then you die.

    • by wbr1 (2538558)

      I was thinking the same thing.. lets do the whole poem.

      Three Rings for tech CEOs seeking the prize
      Seven for the Congress-men sucking Apple's Bone
      Nine for the hipster kids, doomed to sigh
      One for the Steve Jobs in his dark home
      In the land of Cupertino where the IOS lie
      An iPod to snare them all, an iPhone to find them
      An iPad to daze them all and in the shininess bind them
      In the land of Cupertino where the IOS lie

  • Comparison: $5B Planned Apple HQ and Old-School Magnetic Tape Reel [staticflickr.com]. Would look even more similar with a white write ring [wikipedia.org]! :-)

  • by weeble (50918) on Saturday October 12, 2013 @08:29PM (#45111375) Homepage

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_Communications_Headquarters [wikipedia.org]

    All all glass building with lots of computers and the terminals with the world's secrets flashing across. An interesting concept.

  • by Art3x (973401) on Saturday October 12, 2013 @08:42PM (#45111439)

    doesn't look all that different from an old-school $3.95 6250 BPI magnetic tape reel

    Or a ring, bracelet, flying saucer, hoola hoop, donut, or a million other things that are round. What is your point?

  • Who else thinks it'd be fun to sneak onto the roof ... and paint the roof like a giant Stargate?

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Saturday October 12, 2013 @09:19PM (#45111569) Homepage Journal

    I have to wonder about a company who has lost 30% of it's stock price in the last year building a $5B headquarters.

    I mean, I'm grateful to AAPL, since it put my daughter through college, but I gotta say, I'm glad I got out at $680.

    • by Jeremi (14640)

      I have to wonder about a company who has lost 30% of it's stock price in the last year building a $5B headquarters.

      When you're sitting on $147 billion [bgr.com] in cash, $5 billion for new headquarters is quite affordable... whether or not it's the best possible use of that money, I don't know, but it's definitely not going to bankrupt Apple.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947)

        When you're sitting on $147 billion [bgr.com] in cash, $5 billion for new headquarters is quite affordable... whether or not it's the best possible use of that money, I don't know, but it's definitely not going to bankrupt Apple.

        It's not a question of bankrupting Apple, it's a question of the kind of decisions the CEO and CFO and the board are making. The people who own the company (shareholders) have to decide whether or not those decisions make sense.

        Apple paid a dividend this year in an effort to put a

  • Sally you mean there is something outside of Apple?
  • It's obviously Steve Job's Walled Garden!

  • Without some kind of conveyance system this building is going to be next to useless. Either some kind of shuttle or miniature rail system, maybe even those horizontal escalators they have in airports would do the job. But no one is going to work in a building where you have to walk several miles every day. And whats with all of the soft focus renderings? Was the software they were using so bad that they had to blur every single image to make them look less crappy?

  • but you still need to walk up to half a mile to get somewhere, and there is no elevator option.

    I'd rather spend 2 minutes waiting for a lift to go up 10 floors than walk for 7 minutes to go see someone.

  • This building is not a circle, it's an infinigon.

  • by Animats (122034) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @01:43AM (#45112513) Homepage

    Building that in Cupertino is a good thing for the city. It's a blah suburb.

    Now here's a prestige research center [glpsf.com] - IBM Alamaden Research Center. That place produced several Nobel Prizes. It's on an isolated mountaintop. You drive for a mile after entering the property before reaching the buildings. The view from the cafeteria is of mountains, with no other buildings in sight.

    It's also half-empty since IBM cut back.

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