Apple's second campus may be Steve Jobs's final product. But will the massive, circular building designed by Foster + Partners be his last failure or success? Peter Burrows examines the building's ambitious sustainability plans, questionable design, and the reasons behind its enormous price tag.
"Few architects will publicly question the judgment of Jobs and Foster, but many privately snicker at the doughnut-shaped design. At a time when Google (GOOG), Facebook (FB), and others favor floor plans that promote as many chance meetings as possible—a Jobsian virtue—the circle could isolate people and teams. A circle does not allow for much flexibility."
"Aesthetics seem to trump productivity, says Scott Wyatt, a managing partner at NBBJ, a Seattle-based architecture firm that’s designing offices in the region for Google and Samsung. 'I would be concerned that it would be alienating, as opposed to convening.' Rather than making it a great place to work, Wyatt says, 'it seems more like an object, just like the iPhone is an object.'”