In a recent article for the Financial Times, Edwin Heathcote explores the ‘Skyscraper Index’, an informal term that suggests a correlation between the construction of a big company’s ambitious headquarters and subsequent financial crisis: “Think of the Empire State Building opening into the Wall Street crash of 1929, the Twin Towers being completed as New York City was flirting with bankruptcy or the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur taking the mantle of the world’s tallest building and presaging the Asian financial crisis.” Heathcote goes on to describe the latest generation of headquarters being constructed for our current, tech-oriented goliaths – like Apple‘s monolithic “donut”, by Foster + Partners, and Facebook‘s Gehry-designed Menlo Park campus - and wonders: “if skyscrapers can tell us something about the temperature of an overheating economy, what do these groundscraping new HQs say?” Read the full article here.
Shortly after winning approval on their Frank Gehry-designed, Menlo Park headquarters in California, Facebook has announced plans to once again commission the Los Angeles-based starchitect to design a new office for their New York City team. By early 2014, Gehry is expected to refurbish an existing 100,000 square-foot, two-story office space – nearly twice the size of their current home at 335 Madison Ave – on 770 Broadway.
A new smartphone isn’t the only Facebook news making headlines, as the social media giant has received the green light from the Menlo Park City Council to move forward with their headquarter’s expansion on the outskirts of San Francisco Bay, California. The approved plans are a slightly toned down version of architect Frank Gehry’s original proposal, as the flamboyant butterfly-like wings which flared from each end of the 433,555-square-foot building have been removed.
“They felt some of those things were too flashy and not in keeping with the kind of the culture of Facebook, so they asked us to make it more anonymous,” stated Craig Webb, Gehry’s creative partner. “Frank (Gehry) was quite willing to tone down some of the expression of architecture in the building.”
After a 4-0 vote secured approval, Mayor Peter Ohtaki asked: “Where’s the ‘Like’ button?”
More after the break…
Mark Zuckerberg, the 28-year-old co-founder of Facebook, has commissioned Frank Gehry to design a new campus headquarters on the outskirts of San Francisco Bay, California. Located across the highway from Facebook East, the company’s current headquarters, Facebook West will provide every luxury expected from a modern office space, from a flexible open floor plan, to arcade-filled lounge areas and a massive roof garden.
The enormous, ten acre “room” breaks away from Gehry’s signature curves, and aims to provide a “system that’s not precious, that they [Facebook] can manipulate.” Work benches “line up in curving arcs like swarming fish”, organizing the 420,000 square foot facility into “neighborhoods” that softly flow into each other in an attempt to foster a collaborative, community-like environment.
When Facebook employees need a break, they can retreat to outdoor-terraced cafes for some sushi and barbecue, play arcade games in the lounge with their co-workers, or escape up a “twisting wooden stair” to the lush roof garden.
Construction is scheduled to begin in Spring 2013.
For more information, check out Bloomberg’s exclusive coverage here.
Your Macbook Air has come at a price. And I’m not talking about the $1,000 bucks you shelled out to buy it.
I’m talking about the cost of lightness. Because the dirty secret of the “Cloud” – that nebulous place where your data goes to live, thus freeing up your technological devices from all that weight – is its very physical counterpart.
Data Centers. Giant, whirring, power-guzzling behemoths of data storage – made of cables, servers, routers, tubes, coolers, and wires. As your devices get thinner, the insatiably hungry cloud, the data centers, get thicker.
So why are you struggling to picture one in your mind? Why do we have no idea what they look like? What they do? Where they are? Because Data Centers have been hidden away and, although carefully planned, intentionally “undesigned.” The goal is to make the architecture so technologically efficient, that the architecture becomes the machinery, and the machinery the architecture. In the words of author Andrew Blum, Data Centers are “anti-monuments” that ”declare their own unimportance.”
But if architecture is the expression of our society’s values and beliefs, then what does this architectural obliteration mean? That we are willfully ignoring the process that creates the data we daily consume. As long as the internet works, who cares where it came from (or at what cost — and there is a considerable cost)?
So can design change our alienated relationship to our data? Should it? And if so, how?
HP, Apple, Google – they all found their success amongst the peach groves and Suburban houses of California. But why? What is it about Silicon Valley that makes it the site of technological innovation the world over?
It’s tempting to assume that the Valley’s success must be, at least in part, due to its design. But how does innovation prosper? What kind of environment does it require? In a recent interview with The Atlantic Cities, Jonah Lehrer, author of Imagine: How Creativity Works, suggests that creativity is sparked from casual exchanges, the mingling of diversity, the constant interaction with the strange and new. In short, and as a recent study corroborates, innovation flourishes in dense metropolises.
Seemingly then, Silicon Valley, a sprawl of highways and office parks, has become a hotspot of creativity in spite of its design. But let’s not write off design just yet.
As technology makes location more and more irrelevant, many are looking to distill the magic of Silicon Valley and transplant it elsewhere. The key will be to design environments that can recreate the Valley’s culture of collaboration. The future Valleys of the world will be microsystems of creativity that imitate and utilize the structure of the city.
Do you think maybe it’s people that respect and admire these architects, and it’s reflected on their fan pages?
Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer tops the list. Do you think that at 103 years he knows he is the world leader in architects facebook fans?
Complete ranking and their fans:
1. Oscar Niemeyer / 228,850
2. Zaha Hadid / 216,231
3. Renzo Piano / 145,662
4. Santiago Calatrava / 143,821
5. Tadao Ando / 56,584
6. Peter Zumthor / 50,660
7. Herzog & de Meuron / 34,949
8. Jean Nouvel / 33,728
9. ALT arquitectura + obra / 29,381
10. OMA – Rem Koolhaas / 27,561
11. Bunker Arquitectura / 20,512
12. SANAA – Sejima & Nishizawa / 17,681
13. A-cero (Joaquín Torres) / 16,392
14. Toyo Ito / 15,500
15. Norman Foster / 13,012
16. Alvaro Siza / 11,431
17. BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group / 9,360
18. Daniel Libeskind / 8,762
19. Peter Eisenman / 7,743
20. Richard Rogers / 7,703
When Facebook announced it was relocating its headquarters to the Sun Microsystems campus in the Menlo Park area there were many mixed emotions. With bright eyed optimism Facebook has approached the move as not just gaining much needed space for the growing company, but also as an opportunity to have a vested interest in the adjacent Belle Haven neighborhood. Sun Microsystems is a 57-acre campus with 11 interconnected buildings complete with marshlands and the Bayshore Expressway as its borders; a clearly introverted campus and typical Silicon Valley image of a stale tinted window office park. Facebook however has set out to provide a more inspiring place for their employees (their former Palo Alto campus was nicknamed the Bunker).
Whether you call it a design charrette or in Facebook terms a hackathon, recently the AIA San Mateo and the city of Menlo Park gathered by the busloads over 150 architects, urban planners, and students along with local citizens for a 12-hour fast-paced collaborative design session to re-imagine the Menlo Park’s Belle Haven community. Red, Yellow, Blue and Green teams of 20-40 people were given free rain to let their imaginations run wild, designers first toured the campus and surrounding community and then hunkered down to discuss how the local amenities could be improved, the fortress feel of the campus could be overcome, and how to thoughtfully connect the new headquarters with the outside world.
Today, our Facebook Fan Page reached 100,000 fans. We are very happy of the amazing group everyone has helped us achieve. To celebrate it, we’re launching the second edition of “Architecture Offices Around the World”. Last year, through the Facebook Fan Page, we asked you to take a photo of your office and upload it. We received many, and selected a few which you can see right here. This year we want to do the same, but with a small giveaway. Among all the photos we receive, we’re giving two DVD’s of “Rem Koolhaas: A Kind of Architect”.
So just take a photo of your office, upload it through our Facebook Fan Page and let’s all share our working spaces!
The AIA is hosting its first ever design competition on Facebook—the AIA Facebook Young Designers Challenge. The competition is targeting emerging professionals, and is open to all AIAS members, all Assoc. AIA members, and all AIA young architect members. (The AIA defines young architects as being licensed 10 years or less.)
The AIA is asking designers to submit new, unbuilt building projects that address America’s most pressing design needs for the 21st century. This can include, but is not limited to: sustainability, public infrastructure, affordable housing, retrofitting suburbs and other resource-intensive built environments, urban farming, and rehabilitating dilapidated urban cores. This requirement is intentionally flexible. The most important factor is that each design offers an innovative solution to a concrete and unsolved problem. The winning designer will be announced in AIArchitect with a feature article on their design in January.
For more information, go to the competition’s website in Facebook.
Couple of weeks ago we launched a competition through our Facebook Fan Page to find the best architectural animation video you could send us. After looking at 34 videos and receiving more than 2,500 votes, we have a winner!
Armir Shapllo, with his Space Camp Nou video (see it after the break), received more than 800 votes to win a brand new iPod Touch. Matej Štefanac came second and Alex Roman third. Congratulations to Armir, and to everyone who participated. And remember to follow us through Twitter and our Facebook Fan Page for more competitions!
As you may know, to celebrate 25,000 fans on our Facebook Fans (we are now over 29,000!), we launched a competition to look for the best architectural animation video. We received many submissions and now it’s time for you to decide the winner. You have till December 6 to cast your vote.
The good thing is you may vote once per day, so come back here and vote to support your favorite entry! Results will be published on December 7 and the winner will receive a brand new iPod Touch. See all the videos after the break and startvoting right now!
To see the videos in a larger size, just click on them to launch them on YouTube.
Our Facebook Fan Page has been growing a lot lately, and your feedback has been amazing. So to celebrate our 25,000 fans, we decided to launch a special competition, in which anybody can win. We are looking for the best architecture animation that you can show us! What makes this competition so special? Not only will the winners be featured in ArchDaily.com, but the best one will receive a brand new Ipod Touch. Who will win? That’s up to you to decide…
The competition will have two parts. First, you’ll upload the video to our Facebook Fan Page. You will have until November 22 to do so. Then, on November 23 the 10 videos with more “likes” will make the shortlist. From November 25 till December 6 you’ll be able to vote your favorite video in ArchDaily.com. So in December 7 we’ll announce the winner of the Ipod Touch, and two honorable mentions in our website.
The rules are simple:
1. You will have to upload the video to Youtube, and then post the link of your video in our Facebook Fan Page. To do this simply attach the Youtube link into the share section of our facebook wall.
2. Only ONE submission will be allowed per person.
3. Any doubt, disclaimer, suggestion, etc., will be decided by the ArchDaily editorial team.
So remember, you have till November 22 to upload your video, but the sooner you upload it, more people can start “liking” your video! If you want to help us promote the competition, you can download the poster and pass it through! Good luck everyone!
Some days ago we asked you, through our Facebook Fan Page, to submit your best render. After seeing more than 350 amazing renders, the ArchDaily team selected the best 10 (in no particular order). Also, as we told you before, we have a special category with the five renders that received more “likes” through Facebook. As we said in the rules, we only allowed one submission per person, so for the ones who submitted many, we only took the first one. Also, we asked for the programs used in the render, so we also left out the ones who didn’t told us.
Choosing 10 from 350 was extremely difficult and we are aware that we left some great renders behind, so we strongly recommend you to visit our Fan Page (if you haven’t already) and have a look at all the pictures submitted by our readers. Believe us, you will see some really good work. Remember to keep visiting our Facebook Fan Page, become a Fan if you’re still not one, and prepare yourself for more competitions. See the results, after the break.
Yesterday, through our Facebook Fan Page we launched a new contest for you to participate. We are looking for the best render that you can send us. Only one per person/office is allowed. The best ones will be featured next week on ArchDaily.com.
Also, there will be a special winners category for the renders that get more “likes”. To vote, just go to our Facebook Fan Page, look for your favorite ones and “like” them. To submit yours, “upload your photo” through the Fan Page, and tell us which software you used to make it.
We have received many great ones, so don’t miss this great chance to show us your work! The deadline is next Monday at noon. Become ArchDaily’s fan right here and start participating right now!
A great part of our day is spent browsing architects websites looking for new works to share with our readers, and we have noticed that some are very good, while others were such a pain to navigate… So we decided to go and ask our community about this.
Last week, we asked our Facebook Fans for the best architecture office website they knew. We checked them out and decided the top 10, with no particular order. We looked for the best ones in terms of looks, navigation (is is easy to navigate? Is it fast? Can you go back without reloading the menu? Can you link directly to a specific project?), presentation quality, does it look up to date?, projects (can you sort them by location? by year?).
Also, you will notice that no flash website made the list. That’s because we think flash websites have some dificulties. For example, you can’t link a specific project and Google can´t index most of the contents. So we decided to create a ‘honorable mention’ list with all the flash websites we thought deserve it.
Remember to keep participating through our Facebook Fan Page! The complete list, after the break.
A few weeks ago we presented you photos from architectural offices that our readers shared through Facebook. And now, we bring to you the Facebook offices in Palo Alto, designed by Studio O+A.
Studio O+A is a San Francisco based practice, founded by Primo Orpilla and Verda Alexander during the dot-com boom of the early 1990s, bringing quality design to start-ups and venture firms at Silicon Valley.
I wish ArchDaily was big enough to require such facilities… the interior space is amazing, specially the open working areas and several small meeting/working/relaxing spaces here and there, that reflect the spirit of collaboration inside Facebook.
Architect’s description and more photos after the break: