Everyone should note that Louise Mozingo has criticized the Apple campus from not having large open floor plans where employees can stare at each other across narrow tables and "collaborate" by yelling to one another over their co-workers heads.
She simply doesn't get how software developers work. When I made the case for individual one person offices to the CFO at a 100 person software company, we calculated the extra cost of one person offices over cubicles or a shared layout would increase our cost per engineer about 1/2 of 1%. In relation to the productivity benefits, that's immensely trivial.
We did it, and it worked great. And when engineers wanted to "collaborate", they'd go to each others offices without bothering anyone else! Amazing.
It's not just software developers.
A significant percentage of the population are or lean towards being introverted i.e. social interactions do not make them necessarily happier or more productive.
And experts have been saying that being creative requires some periods of interaction and some periods of solitude. Seems like office spaces should reflect that.
Extroverts control the office space and culture, as they tend to gravitate to the kinds of fields/departments that coordinate those aspects. Working from home is our only hope, as they seem to have an almost militant distaste for personalities that don't blend with their vision of how things should be.
Soon there will be more definitions of introversion than there are actual introverts.
The quote from the article appears to be related to Apple Park's lack of a childcare facility. (I assume they can easily remedy this.)
I can't find any of her criticism elsewhere. Mind sharing some links?
(edit: Found something from 2011. No mention of the interior space though. http://articles.latimes.com/2011/sep/10/entertainment/la-ca-...)
"It's not about maximizing the productivity of the office space, it's about creating a symbolic center for this global company," she said"'
“Mainstream architectural trends are open office space to foster co-operation,” said Louise Mozingo, professor of landscape architecture and urban design in University of California, Berkeley, in an interview with Reuters. “At this point, Apple's new headquarters appears to be an alien.”
I suspect her quote from the new article has nothing to do with child-care, and was bastardized from her previous comments.
The second article quotes a Reuters article I can't find with Google. Honestly in the Reuters article you provided I can't tell if she's advocating for open offices or merely pointing out that Apple is going against the trend.
She does have strong criticism against the notion that Apple has built itself a kind of island away from the community around it, however. Which is fair, I think.
Thanks again for the links.
Too many companies are in the 1920's, where they want an open plan so bosses can stare at people while they work.
Also, new office building was expensive so raises were only given to adjust for inflation across the board.
What do find so fantastic about my story, that a CFO would think about team productivity in addition to costs? I will agree that CFO was a very rare and special bird.
IIRC we were paying around $20 per square foot, and the office sizes were small, like 8 by 8. So an extra 25 SF cost about $500 per year. You can make an office almost as small as a cubicle, the difference is you need space for a door to swing in, office walls are thicker than cubicle walls, and you need HVAC and power.
So there is extra expense in the build-out, but that's trivial over time if you are going to stay there a long while.
Edit: And even if you want 10 by 10 offices or my math is off, 1% a year is essentially trivial as well.
Its the same old Peopleware/Mythical Man month issues. Lets say you have 10 developers who each have an average throughput of X working as a team, but you need to double output. You double the size of the team, but get only 17X output because of the overhead of working together, so you add more developers until you end up with 25 devs providing 20X output.
What if instead you give everyone the latest fastest computers, individual offices, etc, and you make your devs 10% more productive? Now you only have increase the team size to 21 devs to get an output of 20x. Essentially you've saved 20% of your engineering payroll, over a half million dollars annually in todays dev costs, to achieve the same objective.
The costs of providing a good productive workspace is trivial in comparison to it's benefits, no matter how you measure it.
i just checked some prices and even in very cheap European capitals you would be looking into like 120$/m2, in bigger few times more
though after reading this it seem relatively cheap, seem actually cheaper than apartment, i am surprised people don't form together fake company to rent office spaces instead of apartments, they can get better deal with location and price, just kitchen and bathroom won't be so accessible
A 3.5 meter by 3.5 meter room is what many call a "two man" office. We had essentially 2.8m by 2.8m single persons, again you only need a minor more space than a cubicle. Doorway (which a cubicle needs too but not a swinging doorway) and mildly thicker walls. The ventilation goes through the ceiling, power in the walls.
You can't always have an exterior window in every office, but you can have interior glass. It's important to have enough natural light in the hallway so that the interior glass carries the natural light into the offices. You don't want long dark hallways that can only be lit by artificial light. Break up the hallway with an exterior window or an office with windows and interior glass.
About a year ago, I was approached via craigslist by a contractor working on this campus to help make some plywood parts for concrete forms that they couldn't figure out how to mark and measure on site with a jigsaw. They were to be used to make the main curved staircases in the entryway to that campus. I ended up cutting about a hundred different stair forms, and a bunch of templates for the various treads.
I love that I ended up contributing in some small way to this building.
http://imgur.com/a/222IM there some some basic photos I have from my phone, though. All of these were made out of fire retardant plywood.
The wood bits might be undersized to accommodate tearing of the grain and sanding.
The "woodworking" bits I use are already pure carbide, high quality bits. my method these days has been to bore a small test hole into a piece of delrin with each new bit, and test that hole with a set of .001" increment pin gauges. Using that number has proven to be good enough for my purposes. Note that this problem is only present where the cutting diameter is nominally the same as the shank diameter. If I buy .5" shank bits with a .25" cutting diameter, they are perfect, but 2x the cost.
(IE i can measure them to be within 0.0005 of correct size easily, and better than that better tools on the uncoated bits i have).
I'm not sure who you are ordering from.
(as for feed rate too high to use other geometries not sure what IPM you can drive that thing at. I would expect you could easily do 300-400ipm, which seems more than enough. I can get a very smooth finish from metalworking bits with no problem)
All of my cabinet shop friends basically have enough volume to keep 2+ spray finishers busy all-day every day, and are busy trying to get their per-sheet times from 5 minutes to less ;)
That's the low volume guys.
The high volume guys are just completely automated from material handling to flat line finishing.
Outside of startup costs, complete automation of this stuff isn't usually that expensive (<200k of machines).
Single proprietors will never compete with the level of automation you can easily get in the bay area.
Did you build her yourself?
I would love to buy some of these but I cannot find where Apple sources them ...
The problem with the big glass wall is that peoples offices tend to be messy. They want lots of desk space to toss crap on. But you want lots of glass so it feels more open (while still giving people quiet work areas). If you can give them good enclosed storage options, then their offices should remain looking relatively neat.
I've built out office space for my 40 person engineering group before with individual one person offices. They had doors to shut and most had windows (but not all, all offices have interior space, and space being expensive need to be used), but all had some amount of glass to their hallways. And they all loved them. Apple's Pods are even better than what I was able to get.
You don't seem to understand how hard it is to get any company, even a tech company, to understand the value of one person offices for software development. Most of these decisions are made by operations, essentially the CFO. I was lucky enough to have a CFO who understood lowest cost options weren't always best, that productivity mattered far more.
But even when I convinced him, the building owner pushed back. They give you a certain budget for build-out, but they don't want you building out in a manner that can't be easily sublet if you leave. The building owner felt that larger offices and open space was far more flexible, new tenants would only have to buy cubes!
Apple's Pods seem to be at the forefront of maximizing individual productivity and work satisfaction. I'll bet you can't name any other large company that's made such a large commitment to personal work space.
Note that Louise Mozingo, the urban design professor at UC Berkeley has criticized Apple for the pods, because she thinks that the modern workspace should be an enormous shared space where people can "collaborate" by shouting at each other over their co-workers heads. That's the kind of design advice workspace planners are giving out today.
Pixar (whose HQ was designed by none other than Steve Jobs)
> For a fast-food restaurant, the city demands one space for every three seats; for a bowling alley, seven spaces per lane plus one for every worker.
I've read a bunch of articles about the negative externalities of minimum parking requirements, but haven't really seen one explore the why behind these rules. What does it matter to the city if a bowling alley doesn't have enough parking spaces? Wouldn't that just be bad for the bowling alley's business? If it's about ensuring the supply of street parking why not just install meters to make the city money when the bowling alley fails to build sufficient parking?
I'm usually the first to mock this kind of trite 'invisible hand' supply-and-demand explanation, but this really seems like something that would be very well left to the business to figure out.
Most mall parking lots are sized for the demand of the busiest day of the Christmas shopping season, and are consequently underused for most of the year.
Keep in mind, the US had 200 million fewer people in 1945. More of America has been built since WWII than existed during it.
Public transit in the city was underfunded so it was only realistic for certain commutes within the city.
I have no idea why suburban Cupertino would be worried about this risk; it sounds like an underhanded way to limit occupancy and capacity (you build a 1000-person office instead of 2000, because you had to have extra space for parking).
This is a solved problem: Charge for parking and the shortage goes away. Meter technology is decades old and well understood. https://www.amazon.com/High-Cost-Free-Parking-Updated/dp/193...
In the meantime, what sane city council member is going to tell residents they need to pay for parking in front of their own townhouses?
There's a similar mechanism to what you proposed, resident-only parking permits. This pits the business owners against the residents. It also means that a resident can't have their friends come to visit without risking a ticket.
The knee-jerk HN-ism of quick fixes doesn't work here.
The only actual solution is the long-term dual-pronged approach: parking structures in the interim, while improving public transit coverage overall.
Washington State also makes some zoning decisions and targets some growth targets at the state level (see http://digitalcommons.law.seattleu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?a..., although I can't find a better piece off the top of my head), which helps matters.
The only actual solution is the long-term dual-pronged approach: parking structures in the interim, while improving public transit coverage overall.
The actual solution is people paying for what they use, i.e. markets: If people want parking structures, they'll pay for them. I'd really suggest that you look at the link in the comment I posted above.
Your Japan link is not applicable to this conversation (though I love that article, it comes up whenever NIMBY stuff is discussed on HN). I consider that arguing in bad faith.
Zoning isn't going to magically help residents get parking, nor is it going to provide a place for paying customers to put their cars while eating and drinking.
> They'll pay for them
Who? The customers would all love to pay for parking, but there wasn't a structure. You're arguing against some point you think I'm making but I'm not.
People who live there can park for free, anyone else has to pay a meter.
This solves the issues.
And that’s how my city got $1/min parking spots.
In urban planning, one has to be careful to solve the correct problem. The problem is not too many cars parked on a residential street. The problem is getting customers to businesses with minimal bad side effects.
Any "parking solution" that kills the businesses to fix the parking is not actually a solution.
The problem is getting people to different places, without them using too much space within the city. This means as little car usage as possible.
The example I mentioned – combined with cheap public transit – is very effective.
Parking meters are just one way to get people to use it, and not a very good one: by the time people find out there are meters (when trying to park), it's too late to take the transit!
The money it cost to install meters would have been better spent on a marketing campaign to raise awareness of the transit option, or subsidizing the transit prices.
Veeery cheap compared to actual meters.
And no, no marketing campaign or subsidy can be as effective as the parking costs. As long as parking isn't at least twice or thrice as expensive as transit no one will use transit. Its a serious issue IRL here. For a while they even did free transit, ads on every single billboard, bus and train, and still people rather parked for 10$ a 30min in the cuty, or even parked illegally.
And this enables apps where you basically press [start parking] and [stop parking] and you won't even need to walk.
Second, if urban planning is done properly, residential streets don't experience parking problems. That's the whole point of this thread.
And if urban planning is not done well, then it doesn't matter where businesses move--they'll still run into problems.
Oh, and if they all leave, then the neighbors will have a nice blighted block with empty buildings next door. Problem solved?
Parking meters do not magically create more parking spots. They create an incentive to use an alternative, but first there needs to be a good alternative.
If urban planning is done properly, there are no residential streets. Every street mixes residential, offices, and commercial properties.
Cupertino demands it because businesses have abused public streets before (e.g. relying on public parking for business purposes); if Apple had gone to Cupertino with an actual plan, they may have allowed fewer spaces, but since Apple didn't and just accepted the requirement it is because Apple has no plans to reduce it.
... the idea that Comcast couldn't possibly have any influence over municipal policies is laughable.
it's like thinking Microsoft can't make things done in Redmond or Google in Palo alto
wow, you got me there, sure the other option would be much worse... let's strictly follow dumb rules instead of trying to change them for people benefit
it's not about business dictating rules, it's about 9000 parking spots for 12000 people, which sounds for someone from Europe completely insane
You're not even trying.
that's like saying that chain of nonsmoking restaurant is bad bad company if they try to push stricter local nonsmoking laws. that brand of electric vehicles is bad bad company if they try to push ban on old polluting cars. that bike company is bad bad for trying to influence city to build more roads
I fail to see what's wrong with anyone trying to influence local policies for better. Company is not some imaginative entity, in the end it's people after all.
it doesn't even need to be exception, you can change rules for everyone if it's good idea, no mater who is proposing change
In Bay Area any new development faces all kinds of criticism from the city & residents. Most of the world would love to have all the tech companies in the backyard but in Bay Area they are more treated with contempt.
In someways I'm even surprised they managed to build this mostly in a way they wanted.
That's the problem with these kind of engagements. Companies and cities generally don't care to work together on something like this. When they do, however, it usually results in something pretty good.
A proper urbanist would have put the HQ on top of a hub of subway or tram lines, and you bet the managers' houses would be sorted by rank along the stations, the cleaning contractor being at the last station, as opposed to the current situation (richest farthest in the outback).
Of course, if you want happy productive employees within walking distance of their office, you don't build a centralized 15,000-job building with no residential area intersticed, so whoever signed off for such a building wouldn't understand walking distances, tram lines or subways.
And would certainly die from cancer.
Yes, it would be great if people didn't have to drive. But we don't live in that world yet, and it would be foolish and stupid to impose that on your employees.
Even if a fire service has ladder trucks, the existing ladder trucks may be berthed outside the area served by the local fire station and therefore the fire service cannot provide an appropriate response time and needs another ladder truck. Because ladder trucks are big, this may mean that the local fire station needs to be expanded to house the ladder truck.
Providing a ladder truck and possibly funds may, in some cases, remove the reasons for the height restrictions...with the premise that height restrictions are occasionally the result of careful consideration rather than or in addition to nimbyism.
If you just "bribe" the organization, there's no conflict of interest. "We want to build this" "we dont want you to" "heres some money" "ok".
Its a bit like negotiating with the CEO vs. bribing a lone DBA about getting access to proprietary data.
Silicon Valley has chosen to preserve its form of single-family suburban sprawl forever, at the cost of any human with a reasonable income being able to move there.
The south SF bay(and most of the bay, really) is similar to Chicago in the run up to the Civil War; it's expanded out as much as possible, the only direction left is up. The gentrifying is pricing families out of the area; you can measure progress with BART, and how it's snaking it's way into the heart of the south bay.
Well over 10x what Silicon Valley has experienced during another world-historical boom:
At least if you wanna drive, you can, if you wanna ride the bike, no one's stopping you.
Could cars be more environmentally sound? Yes and we are on our way to making that happen.
I live in a state that appropriately funds it's freeways, so we don't have a cluster fuck. I seldom ever have to drive below 75 on the freeway.
(directed at both Fricken and valuearb)
For example, having people pay directly for their road and mass transit use is an excellent easy solution, the hard part is addressing air pollution externalities. So toll roads, private mass transit and carbon/pollution caps/market.
If you want to inexpensively "fully engage" in society, go head and live in an apartment downtown or on a bus/train line. But don't restrict my ability to raise my kids in a home with a yard.
Do you think 70 years of federal subsidies and social engineering designed to put (initially white) middle class families in single-family homes is a state of nature?
Apple, like many other big Bay Area tech companies, has dozens of buses and shuttles that ship people around daily (even all the way up to places like Berkeley).
I assume on the Apple campus most of the parking is multi-level & underground. In that case, what's the issue?
Cupertino and Apple are doing nothing to change this status quo. With the status quo maintained, car use is mandatory for Apple workers in Cupertino and traffic will continue to increase.
Bay area taxpayers can look forward to paying more for new road expansion projects to attempt (and fail) to alleviate congestion.
Driving is the single most dangerous thing most people will do at any time. It is a ridiculous, barbaric thing to do.
Auto fatalities per million miles driven have dropped by 95% since the 1920s, 86% since 1950, and over 50% since the 1980s.
If people don't drive, all those million miles of transport will be taken up by Buses, Trains, Bikes, Walking, etc, all of which have their own death rates per million miles. It's unlikely the death rate will decline in any noticeable way even if we banned cars.
And we are on the verge of eliminating the vast majority of accidents, not just self driving cars, but even simpler existing mechanisms such as automatic brakes and lane change monitors will make massive reductions in accident rates as they continue to become more common.
> we are on the verge of eliminating the vast majority of accidents
That is purely speculative; in fact motor vehicle accident deaths are going up, not down, in the past couple years .
We had a spike in 2015 & 2016, and one in 2012, and every other year over the last decade the death rate has declined. The article you linked to emphasized the increase in deaths, and downplayed the increased number of miles driven, which is misleading. Deaths per mile only increased 3%.
And we've seen these spikes before, about one or two per decade and they don't change long term trends. In 1961-63 they spiked 6% per mile driven and 4% in 1965-66, since then death rates have declined 80%.
2015 was the 5th safest year ever for US auto travel. It's death per million miles was 1.12, in the 2000-2009 the death rate averaged 1.41 per million miles, meaning they've still declined 20% over the last decade, even with the recent spike.
Self driving cars aren't very speculative any more, it's not a question of if, just when. But automatic braking systems and lane safety systems exist today. Honda offers "Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS™)" as an option on most of it's cars already.
Honda also offers a collision warning feature, lane keeping assist system, road departure mitigation, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control with low speed follow. All of these systems exist today, and are offered by most manufacturers as options. They haven't had a big impact yet because they are options, and haven't been offered for very long so they are on a minuscule portion of the cars on the road.
But as their costs drop, just like ABS and other safety features, they will become standard equipment and after another decade or so it will be difficult to find a car that doesn't have them.
You can always find ways to save lives by making living suck more.
Btw, my argument was that people want a car because that's what has been made the most convenient. I think the correlation is that way.
Still, not being able to find a parking spot in the morning is going to irritate a lot of people, and tank productivity.
Apple might argue that their futuristic parking garage is the future - https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/14/technology/apple-self-dri...
I wonder though - for those who read the article and have worked in both suburban environments and urban ones - would you rather work in the amazing Apple spaceship in the suburbs, or a normal office building in a city-center?
For me, I think I'd still prefer a short commute and the density of stuff that comes with being downtown.
My recollection is that "suburbs" is not really a good description. Suburbs bring to mind mostly residential neighborhoods with a few big shopping centers here and there, and not much within reasonable walking or biking range. Places where you find yourself often saying "I'll pick that up next time I'm in the city".
What it felt like to me was more like if you took several small towns and pushed them all close to each other. I could for the most part get around on my bike, but would occasionally want to go to something too far away (e.g., up to Stanford's bookstore for the annual Springer-Verlag sale).
Because it was like a bunch of small towns pushed together, with a layer of residential neighborhoods between them, there were almost always routes for biking between where I was and where the little pocket of density I wanted to be was that would mostly go through those very low traffic residential neighborhoods, so it felt much more safe and relaxing than biking in a major city.
(Wow. I just checked rent at the place I used to live. It was called the Villa Serra Apartments then, but is now called the Markham Apartments. I was paying $750/month for a 750 sq. foot apartment in 1991. Now they want between $3100 and $3800/month. Inflation alone would make $750 in 1991 about $1400 today. That's about 2.4% per year. To go from $750 to $3500 would be about 6.1% per year. Ouch!)
Closer to Apple the two exits on 280 backup all the way down the onramp from about 8 to 10 every weekday morning. Still bikeable but have to be very alert when on the main streets in the bike lanes.
I'm not convinced it's a beautiful building. It's a very careful building, trying to be a temple and - IMO - failing.
What's missing? Randomness. Playfulness. Quirkiness. Fun. Colour. Warmth.
At Pixar, everyone was encouraged to personalise their work space in a creative way.
I can't imagine that happening here, because it would be a mortal wound to the purity.
My guess is that it will feel very subtly oppressive rather than delightfully liberating. It'll be a quietly productive environment, in a slightly manic way, but it's hard to be creative when everything and everyone around you has the same company standard officially-approved look and feel.
Ehhh? When I interviewed at Pixar it was mostly cubicles, some with two or three people in each cubicle area (higher ups would have nice offices that looked in on the cubicle areas, though).
That was my take-away as well. It struck me as a monument to just how gosh-darn clever Steve Jobs and Apple are, rather than a place at which the ordinary rank-and-file would want to work.
common, it's just massive boring circle, even Pentagon building is more original, there are only two things making this building interesting - size, Apple HQ
make it ten times smaller and put there unknown company and nobody would bother to read about it
Zaha Hadid designs beautiful but dysfunctional buildings.
nice design from outside doesn't mean it can't be practical inside
If Apple was Facebook or most modern web companies, the extra expensive of pods would have been spared to cram employees to stare at each other across tables in massive noisy rooms, usually with adequate natural light.
In this case Apple clearly is putting employees and their productivity first. At least they didn't choose Bella Hadid to design it, or god knows how much more impractical the inside would have been.
Honestly it's easier for me to commute out to the suburbs since I am going the opposite flow of traffic. Even though I will use the train to commute downtown it will be longer. Same if I decide to drive, downtown office is half the distance but will take double the time.
would you rather work in the amazing Apple spaceship in the suburbs,
or a normal office building in a city-center?
Add to that one neighbor who had a stupid pit bull that got out a lot, and bit two people.
On top of that, at one place I had neighbors across the street who had some stupid friends who drove up every day to pick up someone and honked their horn until that person came out of the house.
No, modified compact cars are a suburban thing. It's hard for a young person to modify their car when they don't have a garage. You can't modify your car with some POS muffler in a high-rise.
My girlfriend lives in a high-rise in a city. While there are occasional sirens and the regular sound of the subway train, there's no real traffic noise (not close enough to the freeway for that, this is pretty low-traffic residential), and certainly no yelling or loud music, and with the parking being in a parking garage with keycard access there's no worry about car vandalism either. I don't see any shitty modified compact cars there either. Overall, she seems to have less annoying noise than I had to deal with in my suburban homes that I used to live in. I'll take train noise over barking dogs any time. I don't know what the problem is with so many Americans that they just love the sound of dogs barking their heads off for hours and hours. But I only have seen this in suburbs and rural areas, never cities.
Also many of the individual orgs within Apple do have free snacks for their teams; it's not a campus-wide thing.
as with many, my work location changed long after I settled happily where I am at and seems to only move further away.
this is beautiful building which looks cool and like actual 2017, not that Apple thing which looks like something from 80s
this might be efficient but it's extremely boring not worth articles
That said, my ideal workplace would be something like a studio apartment about 6-8 floors above ground, in a temperate climate, with good natural air circulation. In close proximity to the city centre with good food variety, or even better - with a kitchen and the time to cook for myself.
Driving past it over the last few years, I try to imagine 50, 100, or maybe 500 years in the future. Will it still be an amazing building or will it be Cupertino's Coliseum ?
Just like water/electricity hidden in concrete beams I wonder how much of a nightmare maintenance of the building is gonna become? A simple door handle breaking already means replacing the whole door.
I guess it's just in line with their usual product philosophy, just gonna be a tad bit difficult to source a completely new $5 Billion ring if some part of this one breaks.
Avg apple cash comp is what, 12500/mo? 3500 is almost 30% of that!
Your calculations are off because you don't realize that while a lot of servants are enjoying their life in the castle, it's been built for the royal family and its court.
It doesn't match the artistic quality and cultural significance of st sophia or the pyramids, not even close. It's just a big glass and steel office space surrounded by a park. Sure the shape is not common, it's gonna have a few high-tech gimmicks and it carries the whole "apple" aesthetic, but it's rather blunt and feels generic (at least for me). Don't get me wrong, it's still a great project for what it is, just not the kind of project that you can call a monument a couple of centuries later
That's what you think of it. But again, it's not been building for you. It's been built for the rich people at the top of Apple. It's massive. It's designed like an apple product. It fits their purpose of symbolism, the success of design and money, a place to put all their collections of brains for show.
What you think of it, your taste, or any feeling you can have about it is completely insignificant to them. They have the exactly the pony they want. It represents exactly what they want it to, like said monument represented exactly what the people that paid for it wanted it to.
now pyramids at the time of construction were massive engineering, this is just dumb boring building
The real question (if you believe Apple will close down) is do you believe anyone will be interested in occupying the office space? Remember, the office could house more than one tenet. Or maybe they choose to offload the property in a sale.
It's the same principle I use when negotiating gym rental contracts: Schools aren't using their gyms all the time. They have downtime, i.e., they're undersubscribed, so they offer hours for rent at marginal cost.
According to this study 50 years is the maximum lifespan of a commercial building, not the standard. Over 50% of demolished steel commercial buildings were under 25 years old.
 PDF: http://cwc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/DurabilityService_L...
A steel warehouse that was put up with the lowest cost bid is easy to demolish and rebuild with better, newer materials/technologies after 40 years or so. A state of the art office building is not.
How old is the Empire State Building? Do you think it's getting demolished any time soon?
Do you really think building construction techniques and materials of 50 years ago are comparable to the techniques and materials used today, especially on the Apple Campus?
The building will cater for many more than that number of employees over its lifetime.
Energy costs are typically, and by far, the lion's share of the operating costs of a major building like this.
> Jobs hated air-conditioning and especially loathed fans. (He vigilantly tried to keep them out of his computers.) But he also didn’t want people opening windows, so he insisted on natural ventilation, a building that breathes just like the people who work inside it.
Redwood City, just to the north, is famous for having the "best climate in the world" by WW2 era gov't test.
His response was - paraphrasing - "What happens if someone quits, or is fired? In SV/SF, waits for child care facilities can easily take 6-12 months. If someone is terminated from our company, the last thing we want for them to do is have a crisis about where their children are going to go."
I believe they have a stipend, but I'm not sure about that.
Of course, I can't say if this is Apple's rationale, but it wouldn't surprise me if that had something to do with it.
I've considered employers I wouldn't have otherwise considered because the thought of on-site child care is incredibly appealing.
Having child care is also an expensive distraction and liability for management. Do you want to deal with employee complaints over childcare hours, personnel, facilities, etc, or do you want to spend your time thinking about how to better sell product and keep employee's employed? What happens when an employee accuses a child-care worker of hurting their child?
>Child care is a competitive business that can almost always be provided better and cheaper elsewhere. So it's much better to use stipends to subsidize employee child care.
Child care facilities aim for profit like any other business, and a corporate add-on doesn't need to seek profitability (and even if they did, assuming it's on-site the operational overhead is ultimately lower). So how exactly would outside facilities compete with that?
>Having child care is also an expensive distraction and liability for management
Having children is an expensive distraction whether or not your company is involved. If something happens at a remote daycare, your employee will leave the building to manage that. If there's a child-care gap that doesn't align with work schedules, your employee will take time off to deal with that.
>What happens when an employee accuses a child-care worker of hurting their child?
What happens when an employee accuses another employee of hurting them?
>or do you want to spend your time thinking about how to better sell product and keep employee's employed
I want to spend my time making a good product and making my employees lives easier so they can do their best work.
You hire someone for this
>Running a software company doesn't give you any of those skills. Someone specializing in the business of child-care should be able to wipe the floor with anything your software company puts up in it's spare time.
Same hire as above
>Children are a distraction, I know. But having the management of the company involved in making decisions about how your kids are being cared for is a distraction from their core duties. By definition they are going to be slightly worse at sales, marketing, development, etc because they have to spend time on childcare.
Seriously, hire like one person.
>Having childcare only benefits a few employees for a few years of their lives. There is nothing wrong with having company childcare, I'm playing the devils advocate a bit here, but there is also nothing wrong with saying the outside world will be better at serving this need and just offering a stipend to help parents with the cost.
I'm talking about companies with hundreds of employees in the same building... like Apple, who has built a massively enormous HQ without childcare. An issue that likely impacts dozens, if not hundreds, of their employees at this location.
Are they skilled at it? You don't know, their resume looked good to you, but your expertise is elsewhere.
Are their policies correct? Again, you don't know.
Are your liabilities reasonably covered? Who knows?
And you still have to manage that person on a day to day basis. You have to be able to fire them if they screw up, you have to know whats going on in their department.
You can educate yourself, but again you won't become an expert and that's time you could spend building your business.
Even for Apple, and Tim Cook, it's easier to rely on the competitive market to provide child-care. The best of all worlds would be to rent space to a child-care provider, and bid out the service to get the best child-care possible. There are still issues, such as you don't want the low bidder, and you have to do research to pick the best bidder. But at least you aren't running it day to day.
You're making a mountain out of a mole hill. Steve Jobs wanted to make this building "breathable" and paid to come up with a custom solution and your bemoaning the logistics of hiring competent child care providers.
Running a software company doesn't give you any of those skills. Someone specializing in the business of child-care should be able to wipe the floor with anything your software company puts up in it's spare time.
Children are a distraction, I know. But having the management of the company involved in making decisions about how your kids are being cared for is a distraction from their core duties. By definition they are going to be slightly worse at sales, marketing, development, etc because they have to spend time on childcare.
Having childcare only benefits a few employees for a few years of their lives. There is nothing wrong with having company childcare, I'm playing the devils advocate a bit here, but there is also nothing wrong with saying the outside world will be better at serving this need and just offering a stipend to help parents with the cost.
Childcare in businesses is a solved problem. Thousands of businesses do it, as do many government agencies. Here in DC there are in-business childcare centers at places like the Smithsonian, Holocaust Museum, FDA, World Bank, HHS, etc. Heck the public middle school in my neighborhood has an attached childcare center for the teachers' kids.
Patagonia, one of the most-admired businesses in the world, has a huge childcare center on campus, and encourages other businesses to do the same thing.
Whether or not to offer on-premise childcare is a choice every business can make for itself, but let's not pretend it's some risky idea that is hard to work out.
Of course it's completely up to a company to do this. my point, and likely OP's point is that it seems like a glaring omission from an otherwise feature-rich campus.
Why can't there be onsite third-party childcare?
The problem here is the concept of a surburban "company town" office, instead of having an office building integrated into the wider community.
I understand that on-site childcare wouldn't work for everyone, but it could work for some, and be a benefit to them.
Other companies DO provide it.
There's a on-site cafeteria, correct? Do they worry how people will get lunch if they quit/fired? Reservations in SV/SF can easily take 6-12 months. /s
Yes, they are unable because that would hinder them from getting another job.
> I understand that on-site childcare wouldn't work for everyone, but it could work for some, and be a benefit to them.
> Other companies DO provide it.
Whats the difference between a daycare at your work or at a separate daycare building?
They, ultimately, have the responsibility to take care of their children, rather than always handing them off to a someone else - correct?
If these jobs are so incompatible with raising children, what's the point of trying to raise children? Does it now seem wise why they companies of these jobs could provide childcare for the benefit of these employees?
SV sounds like Hell on Earth.
It sounds like really you're critiquing parents in general for sending kids to daycare.
Lower cost and fewer logistical issues I would imagine.
You've just removed a 10~45 minute round trip commute to that separate building. That's twice a day every day, and if the kid gets sick or injured.
On top of that, some would prefer an outside child care service, specially if the position has a lot of traveling involved (can your partner or caregiver bring the kid to campus when you are not there?) Even if you decide to do it. ¿How many people should you hire? ¿What happens when the employee is fired or quits? (it's hard to find a daycare center in short time), add insurance, etc...
The way most companies solve this is by subsidizing the daycare facility of you're choosing or allowing for remote work some days of the week. It's more efficient.
That being said, not sure what the policy at Apple is right now.
not every employee (most?) is interested in gym, so why provide gym? you can make survey or research to estimate what size of childcare you will need
> On top of that, some would prefer an outside child care service, specially if the position has a lot of traveling involved (can your partner or caregiver bring the kid to campus when you are not there?) Even if you decide to do it. ¿How many people should you hire? ¿What happens when the employee is fired or quits? (it's hard to find a daycare center in short time), add insurance, etc...
just put in contract childcare ends same time as contract, simple as that, it's just bullshit excuse not provide option hiding it behind caring about well-being of employee
Not an excuse. Just one of the many logistics problems involved. What happens when you have to stay longer than childcare is open, etc...
Yeah, these problems also happen with third party child care but that's the point. It might be wiser and more efficient to subsidize an external option that to build an internal one. Not only for the company, for the employee as well.
nobody rational is so insane to expect different services from child care just because it's provided by employer, but sure it is convenient for parent
My child has a bump on their head, I'm positive they didn't have it before I dropped them, I demand a firing!
Why isn't the company offering healthy snacks to my kids?
I chose not to have kids because I think it's better for our future not to overpopulate this planet. But why can't I leave my Shitzu there? He's never hurt anyone!!!!
I've worked at a Fortune 100 HQ with childcare. It was segmented and the kids/workers never entered the main building.
Apple will have cleaners, maintenance, food service, etc all over the place. It's not like it'll be a hermetically sealed place.
Yes, those toddlers would probably stumble on Jony Ive's secret development studio! In reality the campus also has "a visitors center with an Apple Store and cafe open to the public". That means full sized adults walking around!
Why do people want a return to the "company town" model just to save a few minutes?
In regard to saving "a few minutes", I don't know how you (or other people) feel about it, but I'd happily spend more time with my child.
You can absolutely take advantage of it, by raising a child.
Apart from coffee machines, and maybe food service... no physical location perk is capable of handling the entire staff.
Show me how the kids of Apple benefit from this, "Insanely Great" technology.
I'm trying to imagine one now, with snooty little kids in black turtlenecks.
I wonder how well the Apple building will age?
In summary, the webpage is depressingly badly designed, in stark contrast to the awesome impressive building it describes.
But... unless they made some poor choices in framing the shots, is there really no proximate view outside to this lovingly engineered park? Opposite the glass wall, I hope?
How would you accomplish giving everyone a view of the outside? The building is far too large for that, i.e. it would not be possible for everyone to get a view to the outside.
It seems to me that in general the common spaces have the views to the outside, but I also would like to know whether there are any office-like spaces with actual views to the outside.
To me that seems a pretty good approach. I need more secluded spaces to work (where a view of the nature doens’t really help), but walks and nature helps me to think.
Am I correct in saying that this is just a standard to-go box with holes in the bottom?
"The lid further includes a second integrated top feature that includes apertures that allow an outflow of air"
So now (well since 2012), if someone makes a box with holes, it's breaking patent law? I thought only software patents were ridiculous
I'm not criticizing, just admiring the cost.
I think it's a bit excessive for a universally known company but I get the idea of wanting a monument. Having moved from Houston to Silicon Valley, I remember being mildly disappointed by for example Google's campus. Like, it's just a regular old office campus. Nice, of course! Very nice, next to shoreline ampitheater, lots of trees, etc. But, I mean, it's Google. Was I expecting rocketships? Maybe! I dunno. I certainly was expecting something other than just... a campus.
This is something I worry about. Some of the most groundbreaking works were created by artists being super poor and living in a hole somewhere while suffering from personal problems. Sure once they become popular and make money they can afford to refine their craft and over-produce, but the original inspiration comes from a grittier, more punk place.
The new Reichstag is one of the nicest buildings I now. It was originally constructed in the 19th century, burned down (the fire was used by Hitler as an excuse to consolidate power) and was left unused for many decades. Foster essentially fitted a modern building into the old one, something which I never saw anywhere else done so successfully. You feel the importance and history of the building at every corner no matter how often you have been there. On the other hand, it is very functional with short ways (if you know which turn to take which is not that obvious for the first few times).
The building has rough edges here and there as a result of a too low public budget and a short-cut everybody uses goes through a service passage behind an uninviting door with naked walls and large visible pipes but that is all really minor (or rather part of the charm). Ten thousand members of the public visit the building daily and they are very present in many parts of the building without disturbing day-to-day work at all (as you usually don't cross their path while still seeing them – it's quite nicely done). The transparency just embodies the self-concept of the newly unified country.
It would be interesting to hear from those working inside it.
Then again, I'm not in design or architecture. If it's really significant in that context, it's a shame that it'll be inaccessible to people outside of Apple.
The amount of unproductive space devoted to the storage of cars is just mind boggling.
Not much has changed in how people get to work. Single occupancy cars all burning fossil fuel and expelling C02.
It may not be a fancy spaceship, but the 100 year old building I work at in downtown Chicago has indoor bike parking and allows me a nice 20 minute ride on my bike.
Technology doesn't progress at the same pace across all fields. Innovation in the transport of people had a solid run from (well, dating these things is always a little arbitrary) from the age of sail to around the 1960s and then seemed to have stopped. The age of sail promoted Europe's rapid modernisation and industrialization. They dug huge canal systems in some countries. They rolled out empire-grade railroad systems.
Before World war one, air travel meant novelty items like blimps and planes made from bicycles. By the 1960s we had modern airline systems, supersonic fighters that could still fight today...In the following 50 years, we've modernized and digitized what we already had in 1960 but it's not much cheaper, faster or more convenient.
That's why I like the focus on transport. Self driving cars are such a cool technology they get some eyes onto transport. Uber gives us a transport unicorn, which gets investor and founder eyes onto transport. Ideas like hyperloop and Marsone are floating around as inspiration. Hopefully, we're going into a period of progress again.
I suppose Apple is a big enough wheel that they could have probably rewritten those laws if they wanted to, but they're an electronics company, not city planners. WTH would they know about decent zoning regs?
But a wild, freely growing forest also has beauty. An entire neighbourhood "nestled" in such an overgrowth, sustaining a healthy biome also is beautiful no?
Perhaps Apple could have attained a best of both worlds? Do they have residences in close proximity? Maybe something akin to the Toyota city but more compact?
"When asked by city council about traffic issues and parking spaces for [some huge new google campus], [some google spokesperson] assuaged councilmembers with 'By the time it's done, we'll be bringing people in with self driving cars, and the local rail system in [Palo Alto / Mountain View] will have been built, so this will be a non-issue.'"
Judging from the tone of the story, this was considered totally acceptable by the city council. Like, some suit from google just says "nah don't worry about it, 5 years from now is the future, and we all KNOW what the future will be like! Eh? Eh?" Seems remarkably irresponsible, though I am totally for new development! The more the better. Let the tech capital of the world remain so.
But 12,000 is about on scale with the entire Sears Tower (Willis Tower) in Chicago.
The Sears tower was at once the tallest building in the world. The design behind it was revolutionary. It's many rectangles! The Apple building is interesting in it's own right - 100% self sufficient and a new concept of what an office can be.
Not everything can or should be "La Sagrada Familia". That doesn't mean that these other constructions aren't impressive and thoughtful.
I recommend the architecture tour if you make your way to Chicago.
Actually Chicago seem like one of very few places I would really like to visit in US (very photogenic from what I have seen), but I don't see myself visiting US anytime soon with your government attitude since 9/11 (I don't really think Trump is something really evil compared to Obama or Bush, they all essentially destroyed all my interest in visiting US as tourist by imposing all kind of totalitarian practices which go further than Chinese totalitarian gov), same reason why I didn't went to NoKo when living in China, not gonna support such gov with my money. To be fair I am not going to Germany too after Merkel's 2015 invitation to illegals.
Separating people from politics is a good thing to do. You'll find wherever you go there's a lot of people who don't agree with the current state of affairs. I've been many places I think are backwards but then you find there's a lot of decent people there and plenty of interesting things to see and do.
US is not exactly exotic country for European, maybe dream to visit for mainland Chinese but not really appealling to me, much rather i would go to Iran, Morocco, Japan, etc.
so only way i am gonna consider US over these is if they will be extremely friendly to visitors and stop all kind of this laptop ban bullshit (no way i put it in checked baggage) and million questions ESTA or if someone will give me air ticket pretty much for free
Does it make economic sense to NOT build solar arrays on new buildings these days? Even for your average-sized office or apartment building. It seems the added cost would only push the budget up marginally in most cases.
> Ive raises an eyebrow. “Well,” he says. “It depends how you define need, doesn’t it?”
The difference between the real Ive and @JonyIveParody is... ?
anyway it's here for people who don't wanna support Wired
TLDR: clickbait title, there is pretty much zero photos of actual interior of building
About the open office plan, I don't think that's the case at all. I don't know if we know enough about it to say, but I think enough is known to say it has a prototypical open office floor plan. Maybe if one were to be overly technical and argue that it is technically "open" then I would have no choice but to agree, however that's not really a common sense way of looking at things. It looks like the pods resemble something more akin to how whales organize. Plus I can't believe they'd spend so much time designing the hardware without giving the software some thought, if my analogy makes sense.
Indeed, I am currently looking out my window at several Amazon office towers that most employees didn't drive to.
The problem is we current have three choices:
- "Company Store"-style housing (e.g. get fired, get made homeless)
- Good public transport.
The third option is obviously the best but it is outside of any single company's control. To get good quality public transport the entire city (or cities) need to be onboard, invest sometimes billions of dollars, and likely run it at a near loss (since most public transport systems lose money).
If someone knows of an alternative not listed above, I'd like to read about it. And, no, automated vehicles aren't an alternative because they don't actually exist in production yet.
The other thing they can do is what Google does: buy their own buses and bus in some of the employees from key locations. It's not exactly "public transport", but it's pretty close, and doesn't make anyone homeless if they lose their job there, and it wouldn't cost the company much, while it'd save a lot of cars from pouring emissions into the air every day.
They do that already. I work down the street from the current Apple headquarters and the sheer amount of Apple buses during commute hours is insane. They must come every few minutes from 8-10a and 4-7p or so, because its rare for me to see less than 2 or 3 within a couple blocks of HQ during those hours.
people would be probably praising it even if it would be just another boring skyscraper just because it's Apple
well i have news for you, just because it's Apple HQ it doesn't make it really interesting or nice building from architectural standpoint
Here we have a company that goes way out of their way to build a ridiculously cool campus for their employees and the top comment is talking about how it's no different from what we see in Office Space. Jesus christ are you all really that jaded?
Being "no different" is not the same as "still the same in certain respects"
I don't think this building is "ridiculously cool."
"Out of their way" ? Are you suggesting altruism or generosity?
Those single person pod/offices are huge productivity benefits that most tech companies simply won't invest in.
"Workplace Quality and Product Quality - Companies that provide small and noisy workplaces explain away complaints as workers campaigning for the added status of bigger, more private space. To determine whether noise level had any correlation to work, we divided our sample into those who found the workplace acceptably quiet and those who didn't. Then, looking at workers within each group who completed the entire exercise without a single defect:
> Workers who reported that their workplace was acceptably quiet before
the exercise were 1/3 more likely to deliver zero-defect work.
As the noise level gets worse, this trend gets stronger:
Zero-defect workers: => 66% reported noise level OK
1-or-more-defect workers: => 8% reported noise level OK
A Discovery of Nobel Prize Significance - On February 3, 1984, in a study of 32,346 companies worldwide, the authors confirmed a virtually perfect inverse relationship between people density and dedicated floor space per person. If you're having trouble seeing why this matters, you're not thinking about noise. Noise is directly proportional to density, so halving the allotment of space per person can be expected to double the noise. Even if you managed to prove conclusively that a programmer could work in 30 sq. ft. without being hopelessly space-bound, you still wouldn't be able to conclude that 30 sq. ft. is adequate space. The noise in a 30 sq. ft matrix is more than triple the noise in a 100 sq. ft. matrix, which could make the difference between a plague of product defects and none at all."
So everyone should just put on headphones, right? Peopleware says no.
"experiment done at Cornell -- they gave two groups a complicated task involving a long string of calculations. One group listened to music while performing the task, and one group had silence.
What they didn't tell either group is that the complicated string of calculations always returned the original number.
It turned out that not everyone figured this out, but of the people who did, a large majority came from the group that did not listen to music.
The theory apparently being is that listening to music is somehow engaging the part of the brain involved in creative thought, keeping it "busy" enough not to be able to look at the big picture of the task being performed."
All developers should consider their surroundings and how they affect their thought process. I actually stopped listening to popular music while developing, after I read this and some other studies about it's effect at keeping part of your brain (the language processing parts) occupied. I still listen to music part time, and try to listen to instrumentals only.
EDIT: To all downvoters: https://assets.wired.com/photos/w_1970/wp-content/uploads/20...
Behold, in new Apple office, depressive windowless cell is called "a pod": https://assets.wired.com/photos/w_1970/wp-content/uploads/20...
If you see the picture in the slide show, you'll see that pods provide everyone with a private office, with a huge sliding glass door, and plentiful storage options.
The drones at Facebook would feel like they died and went to heaven.
It sounds like you didn't.
Or do you promote open work plans in your day job?
> Why don't you post a picture of that, instead of spamming this one?
Sorry, image urls buried deep inside, I had to use dev tools to extract them.
> Or do you promote open work plans in your day job?
Promoting a weird idea that every human being (even if he/she is a developer) deserves a window, fresh air and natural light, is my little personal war.
And there's no "open space" vs "gray cages" dichotomy. Our team works in a quiet room with big windows, for example.
We don't know the length of the rail car they used, do we?
A perfect example of a the stereotypical Californian mindset. Indigenous is what California was like when one first experienced it and everything should remain unchanged into the future.
Edit: On second thought, this is just a statement from the article's author. It's unlikely Jobs would not have confused indigenous California flora with fruit trees.