Apple Preparing to Move into “Spaceship” Campus
Reuters reports that, after years of delays and an estimated $5 billion price tag, Apple hopes to start moving into its new “spaceship” campus in a few months. One of Steve Jobs’s final initiatives, the round glass building was projected to be finished in 2015 but was held up by a lengthy city approval process and insane attention to detail. Although it looks (and sounds) impressive, some architects wonder if the building is an example of form over function. Louise Mozingo, chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning at U.C. Berkeley, told Reuters that the building could be tough to navigate. Other sources have said that the building has been a tremendous drain on Apple; we can hope that completing it will help the company devote more time, attention, and resources to its core products and services.
How can a company worth billions of dollars and with a tremendous arsenal of technological and human assets be devoting less time, attention and resources to its core products just because they are constructing a new headquarters. If this is true, then Apple is being mismanaged, and we know the results the last time that happened...
One Infinite Loop was built in the twilight years of John Sculley standing as CEO of Apple Computer, Inc.
I'm not even sure what to make of the Campus Two project, yet.
If building the new campus was draining attention and resources from Apple's core business then in my opinion they cannot complete the transition to the new campus a minute too soon. Among other things, quality control at Apple has slipped badly in recent years. While it's impossible to draw a direct cause and effect relationship between the focus on Campus 2 and weakness in various Apple's product lines (iCloud, anyone?), the move alone into the new quarters will undoubtedly be tremendously disruptive for employees and their work schedules/routines. The wastage in man-hours will be immense. Once they are settled in I'm sure it will be a great place to work, though the scale of things will take some getting used to. Perhaps describing the place as a campus is appropriate: If you think of the inefficiencies of the normal college campus, then Campus 2 may seem less extraordinary. Relaxed work schedules could reduce the stress getting from one place to another. And, hopefully, there will be more than one cafeteria and innumerable small meeting rooms. Then, again, if you are important enough, teleconferencing may save a lot of shoe leather, or rubber, as the case may be.
Who would be surprised if the creators of recent MacBook Pro's built a building in which function followed form!? I can assure you, based on experience with smaller torus-form buildings that it will be difficult to navigate without moving sidewalks and a lot of escalators. But again, that's not Apple's concern; only form matters these days. Glad I don't have to work in that white elephant!