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What Apple's and Google's Headquarters Plans Reveal About Their Cultures

The very different designs for Apple's and Google's planned headquarters buildings are a reflection of their corporate personalities, argues a professor of architecture at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.

In an interview with Professor Brian Schermer by digital news site Quartz (via Business Insider), the workplace design expert comments on the two companies' respective plans for their new headquarter buildings.

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Apple is ... inscrutable. We don’t see the interiors. I have no idea how Apple would organize the building into different work groups. [It] is very tightly controlled. Maybe the Apple employee is somebody who’s attracted to that pure, shared vision — the Jony Ive aesthetic. [It is] an architecture that [one] is meant to behold. The company is shooting for timeless beauty.

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Google’s business is somewhat sprawling and disheveled. They started off with search, and now they are getting into hardware, like Pixel and Google Glass. Similarly, their next campus is a thicket of ideas and places to be. The Google vision is perhaps to recruit people who are attracted to the serendipity of messiness. Architecture can be a very abstract language, but Google is wearing its heart on its sleeve. It’s trying to say that you can really inhabit this space.
Apple CEO Tim Cook mentioned Apple's new campus at yesterday's shareholders meeting, reiterating that Apple plans to move into the facility in 2016, with construction potentially beginning later this year.

Top Rated Comments

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20 months ago
Apple - Connected ecosystem
Google - Fragmented (even their ideas are this and that)

Both look stunning in their own ways, I think.
Rating: 23 Votes
20 months ago
This is worthy of the front page over so many other posts lol
Rating: 12 Votes
20 months ago
Apple has style.
Rating: 8 Votes
20 months ago

Architecture can be a very abstract language, but Google is wearing its heart on its sleeve.


"The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste."
- Steve Jobs, 1995

This is also Google's problem.

You're either born with an aesthetic sense or you're not.
Sorry Google. You weren't.
Rating: 8 Votes
20 months ago
I hate to say this but Google's HQ looks like a housing project.
Rating: 7 Votes
20 months ago

So what will Samsung's new campus look like?


It will look like Apples campus - but have a much bigger radius ... and they will call it a new invention.

They will also use cheap plastic instead of the continues high quality glass windows.
Rating: 6 Votes
20 months ago

No, it's not.

Almost all our choices are based on some inner personality, this is also true for organisations, and especially in relation to architecture...


Agreed.

Googles campus looks like *****. I mean its neat and all; I do see the appeal and it would be an awesome thing to visit in person, let alone work there. But it just reminds me of a high school art project, not a serious architectural design.

I guess that why I like apple so much? The cold, calculated design aesthetic, the "pure" vision. Ruthless perfection.
Rating: 6 Votes
20 months ago

Apple - Connected ecosystem
Google - Fragmented (even their ideas are this and that)


I agree. Apple's is like a Closed system, but looks awesome and is more functional. Google's is more open, but yes, fragmented.
Rating: 5 Votes
20 months ago
Doesn't the Apple design feature continuous glass around the entire perimeter?




Analyzing architecture like this is akin to phrenology.
Rating: 5 Votes
20 months ago
Google´s campus looks like a Disneyworld Resort, not that that is a bad thing. But Apple´s building is beautiful and iconic, just like everything else they make.
Rating: 4 Votes

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