The LA Times‘ resident architecture critic has received a fair share of criticism of his own at the start of this week, chiefly from avid Apple enthusiasts after his writing a somewhat negative piece about the company’s proposed Foster + Partners-designed new headquarters in northern California. Though not a terribly negative review, and certainly not overt, Hawthorne really doesn’t even involve Apple, but instead uses them as a launching point to discussed the many companies who have decided to build a “campus,” a self-inclosed, almost suburban-like entity that eschews any form of connection to its community. However, with both Google (working with Ingenhoven) and Facebook (moving into Sun Microsystems‘ old facilities) also making them move to new mega-campuses of their own, Hawthorne seems to find Apple’s planned new home even more egregious in its desired separation than any of its neighbors, writing that it “keeps itself aloof from the world around it to a degree that is unusual even in a part of California dominated by office parks.” While the critic doesn’t directly address that many of these companies deal in tremendous secrecy and have employees who have sacrificed personal lives to work 18 hour days and thus need something that provides a sort of replacement for that insular safety, we think Hawthorne doesn’t necessarily believe that those needs have to be mutually exclusive. Whatever the case, it’s an interesting argument and one that’s sure to have the critic blacklisted for the iPhone 5 unveiling event, whenever that should happen to be.
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