There is a very good article on Architectural Record today regarding Steve Jobs and his relationship to architecture as a visionary client. Recapping the history of Apple’s now famous stores, the article reminds us that it was way back in 2002 that Apple opened up its first non-mall flagship store in the New York City SoHo district.
Steve Jobs, who died on October 5, 2011, at the age of 56, was well versed in architecture and design and according to the article a very inspiring client. The article makes mention of Jobs’ connection to the architectural office of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ). Jobs approached architect Peter Bohlin, FAIA, shortly after starting NeXT to commission him to design a small sales office in Pittsburgh. The Pennsylvania-based firm–which now has offices around the country–took that commission and later designed Pixar’s Emeryville headquarters in California.
The article makes mention of Bohlin’s first impression of Steve Jobs and later comments that Steve was “a great client. He drove us hard to get it right. He always knew when things weren’t good enough…”
Peter Bohlin talks about Jobs’ vision for the Apple stores and even mentions his new home–which sadly Bohlin notes will likely never be built. Apparently, Jobs wife, Laurene Powell Jobs and his family may not follow through on Steve’s many year quests to demolish a regarded George Washington Smith house and build a modest modern home in its stead.
Lastly, the article makes mention of the revealed plans for Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino, which Jobs pushed through the city council in June of this year. That building is not designed by Peter Bohlin’s firm and renderings of it have been viewed and harshly criticized by architectural critics. The Norman Foster designed structure looks like a giant spaceship slash donut. It is 2.8 million square feet and contains parking for 4,000 plus cars in its basement.
The master plan for the Apple 2 campus is interesting and concentrates building structure, thereby saving on open space. Research facilities and a very large parking structure adjoin the main structure. You can view PDF drawings on the Cupertino town website here. To read the full article on Record go here.