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Famed architect Peter Bohlin talks about Steve Jobs and the Architecture of Apple

Architect Peter Bohlin of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson talks about working with Steve Jobs on the architecture of the Apple Stores today on Bloomberg TV


Architect Peter Bohlin of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ) was on Bloomberg TV today on STREET SMART with Trish Regan talking about working with Steve Jobs on the Apple retail stores as well as other high-profile business leaders and corporate tech brands—including a discussion of the design of Square’s corporate headquarters.

Apple’s Architect

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson came onto the radar at Architosh in our website’s earliest years when we covered a story on the Bill Gates house (compound) in the state of Washington. In that story we talked about the unusual—and possibly embarrassing fact—that the Bill Gates house was partially designed on a Mac. It has been said that the late Steve Jobs learned of Peter Bohlin’s firm via Bill Gates but we have never seen this communicated other than through our connections to those involved in the Bill Gates house itself.

Today on Bloomberg TV Trish Regan asks Mr. Bohlin how involved Steve Jobs was in the overall look in the stores? This is a good question because many assume Jobs—given his style of involved leadership—would have been highly involved and even an originator of key ideas. “Steve would be involved in everything,” says Bohlin. “and those are the greatest clients, because in a way you are trying to get at their nature and their heart.”

READ MORE: Bill Gates’ House Designed on Macintosh? 

Bohlin goes on to say he first met Steve Jobs at Pixar. Bohlin Cywinski Jackson was the architect for Pixar’s well-regarded and original corporate headquarters in Emeryville, California. Steve Jobs, according to Bohlin hired BCJ because he felt the architecture firm did really good large buildings and really good houses—something can be challenging for firms that take on both scales of work. “Who else but Steve Jobs would say that and think that?” says Bohlin.

The Glass Look

Regan asks Bohlin if the now famous Apple “glass look” in all their buildings was Steve Jobs’ idea. Bohlin says no, it was all of them—implying client and architect together. Bohlin says that the New York City glass cube store was the first glass stair store and getting people to go up in retail is a very hard thing to do.

Bohlin confirms that architect can be a part of branding. He further talks about working for high-profile people, and further discusses the work on the corporate headquarters for Square. Check out the full interview below. And to learn more about Peter Bohlin and his architecture firm go here.

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