Google and Apple: the High-Tech Hippies of Silicon Valley

Why are the two companies spending billions to build offices that look lifted straight from the 1960s?

For all the talk of “disruption” coming out of Silicon Valley, one thing that has tended to remain stubbornly stuck in the past is tech companies’ architecture. Many of today’s most innovative companies are housed in deadly dull, boxy and glassy suburban campuses: Google lives in the rehabbed buildings of long-defunct Silicon Graphics, Facebook in a laboratory from the 1960s. Though the interiors might have advanced lighting systems, state-of-the-art fitness facilities and cafeterias serving farm-to-table fare, the exteriors — flat, unarticulated facades; ribbon windows; hard right angles — could come from any suburban office corridor anywhere in the country, and from any moment in the past half-century.

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