The billion-dollar palaces of Apple, Facebook and Google | Art and design | The Guardian
Each campus is a self-contained universe where everything – the species of vegetation, the graphics, the food in the cafe, the programming of events, the architecture, is determined by the management. They make their own weather.
Under the Google tent or inside the Apple circle there is little but googleness or appleness. There is nature but – despite the meticulous selection of native plants – it is of an abstract, managed kind. There is art, but it is drained of the power to shock and subvert, leaving only diversion and reassurance. There is architecture but, notwithstanding the high degree of invention that goes into materials, it finds it hard to shed the quality of computer renderings, the sense that buildings are made of a kind of digistuff, which could as well be one thing or another.
It’s also striking that for all its fame #Silicon_Valley makes little impression on the visual consciousness of the world – there’s not a strong sense of what it actually looks like. Until now it has lacked landmarks.