Silicon Valley's Architectural Arms Race is On

How Apple's spaceship campus has sparked the tech community's desire to leave an architectural legacy: 

Jobs was presenting the designs for a new headquarters building that Apple proposed to build, and that the City Council would have to approve. It was a structure unlike any other that his company, or any other in the world, had ever built: a glass building in the shape of a huge ring, 1,521 feet in diameter (or nearly five football fields), and its circumference would curve for nearly a mile. It was designed by Sir Norman Foster, the British-born architect known for the elegance of his work and for the uncompromising nature of his sleek, modern aesthetic—close to Jobs’s own. In a community that you could almost say has prided itself on its indifference to architecture, Apple, which had already changed the nature of consumer products, seemed now to want to try to do nothing less than change Silicon Valley’s view of what buildings should be.

[…] Gehry’s Facebook building is intended in some ways to be the antithesis of Foster’s for Apple. It will be set lower into the ground and will be covered entirely by roof gardens: a building that will blend into the landscape rather than hover over it like an alien spacecraft. (From the minute the design became public, people have been calling the Apple building the “spaceship.”) But Facebook’s project is not exactly what you would call modest: underneath those gardens will be what might be the largest office in the world, a single room so gargantuan that it will accommodate up to 10,000 workers.