The billion-dollar palaces of Apple, Facebook and Google

How the tech monstrous are employing top designers to construct stunning epitomizes of their gigantic world-wide power

We know by now that the internet is a monstrou playpen, a landscape of dolls, distractions and instant gratification, of chirps and creaks and bright, glossy things plus, rest assured, ugly, hideous beasties lurking in all the softness apparently without scope. Graphics rounded angles, lower lawsuit, Googles primary colours, Twitters birdie, Facebooks subtleties of blue-blooded enhance the innocence and infantilism. It is a world, as Jonathan Franzen once enunciated, so responsive to our desire as to be, effectively, a merely expansion of the soul. Until we chance on the bars of the playpen and find that there are neighbourhoods we cant go and that it is in the gift of the grown-ups on the other side to make or move the limits to our freedom.

Were like to talk of virtual opening. But those grown-ups, the tech whales, Apple, Facebook, Google and the rest, are also in the business of building physical billion-dollar enclaves for their thousands of hires. Here very they compose calibrated districts of enjoyable, wherein staff offer their lives, body and soul, day and night, in return for gyms, Olympic-sized swimming pools, clambering walls, basketball courts, running tracks and hiking footpaths, indoor football lurches, rub chambers and hanging gardens, concert venues, charming arts and adorable graphics. They have been doing this for a while what is changing is the sheer magnitude and folly of these places.

For the tech monstrous are now in the same slot as great powers in the past the bankers of the Italian Renaissance, the skyscraper-builders of the 20 th century, the Emperor Augustus, Victorian railway companies whereby, whether the government has wishes to or not, their size and abundance express their opinions in dazzling structure. As Deyan Sudjic, formerly of this parish and now chairman of the Design Museum, wrote in his work The Edifice Complex , the execution of structure has always been at the discretion of those with their hands on the bars of strength. Having just as much gumption of their own importance as those previous dominances, tech firms likely dont head commissioning organizes that define their time.

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