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Witold Rybczynski Shares ‘The Untold Story of Apple Park’ in Architect Magazine

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In an article titled ‘The Untold Story of Apple Park’ over at Architect Magazine (via Ped 3.0), Witold Rybczynski has shared some interesting tidbits related to the design of Apple’s iconic new headquarters in Cupertino, including how Steve Jobs found a 73-year-old landscape architect for the job while searching for the next Frederick Law Olmsted.

Apple park

Here are a few excerpts from the article:

Olin was approached by Apple in the spring of 2011. By then, the Foster office had been working on the building for almost three years, but apart from a local arborist who had been advising on tree planting, no landscape architect had been appointed. Olin, whose firm is based in Philadelphia, flew out to Cupertino and met Jobs.

Olin recounted the meeting to me. “I’ve been looking for the young landscape architect who is the next Olmsted,” Jobs told him, referring to the great 19th-century park builder. Olin, who was 73 at the time, wasn’t sure how to respond and said something about Olmsted being unique. The name came up several times in their conversation. Olmsted had laid out the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto, where Jobs lived, and Jobs referred repeatedly to Stanford’s Main Quad.



At one point, after Jobs had talked about what he liked in a landscape, Olin asked him what sorts of things he didn’t like in a landscape. “Anything modern,” said Jobs. “But you’re the most modern person there is,” a surprised Olin replied. Jobs didn’t elaborate; he just threw his hands up in the air and repeated, “Anything modern.”

You can read the entire article at the source page here.

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