Silicon Headquarters

The Architectural Faces of Digital Capitalism

  • Schmidt-Lux Thomas Leipzig University

Although digitalization processes are frequently described as being immaterial and ‘virtual’, the importance of material space and architecture in the Silicon Valley is evident. Just recently new headquarters of Apple, Facebook and Google have opened. Based on walk-throughs, interviews, documents and photography, the essay analyses their architecture and spatial organization. The analysis reveals that there is no single, uniform form of contemporary corporate architecture in Silicon Valley, just as there is no coherent picture of the digital. Google builds accessible and permeable, Facebook creates a built community, while Apple builds its very own world, similarly hiding and exposing it. Thus, the analysis of architecture reveals different conceptions of an often monolithically described field.