Apple's Spaceship, Amazon's Bubble: 10 Hip Tech Headquarters - InformationWeek

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6/11/2015
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Nathan Eddy
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Apple's Spaceship, Amazon's Bubble: 10 Hip Tech Headquarters

World-famous architects are turning their attention to eye-catching, high-tech headquarters for some of the biggest names in the tech industry. From Apple, to Facebook, to Amazon, here are our 10 favorites.
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(Image: NBBJ)

(Image: NBBJ)

Businesses such as Facebook, Uber, and Amazon are better known for their ubiquitous presence in our lives than for any particular grace in design aesthetics. How many times have we all complained about Facebook's umpteenth change for the better? However, when it comes to corporate headquarters, these companies, and many others, are employing the best and the brightest in the fields of architecture and interior design.

We've come a long way from Microsoft's bland, boxy campus outside Seattle. Instead, in the city's downtown, Amazon looks to be taking a page from Logan's Run with a series of steel and glass domes that look more like futuristic biospheres than they do offices for an online retail giant.

Meanwhile, in Cupertino, Calif., Apple, perhaps the only company on this list known best for the sleek, high-fashion design of its products, is building an enormous, ring-shaped HQ designed by British architect Norman Foster. It calls to mind a giant silver spaceship that landed in a forest.

On the other side of the world, in the coastal city of Changle, China, Liu Dejian, one of that nation's wealthiest individuals and the founder of online game developer NetDragon Websoft, took his Star Trek fandom to the ultimate level by spending $100 million on an office HQ resembling the USS Enterprise spaceship.

The concept of a landmark headquarters for a major corporation is nothing new, and neither is the process of hiring a name-brand architect to design one. Frank Gehry, probably the best-known architect working today, designed Facebook's new campus, and the IAC center in New York City, which was his first building in the nation's largest city.

Other headquarters are less conspicuous but equally innovative and alluring. Airbnb's San Francisco headquarters boasts a soaring atrium with a living wall, for example.

Take a tour of some of the world's most impressive tech headquarters and tells us what you think -- terrific or tacky -- in the comments section below.

Nathan Eddy is a freelance writer for InformationWeek. He has written for Popular Mechanics, Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, FierceMarkets, and CRN, among others. In 2012 he made his first documentary film, The Absent Column. He currently lives in Berlin. View Full Bio

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Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
6/15/2015 | 12:32:27 PM
Re: architects and company HQs
@natee3287127 If its by Frank Lloyd Wright, it has to be special.
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
6/13/2015 | 3:28:41 AM
Spaceships
Apple, and NetDragon's spaceships are my favorites. 

-Susan
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
6/12/2015 | 9:20:07 AM
Re: pic
@jastroff Good point, the architects seem to only be concerned with making a statement and not with meshing with their surroundings. 
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
6/12/2015 | 8:19:39 AM
pic
First one very much like a jelly fish from the top. 
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