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Critic compares Apple's new spaceship HQ to Pentagon

The architecture critic of the Los Angeles Times calls Apple's planned and supposedly futuristic headquarters a "retrograde cocoon"--and some other things.

I know that some people stared at images of Apple's planned headquarters on the old HP campus and cooed and ahhd.

Many of these people were on the Cupertino city council. They saw fine, new ways in which to pay for, oh, silver sewers and gold-plated faucets in public washrooms, perhaps.

However, the architecture critic of the LA Times, Christopher Hawthorne, looked at the plans and felt slightly more chilling emotions. He found it a "doggedly old-fashioned proposal," with perhaps the greatest emphasis on the "dog" syllable.

One long hallway connecting endlessly with itself? City of Cupertino

He described it as a "retrograde cocoon." He felt it was "one very long hallway connecting endlessly with itself."

Apple CEO Steve Jobs, in his pitch to the gaping eyes of the Cupertino city council had declared that "it's a little like the spaceship has landed."

For Hawthorne, this spaceship must be full of generals and spooks. It reminded him, he said, of the 1943 Pentagon building. Well, Apple is fond of secrecy, so perhaps that might have been the architect's (rumored to be the famed Englishman Norman Foster) inspiration.

Some will rail that this is merely a self-important critic wailing against the tide. However, others might wonder, as I did when I first saw images of this edifice, whether this design is something that lifts the parts of your body that enjoy being lifted, or whether this is, indeed, just another corporate building.

Will those inside feel additionally inspired to craft mankind's joys of the future? Or will they feel that they are spending just another day (and night) at the office?