Beats may have been acquired by Apple for $3 billion earlier this year, but that doesn’t mean that the trendy headphone maker is ready to adopt the white Jony Ive-favored minimalism of Apple just yet.
While Apple continues to work on its Cupertino “Mothership” headquarters, an article from Fast Company sheds some light on the new Beats campus being renovated from two industrial buildings in Culver City, Los Angeles.
Featuring reception areas, conference rooms, and offices in one building, and a cafeteria, gym, and double-height workshop for R&D in the other, the article describes the design as featuring “architectural gestures that go from pop to cinematic to downright arty.”
One thing it’s not, though, is reminiscent of Apple.
Color and material-wise, the headquarters contrasts deep blues with custom wallpapers and blond wood floors. Instead of the I.M. Pei glass staircase seen in Apple Stores, the headquarters includes a “brass-lined staircase reminiscent of 1970s minimalist art.” Referring to a previous project, the Beats architect notes that, “Daytime disco is not a bad model for an office. ”
“We come from hip-hop, hardcore punk, and indie rock. Hype Williams to Paul Williams, Robert Mapplethorpe to Robert Kelly,” says Luke Wood, cofounder of the company with Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. “How do you design for that without being cliché?”
With quotes from both Wood and the project’s architect, the article is well worth a read, and sheds some light on both the similarities and differences between Apple and its biggest acquisition to date. Will this cultural disparity cause problems going forwards? I guess we’ll have a better answer for that once we know what Apple actually bought Beats for.
Source: Fast Company