The new Beats L.A. campus is pimpin’, yo!

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Beats employees, presumably chilling till the next episode. Picture: Fast Company

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.

  • teamgen

    This title is just embarrassing… cult of mac never uses slang like this, and we all know why you are for this article and not others.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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