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Silicon Nights

© Alastair Philip Wiper

Silicon Valley, the home of the innovation, billionaire entrepreneurs, self-driving cars, and arguably some of the world’s most boring architecture. When I first visited in 2015, like most people I suppose, I was expecting Silicon Valley to look like something from the Jetsons and that the architecture and buildings would be in sync with the aspirations of the companies that inhabited them.

What I found was a valley full of corporate architecture (not even the good kind), generic office buildings from the ’80s, ’90s and early 2000s. Many companies famously started in garages, but as tech companies grew at an unimaginable pace in the early 2000s, they did not have time to build new buildings to seat all the new staff they were hiring, so they took over every empty office space they could get their hands on.

The likes of Google, Apple and Facebook have all recently completed new headquarters, each designed by their own architect, but I was more attracted to the contrast between the dull corporate buildings and the exciting things happening inside them. And I like a challenge.

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