From garages to spaceships, a new exhibition explores the evolution of Silicon Valley architecture

By August 2, 2023August 6th, 2023In The News

Heather Zimmerman/The Six

‘Building the Future’ delves into the architecture of new tech campuses and how they help forge a sense of place in the valley.

No doubt, Silicon Valley has a global reputation, and it’s complicated. That worldwide fame is matched perhaps only by the disbelief of visitors wondering why the valley doesn’t have more to show, architecturally speaking, for all its storied innovation and riches.

“A couple years ago, I was photographing the HP Garage, which is on Addison Street (in Palo Alto), a quiet, suburban street, but there’s a historic marker in front. While I was photographing, there was a couple — I think they were from Finland — visiting this area. And they asked me, ‘Where is Silicon Valley? We don’t know where to find it,’” recalled photographer Richard Adler.

It may not have an obvious center, but Silicon Valley does have unique architecture — though much like the unseen products of the valley itself, from the algorithms that power A.I. down to the old-school chips that gave the place its name, you may not always know it’s there.

Whether that’s a feature or a bug is up to the viewer of...cont.

The hangars at nearby Moffett Field had an impact on the design of Google’s new Bay View campus in Mountain View, which opened in 2022. Courtesy Richard Adler.