A career consulting with Big Corporations has exposed me to a dizzying number of suburban corporate campuses around the world. Louise Mozingo’s Pastoral Capitalism (well described by the author here offers a dispassionate survey of the rise of the dominant architectural form.
That dispassion highlights for me, by stark contrast, how much I despise these sprawling complexes. With many, the original university mimicry has been long forgotten in favor of more surface parking. The more recent or well-to-do firms usually have lovely places to stroll around, though, that provide a stark contrast to the cubicle farms surrounding them.
The best examples, such as Microsoft’s, are genuinely pleasant to stroll around. But when you board a bus or train from the middle of a thriving...