February 2018. After photographing Apple Park from the plane, we land at San Francisco airport. It was my first time to California and although we had busy schedules and little time for sightseeing, I knew there was something near Cupertino that I wanted to visit. I’m not talking about Apple Park, I’m also talking about Steve Jobs’ house.
An iconic place for any Apple enthusiast
We landed in San Francisco around noon and were due to arrive at our hotel in San Jose in the afternoon. A family trip, my parents and my sister, who brought us to the airport. We met a friend of a friend at the airport and were on our way to San Jose when, since there can be no other conversation in the Bay Area, we talked about technology.
We first talked about Ebay, the company the person taking us works for, but soon we started talking about Apple. Even though it was my first time in California, I knew clearly that the Apple offices were going to be seen from the freeway, but I wanted to know exactly when. The enthusiasm that I showed must have been such, it was not for less, that we ended up deciding to stop at none other than Steve Jobs’ house
What can I say. The joy of visiting such an iconic place spread throughout the vehicle. Even our new friend had never visited the property, so the occasion was embroidered. And, I must say, none of us expected what we were going to find. It’s not just the house itself, it’s the setting, it’s the atmosphere.
The highway from San Francisco to San José is very beautiful, very American. The vegetation is remarkable and the route systematically appears at some point to show something of the city, a few houses. I looked at all the signs: Cupertino, Mountain View, Palo Alto. Over there we left the highway and the landscape completely changed.
The barren freeway was abandoned and we entered a residential area which, although we all knew it from the movies, greeted us with its newness and tranquility. Palo Alto, where Steve Jobs lived, is rather small. During our visit, we only saw part of it, but the calm atmosphere and so contrasting with the rest of the surrounding towns
We parked and finally got to see Steve Jobs’ house. A house on a corner lot which, without standing out too much, did not fit into the neighborhood either. A building site more like a cottage in the middle of the British countryside than a neighborhood near Apple Park. As seen in the photos, the property has an extensive garden and, due to its layout and architecture, small openings and oriented towards a kind of central atrium, very reserved for those who see it from the street. A sort of U of which you could see the outer part, but not much else.
All this analysis, surely an architect’s habit, crossed my mind at high speed. The next thought was: here is the orchard that Steve Jobs ate in, here are his fruit trees, How many decisions that would change not only the course of Apple but also the history of technology have been made within these walls?
We walked around the house as much as we could and took several photos, we talked about Steve Jobs as the genius he still is, and how his vision created the same cameras with which we now take these images. The whole experience was really intense.
From the house itself, I can only say that, looking back, I often wondered What would Apple Park have to do with design?. An almost circular house, surrounded by nature and protected from the outside world, with a central patio that connects all the spaces and is the center of activity, is thought-provoking.
I always thought that a house is a reflection of its owners. In that sense, seeing Steve Jobs’ house in first person was quite an experience. For the house, for what it means, for the environment, for the atmosphere and for the surprise of being able to visit it in such good company.
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