They've got a new home and an ambitious production schedule. Lawrence French explores how architecture reflects aesthetic sensibilities, and gives us a look into what's coming up from the people who made TOY STORY and MONSTERS, INC.
After the back-to-back successes of TOY STORY and A BUGS LIFE, Pixar began planning a new project that would cost roughly the same as one of its movies: A new studio facility outside of San Francisco that would be a home away from home for 550 Pixar employees and cater to the very specialized needs of computer animation production. The result is a beautiful, $88 million structure, which, like Pixars movies, is yet another success story in the production company's short history. The facility was designed by the architectural firm of Bohlin, Cywinski, and Jackson, who were also responsible for Bill Gatess hillside compound in Seattle, as well as several buildings for Apple Computers, Pixar chairman Steve Jobs's other company. Unlike his hands-off attitude towards Pixars movies, Jobs took a more active interest in the details and design of Pixars new campus. "I like to say that it was Steve Jobss feature film," observed Lasseter. "Steve really directed it, and he had a great architect: Peter Bohlin and his firm. Tom Carlisle and Craig Payne were the two lead designers from Pixar who helped out, and I was also involved occasionally throughout the design of it."