您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 科学 >> 正文

走进“技术圣殿”——颠覆你的想象

更新时间:2017-12-18 11:57:48 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The awe-inspiring buildings created as temples of tech
走进“技术圣殿”——颠覆你的想象

Each year, more than 100,000 visitors trek through and around a cluster of solemn, hauntingly impressive late-18th Century buildings on the hem of England’s Peak District National Park. This is Cromford Mill, Derbyshire, founded in 1771 by the entrepreneurial inventor Richard Arkwright. Here, long before Henry Ford was born, mass production began.

每年都会有超过十万游客拜访位于英格兰峰区国家公园(Peak District National Park)边缘这片肃穆可叹的18世纪末期建筑群。这里是德比郡(Derbyshire)克罗姆福德工厂(Cromford Mill),由颇具创业精神的发明家理查德·阿克莱特(Richard Arkwright)创建于1771年。早在亨利·福特(Henry Ford)出生前,这里就已经有了大规模生产。

In these buildings - their floors free of partitions and with windows on all sides - water-mills powered looms that spun reams of cotton, 24 hours a day, the chattering machinery attended by children as young as seven, working 12-hour shifts. Cotton ceased spinning here in the 1840s as the great mills in and around Manchester took on the challenge of making and shipping cotton to the world. The massively ambitious Houldsworth Mill in Reddish, designed by Abraham Stott, was one of the mightiest temples yet devoted to industrial technology when it opened in 1865.

在这些没有隔间,四周都是窗户的建筑中,以水作为动力的纺织机一天24小时不间断地织出大量棉布。工人们倒班工作,一班工作12小时。操纵这些轰鸣的纺织机器的工人中,最小的年龄只有七岁。19世纪40年代,随着曼彻斯特大大小小的纺织厂承接了为全世界生产和运送棉布产业,这里的工厂随之停止运转。位于雷迪士(Reddish)的霍尔兹沃思工厂由亚伯拉罕·斯托特(Abraham Stott)设计,这家野心勃勃的工厂于1865年开张,是用于发展工业科技的规模最大的早期技术圣殿之一。

Cotton mills lost their purpose as foreign competition grew after World War One, although Cromford Mill was reborn as a popular visitor centre and Houldsworth Mill as a hive of shops, flats, offices and arts spaces. The cotton mill’s place as a temple of technology was taken, at first by the thunderous locomotive works that boomed from the 1840s as railways span their worldwide web of iron, steam and steel.

第一次世界大战后,随着来自国外的竞争日益激烈,英国纺织厂逐渐丧失其功能,克罗姆福德工厂随后改建为颇受欢迎的游客中心,而霍尔兹沃思工厂则变身成为众多商铺、公寓、办公室和艺术空间的落脚点。织布厂的技术圣殿地位最初是被19世纪40年代轰轰烈烈地兴起的火车机车厂替代的,那时,铁路正在带动钢铁和蒸汽机产业壮大。

The North British Locomotive Company shipped its steam engines from Glasgow as far afield as Newfoundland and New Zealand, South America and sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East and Malaysia. In 1904, the company built a new headquarters, an imperious Edwardian Baroque temple designed by the Scottish architect James Miller. Its entrance featured a sandstone steam locomotive which appeared to burst from chains and pulleys through a split red sandstone pediment between statues of Roman-style goddesses representing ’Science’ and ‘Speed’.

北英国机车公司(North British Locomotive Company)生产的蒸汽机从格拉斯哥(Glasgow)远销到遥远的纽芬兰、新西兰、南美、撒哈拉以南、中东和马来西亚等国。1904年,该公司邀请苏格兰建筑师詹姆斯·米勒(James Miller),盖了一座气势恢宏的爱德华巴洛克式(Edwardian Baroque)新总部。其入口放置着一座看上去正从一扇红色砂石山形墙下呼啸而过,似乎就要从链条和滑轮上挣脱的砂石蒸汽火车塑像,山形墙两旁是代表了"科学"和"速度"的罗马风格雕塑。

Failing to make a successful commercial transition from steam to diesel and electric, the North British Locomotive Works closed in 1962. Like the Cromford and Houldsworth Mills, Miller’s imposing headquarters building found a new use, as home to Glasgow Kelvin College where mechanical engineering is taught today alongside computing.

由于未能成功完成从蒸汽动力到柴油和电力机车的转型,北英国机车公司于1962年倒闭。正如克罗姆福德工厂和霍尔兹沃思工厂,米勒设计的气势恢宏的总部也有了新用途——那里成为了格拉斯哥凯尔文学院(Glasgow Kelvin College)所在地,该学院当前教授机械工程和计算机课程。

If cotton and railways spread their industrial gospel from Britain worldwide, so did news, printed on reams of paper in the undercrofts of, for example, the Daily Express, founded in 1900 and at several points in its chequered career Britain’s bestselling newspaper. It was the first to carry news rather than adverts on its front page. Its second proprietor, Max Aitken (the future Lord Beaverbrook) had a passion for architecture. The new ‘Streamlined Moderne’ office he built in Fleet Street at the outset of the 1930s - all black Vitrolite windows offset by bright chromium detailing - was dazzling, yet the Manchester office and printing press that followed was something else again, a magnificent modern design, lit up at night so that passers-by could gawp at newspapers reeling from the up-to-the-minute presses at truly express speed.

如果说是棉花和铁路将工业的福音从英国传遍世界,那么可以说,在地下室里被付印于报纸上的一则则新闻也承担了这个功能——比如1900年成立的《每日快报》。《每日快报》遭受过不济,但也曾几度成为英国最畅销的报纸。该报是第一家在报纸头版刊登新闻,而非广告的报纸。其第二所有人马克斯·艾特肯(Max Aitken)对建筑抱有热情(此人后来成为比弗布鲁克勋爵,Lord Beaverbrook)。马克斯·艾特肯于20世纪30年代在舰队街(Fleet Street)盖的"现代流线风格"(Streamlined Moderne)办公室令人惊叹——全黑的不透明玻璃,细节处以明亮的铬材料点缀。后来建起的曼彻斯特办公室及印刷厂又是另一番气象,那是一座以现代风格设计的宏大建筑。每当夜晚灯光亮起的时候,路人们就能借着灯光阅读那些从印刷厂及时快速"新鲜出炉"的报纸。

This temple of technology, completed to designs by the engineer Sir Owen Williams in 1939, was to make a lasting impression on the young Norman Foster, cycling around his home city before he took up architecture, and half a century before his global practice, Foster and Partners, was asked by Steve Jobs to design a new Californian headquarters for Apple. Opened in 2017, it is surely the most celebrated 21st-Century ‘temple of tech’.

这座承载了当时最先进技术的建筑由设计师欧文·威廉爵士(Sir Owen Williams)于1939年设计。这座建筑给当时尚为年轻人的诺曼·福斯特(Norman Foster)留下了深刻的印象。福斯特在自己生长的城市做了一次自行车环游后,决定学习建筑。半世纪之后,福斯特所建立的全球建筑师事务所Foster and Partners受史蒂夫·乔布斯(Steve Jobs)之邀,为苹果公司的新加州总部盖一座办公楼。2017年落成的该总部大楼无疑是21世纪最受瞩目的"技术殿堂"。

Towering ambition

一飞冲天的野心

It was in the period between the decline of steam, the peak of the newspaper as a printed object and the rise of the workaday computer that new forms of sleek and sophisticated architecture emerged, in different ways in Britain and the US, that came to represent the all-embracing world of digital technology and communications.

在蒸汽机衰退、报纸走向纸媒巅峰及计算机日益普及之间的这段时间,英国和美国的建筑业在各个方面都发生了新的变化,更时髦、复杂的建筑风格涌现出来。这些建筑代表了电子技术和通信时代这个兼容并包的世界。

It is hard, for example, to separate the severe steel, aluminium, bronze and glass architecture of Mies van der Rohe from the world of IBM and a generation of mainframe computers notably the System/360 that played key roles in Nasa’s 1969 Lunar Mission and the Mad Men TV series (2007-15). It seemed fitting that Mies’s last building, completed in 1972 after his death, was the IBM Plaza in Chicago (the company has since left the building), with its monolithic 52-storey temple to contemporary computer technology.

我们很难将密斯·凡·德罗(Mies van der Rohe)设计的由钢、铝、铜和玻璃建造而成的严肃建筑与IBM,以及一代大型计算机——尤其是在美国国家航空航天局1969年登月计划及2007年至2015年间播出的《广告狂人》中扮演重要角色的System/360——分开来看。德罗最后一件作品在他逝世后的1972年竣工,这就是位于芝加哥的52层高的IBM办公大楼(IBM目前已经搬离了该大楼)——当代计算机技术的诞生之地。

As sleek as Mies’s IBM Plaza, Foster’s Apple Park in Cupertino is a monument to the era of the iPhone and instant personal and global communications. By chance, the area contained within the principal ring-like building is, at 260,000 sq m (2,798,616 sq ft), a near identical size to Stockport’s Houldsworth Mill. This is very big indeed, with Apple Park providing seven cafés for its 12,000-strong workforce, and as many parking spaces, along with gyms, swimming pool and two miles of walks and running tracks through newly planted parkland. Like monks in a monastery, employees could spend their lives here, assuming they are allowed to sleep under whatever they call their desks.

正如德罗设计的IBM大楼,福斯特所设计的位于庫比蒂諾(Cupertino)的苹果园区(Apple Park)是苹果手机和个人全球即时通信时代的纪念碑。该环形建筑主体覆盖的环内面积为26万平方米(2,798,616平方英尺),与位于斯托克波特(Stockport)的霍尔兹沃思工厂面积不相上下。这样的面积的确很大,苹果为其12,000多位员工提供了四个咖啡店,众多停车场、健身房、游泳池,并在新培植的公共绿地间规划了两英里长的散步场地和跑道。正如生活在寺院里的和尚,如果允许员工睡在办公桌(随便他们怎么称呼它都行)下面,那么他们也能在这座办公楼里生活。

And, just as a temple needs a shrine, at Apple Campus, chosen visitors make their way to the highest point on the site to the Steve Jobs Theater. Its lobby is a 20-ft-high glass cylinder shaded by a metallic carbon-fibre roof. Down below, underground, is a 1,000-seat auditorium for press conferences, product launches and the adulation that goes hand-on-smart-phone with these cult-like events.

就如每座寺庙都需要神龛。在苹果公司园区,有幸进入参观的访客们总会来到这个企业园区的制高点——史蒂夫·乔布斯剧院(Steve Jobs Theater)。史蒂夫乔布斯剧院的走廊是一座20英尺高的玻璃圆柱体,顶部是一块碳纤维金属天花板。地下则是一间囊括了1000个座位、用于媒体发布会、产品发布的大礼堂,人们在这里参加这些备受追捧的活动,并对所展示的新品发出啧啧赞叹。

If steam-age railways were a religion of sorts to millions of railway enthusiasts around the world, many of whom would make pilgrimages to locomotive works and depots, Apple and other tech companies have their cult followers, too. Queues of the faithful line up outside digital gadget shops desperate for the latest electronic gewgaw- as if they were penitents seeking the absolution of some visiting guru or religious leader.

如果蒸汽时代的铁路对全世界千万铁路爱好者们来说是某种宗教的话,他们当中的许多人大概会去机车厂和火车站朝圣吧。苹果公司和其他科技公司身后也跟随着许多忠实的拥趸。人们在数码产品店门口排起长队,焦急渴求那些最新上市的电子产品——就好像是寻求大师或宗教领袖赦免的忏悔者。

What makes a number of 21st-Century temples to tech seem different from their predecessors - from Arkwright to IBM and from Foster, Jobs and Apple - is the idea that these are meant to be somehow light-hearted, youthful and fun, fun, fun.

21世纪的技术"神庙"与其"前辈们"——从阿克莱特到IBM,从福斯特到乔布斯和苹果公司——不同的是其对轻松和朝气的追求,一切都要有趣、有趣、有趣。

Both Google and Facebook appear to like offices resembling kindergartens, whether in California or central London. Both have hired architects and designers - Frank Gehry, Bjarke Ingels, Thomas Heatherwick and OMA - noted for whimsical and wayward buildings. And, yet, whether earnest or superficially playful, both approaches to new tech headquarters demonstrate that these hugely ambitious companies revel in the idea of vast, solid buildings even while peddling a dream of ethereal global digital communication.

似乎谷歌和脸书都青睐看起来像幼儿园的办公室,不论是位于加州还是伦敦中心的办公楼都如此。这两家公司都雇用了以变幻不羁的建筑风格著称的建筑师和设计师——弗兰克·盖里(Frank Gehry), 比雅克·英格斯(Bjarke Ingels), 托马斯·海瑟维克(Thomas Heatherwick)和大都会建筑事务所(OMA)。虽然这是两家致力于全球电子通信的轻资产公司,但对技术总部的设计均展现出这两家野心非凡的公司对广阔而坚实的空间的追求,不论你觉得它们看上去是真的办公室,还是闹着玩儿。

The line of beauty

美的界限

There are, though, alternative temples of technology that, while wired up with the latest digital technology, do connect the invention and design of new products with their making. Together, the McLaren Technology Centre (2003) and the attendant McLaren Production Centre (2011) on the outskirts of Woking, Surrey, form one of the world’s most forward-looking and elegant factories. Designed by Foster + Partners for the makers of Formula One and ultra-high-speed sports cars, the factory can feel like a cross between an ultra-modern clinic and equally contemporary Zen temple. The interconnected buildings - pristine, smooth, gleaming - are set low in the landscape beside an artificial lake that, aside from looking good, is an integral part of the plant’s cooling system.

一些承载了科技进步的建筑虽然与数字技术相关,同时也将新产品的研发和设计与制造结合起来。位于萨里郡(Surrey)沃金(Woking)郊区的迈凯轮技术中心 (McLaren Technology Centre)及迈凯轮生产中心(McLaren Production Centre)可算是全世界设计最超前、最优雅的工厂了。设计师事务所Foster + Partners为这家一级方程式和超高速跑车的制造商设计的这两座工厂,似乎是超现代诊所和同样极富现代感的禅宗寺庙的混搭。设计简洁,线条平滑,闪闪发亮的连接两座工厂的建筑部分,建在地势较低的地方,旁边就是人工湖。这片人工湖不仅很美,也是工厂冷却系统的一部分。


Inside, cars are assembled in immaculate white galleries. Any computer tech company, Apple included, might be forgiven for mistaking the McLaren set-up as belonging to one of their rivals. This, though, is how 21st-Century factories can be, far removed from the sweat and grime of a 19th-Century railway works, yet staffed by skilled mechanics and engineers who make on site what their company designs, with the aid of the latest digital technology.

汽车是在工厂洁白的大厅里组装的。包括苹果在内,如果有任何计算机技术公司误以为迈凯轮的车间属于自己的对手公司,这大概能被理解。这就是21世纪的工厂与19世纪满是臭汗味儿和污垢的机车厂截然两样的原因——这里都是拥有技能的机械师和工程师,他们利用最新的数字技术,将公司的设计变成产品。

The McLaren venture is echoed by the Rolls-Royce factory - a subsidiary of BMW - opened in 2003 in a corner of the Goodwood Estate, West Sussex that has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Designed by Grimshaw Architects, the low-lying building is clad in limestone and cedar, hidden under a green roof and surrounded by 400,000 plants and trees. As with McLaren, the interior is enough to stop the most ambitious art gallery directors in their tracks. You could just as well display valuable sculpture here as assemble costly cars.

迈凯轮中心与宝马公司的子品牌劳斯莱斯(Rolls-Royce)汽车的工厂设计风格吻合。劳斯莱斯工厂位于西萨塞克斯(West Sussex)古德伍德(Goodwood Estate)产业园区一角——西萨塞克斯被指定为"具有杰出自然风光的区域"(Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty)——于2003年开始投入运营。这座建筑由格雷姆肖建筑事务所(Grimshaw Architects)设计而成,低矮的建筑表面是石灰石和雪松木,有绿色的屋顶,围绕在40万棵树木植被之中。与迈凯轮中心一样,劳斯莱斯工厂的内部设计足以使最具野心的艺术画廊总监驻足。在这里,你可以组装汽车,也完全可以展示价值连城的雕塑。

In 2002, Volkswagen opened its Gläserne Manufaktur (factory made of glass) in a park in central Dresden. Initially designed, by the architect Gunter Henn, for the production of the VW Phaeton - a luxury model since discontinued - a part of the idea was to show passers-by that car production could be a spotless activity carried out in art gallery-like conditions that 19th and 20th Century factory workers could only have dreamed of.  And, quite remarkably, parts and equipment for the Gläserne Manufaktur are delivered by cargo trams that run between their passenger counterparts through the historic streets of Dresden.

2002年,大众汽车德累斯顿(Dresden)工厂在市中心的一座公园开业,这是一座用玻璃制成的透明工厂,设计师是贡特·海茵(Gunter Henn)。这座工厂一开始是为一款豪华车型大众辉腾(Phaeton)的生产而盖的,部分目的是为了向行人们展示,汽车生产可以以一种只可能在19世纪和20世纪工人们梦里出现的,艺术画廊一般的环境中进行,可以做到一尘不染。更令人赞叹的是,透明工厂的配件和设备是由穿梭于德累斯顿历史街道之中的货运轻轨运送的,在普通乘客车辆运行的间隙进行。

Significantly, tech companies continue to be intrigued by forms of electric cars that will stretch digital technology to new limits. If, though, they were to come up with a successful, radically new car, would they separate design from manufacturing as they do now in their temples of tech, or might they yet follow the example of these other companies, whose locally-based temples of technology can be built in English country estates and might even enhance a National Park?

各种形式的电动汽车极大程度地激发了科技公司去探索数字技术的新边界。如果这些汽车企业想要成功设计出颠覆性的新车,他们会一如既往地将设计和制造分离,还是会学习以上这些企业,比如,将技术诞生的空间建造在甚至能够与国家公园交相辉映的英国乡间呢?

“全文请访问纽约时报中文网,本文发表于纽约时报中文网(http://cn.nytimes.com),版权归纽约时报公司所有。任何单位及个人未经许可,不得擅自转载或翻译。订阅纽约时报中文网新闻电邮:http://nytcn.me/subscription/”

相关文章列表