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Drone footage shows new angles of Samsung’s Silicon Valley labs

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A decidedly insider perspective

When Samsung’s new R&D labs opened in San Jose a year ago, observers speculated that part of the aim of the 1.1 million-square-foot, NBBJ-designed project was to put Samsung in a league with Apple and other Silicon Valley giants with designer headquarters.

Maybe it was with that in mind again that NBBJ shot this sleek drone footage of the building. After all, constant drone surveillance of the ongoing Apple campus in Cupertino drives a lot of YouTube traffic.

The polished look of this professional video doesn’t really reproduce the enthusiasm of the amateur videographers and tech enthusiasts whose drones swarm around the Apple site.

It does, however, give you a chance to appreciate some qualities of the building design that only those with business in the building normally get to see.

From the street, the ten-story affair looks a bit like a stack of pizza boxes. A drone’s eye view of the interior shows more gentle angles, and that while the “stacked” layers of the building appear uniform on the outside, each is actually a unique shape.

That same obloid design continues into the floor plan of the offices, and once you’re outside on the terraces you can see how the striated parallel lines on the ceilings vanish over the smooth edge of each in a dizzying way.

You also get a closer look at the green space and mini parks that dotting the terraces, only barely visible on the street.

(Note also that the video editor was nice enough to dissolve away from the second, evidently missed shot on the upstairs putting green. That’s considerate.)

Even the scale of the building becomes much more evident from the inside. So here it is: A reminder that a seemingly boxy exterior sometimes has a bit more to offer than meets the eye from the curb.