Apple employees will enter the new “Apple Park” campus in April, which was imagined by Steve Jobs as “a centre for creativity and collaboration”. More than 12,000 employees will thus move into the 70-hectare premises located in Cupertino, Apple’s historic stronghold.
The new Apple Park campus is being built at the heart of the Santa Clara valley, this gigantic futuristic ring-shaped building of 260,000 square metres will host all of the tech giant’s 12,000 employees.
An orchard in the middle of meadows to inspire Apple’s staff
“The workspaces and parklands are designed to inspire our team as well as benefit the environment,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’ve achieved one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the world and the campus will run entirely on renewable energy”
Before him, Steve Jobs had already highlighted the site’s ecological benefits in 2011, during the presentation of the project to the Cupertino City Council.
Apple Park is located in a wooded parkland with some 9,000 trees which will be planted by this summer. The campus also offers 3km of running and walking paths, along with a pond and an orchard, to clear overheated minds and get some fresh air, since no cars will run on site thanks to underground car parks. “Steve’s vision for Apple stretched far beyond his time with us. He intended Apple Park to be the home of innovation for generations to come,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.
“Steve was exhilarated, and inspired, by the California landscape, by its light and its expansiveness. It was his favourite setting for thought. Apple Park captures his spirit uncannily well,” said Laurene Powell Jobs, Steve Jobs’s widow. “He would have flourished, as the people of Apple surely will, on this luminously designed campus.”
An ecological building
Apple Park will be powered 100% by renewable energy, and with 17 megawatts of rooftop solar, Apple Park will run one of the largest on-site solar energy installations in the world. It is also the site of the world’s largest naturally ventilated building, projected to require no heating or air conditioning for nine months of the year.
An architectural prowess
Apple’s teams, directed by Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, worked with architectural practice Foster+Partners. The campus is built with the same materials found in the most recent Apple Stores designed by the practice. The campus’s main building is clad with curved glass panels, the largest of the kind according to Apple. The circular building was designed to encourage collaboration and emulation between employees. “Steve invested so much of his energy creating and supporting vital, creative environments. We have approached the design, engineering and making of our new campus with the same enthusiasm and design principles that characterize our products,” said Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer. “Connecting extraordinarily advanced buildings with rolling parkland creates a wonderfully open environment for people to create, collaborate and work together.”
The Steve Jobs Theater
The spirit of Apple’s emblematic founder will be honoured in Apple Park, especially in the Steve Jobs Theater, a 1000-seat auditorium named after him, which will host the brand’s most important announcements and keynotes. A six-metre-tall cylinder, the auditorium is made of glass and supports a metallic carbon fibre roof. Situated atop a hill in the middle of Apple Park, the Steve Jobs Theater will be overlooking meadows and the main building.