Ap­ple set to open new head­quar­ters in April

Ap­ple Park will even­tu­ally be home to more than 12,000 Ap­ple em­ploy­ees, writes Caitlin McGarry

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In 2011, Ap­ple CEO Steve Jobs showed the Cu­per­tino City Coun­cil plans for his com­pany’s new campus. Six years later, Ap­ple Park is set to open. Em­ploy­ees will be­gin the process of mov­ing to the new campus in April, and in six months more than 12,000 peo­ple will work in Ap­ple Park.

Jobs con­ceived of the 2.8 mil­lion square ft build­ing, which evokes a fly­ing saucer with pan­els of curved glass, and Ap­ple will honor its late founder’s mem­ory with a 1,000-seat au­di­to­rium named Steve Jobs Theater. Ap­ple Park sits on 175 acres of land de­signed to be part na­ture refuge, part cen­tre for col­lab­o­ra­tion and cre­ativ­ity.

The campus re­places Hewlett-Packard’s con­crete jun­gle with 9,000 trees, two miles of trails for em­ploy­ees to walk and run on, plus an or­chard, meadow, and a pond. Ap­ple claims its new HQ is the world’s largest nat­u­rally ven­ti­lated build­ing and won’t need heat or air con­di­tion­ing for nine months of the year. The build­ing has 17 megawatts of rooftop so­lar en­ergy.

At­ten­tion to de­tail

Ap­ple worked with Fos­ter + Part­ners to bring Jobs’s vi­sion to life, and to call it grandiose would be an un­der­state­ment. Ac­cord­ing to a Reuters re­port from early Fe­bru­ary, Ap­ple’s de­sign guide­lines were un­sur­pris­ingly spe­cific, with rules re­quir­ing that no vents or pipes be re­flected in the gi­ant curved glass pan­els that make up the build­ing’s ex­te­rior. Con­struc­tion man­agers in­ter­viewed by Reuters said the el­e­va­tor but­tons evoke the iPhone’s home but­ton, and even the toi­let shares the sleek qual­i­ties of Ap­ple’s flag­ship de­vice. Even things like thresh­olds and door han­dles were scru­ti­nized.

Ac­cord­ing to Reuters, con­struc­tion work­ers wore gloves through­out the process to avoid mar­ring the ma­te­ri­als. When Ap­ple Park opens, only Steve Jobs’s fin­ger­prints will be vis­i­ble – a fit­ting if short-lived trib­ute to the founder, who would have been 62 on 24 Fe­bru­ary.

While the new campus is de­signed for Ap­ple em­ploy­ees, nor­mal folks will be able to scope out Ap­ple Park for them­selves. An on-site vis­i­tors cen­ter with an Ap­ple Store and a café will be open to the public, for those who want to see Jobs’s mas­ter­piece in per­son.

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