The new Apple Park which costs a staggering 5 billion dollars is nearing completion. The latest drone video shows that the final landscaping touches are being made to the campus and it’s ready to go into operation soon. Much of the construction equipment has been removed and you can see a lush green park in the middle.
It is reported that some of the employees have already moved into the campus. It provides two miles of walking and running paths for the employees, as well as an orchard, meadow, and a pond within the interior grounds.
David Muffly, the tree expert at Apple said that finding enough trees was a big problem. Steve Job’s dream was to plant 6,000 trees but the number was taken up to 9,000 and Apple had to go to extreme lengths to meet this goal. Steve Jobs had this dream and set out to create this campus before his death in 2011.
“Steve was exhilarated, and inspired, by the California landscape, by its light and its expansiveness,” said Laurene Powell Jobs. “It was his favorite setting for thought. Apple Park captures his spirit uncannily well. He would have flourished, as the people of Apple surely will, on this luminously designed campus.”
The theater at the Apple Park will be named the Steve Jobs Theater to honor his memory and his influence on Apple and the world. The theater is a 20-foot tall glass cylinder. It is 165 feet in diameter and houses 1,000 seats. It was opened last year for the launch of iPhone X.
“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. “The workspaces and parklands are designed to inspire our team as well as benefit the environment. We’ve achieved one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the world and the campus will run entirely on renewable energy.”
“Steve invested so much of his energy creating and supporting vital creative environments,” said Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer. “We have approached the design, engineering and making of our new campus with the same enthusiasm and design principles that characterise our products. Connecting extraordinarily advanced buildings with rolling parkland creates a wonderfully open environment for people to create, collaborate and work together. We have been extremely fortunate to be able to work closely, over many years, with the remarkable architectural practice Foster + Partners.”
Apple Park will also have a visitors center with an Apple store and cafe open to the public. A separate 100,000 square-foot fitness center for Apple employees will also be present. The drone shots show that the campus is almost complete. Initially, Jobs planned for it to be completed by 2015 but the date has been pushed back. However, it looks like it is finally here.
There have been issues raised about the way the building is shaped. The massive ring of glass that looks like a spaceship is huge and it could be tough to navigate, thus decreasing productivity. Louise Mozingo, a professor, and chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning at the University of California, Berkeley said, “It’s not about maximizing the productivity of the office space, it’s about creating a symbolic center for this global company. They are creating an icon.”
Apple refused to comment on this. The Apple Park does, however, mark a new chapter in Silicon Valley architecture. The campus will house 14,200 employees according to the project description. The main building boasts the world’s largest piece of curved glass and is surrounded by thousands of trees.
Apple was very strict in its designs for the building and had strict rules. These caused problems for the construction workers. A former architect said, “With phones, you can build to very, very minute tolerances. You would never design to that level of tolerance on a building. Your doors would jam.”
All these holdups are now over and we can expect the Apple Park to start functioning very soon. You can see the drone footage here: