Amid the technological marvels of Apple’s Cupertino headquarters, a new oasis of art emerges – the Mirage Sculpture Park. This breathtaking creation, adorned with hundreds of glass columns, draws inspiration from sands sourced from deserts across the globe.
In partnership with Zeller & Moye, Scottish artist Katie Paterson, and engineer Eckersley O’Callaghan, Apple has woven nature and creativity into the very heart of its futuristic campus. Mirage, sprawling over 895 square meters (about 9,600 square feet), gracefully meanders among the olive trees neighboring the Apple Park Visitor Center. Its curved, undulating form echoes the contours of dunes, captivating viewers with its ever-shifting hues, achieved through an ingenious interplay of diverse sands.
The quest to acquire the sands was a worldwide collaborative endeavor, encompassing 70 desert locations from North America to Egypt and South Africa. These sands underwent meticulous scrutiny at TU Delft in the Netherlands, where melting experiments unraveled the intricate relationship between sand characteristics and the resulting glass color and tint. The glass cylinders were crafted at John Lewis Glass manufacturing in Oakland, yielding approximately 400 unique glass columns.
Zeller & Moye explains, “Mirage has been cast in whole single glass cylinders – each towering at 6.7 feet (2 meters) – by expert glass artisans, with guidance from material scientists. Bespoke glass recipes were devised for each desert, yielding pillars with nuanced variations in color and texture. Innovative techniques at this scale and ancient glassmaking traditions brought this vision to life.”
Mirage stands as a testament to the power of global collaboration and sustainable practices. Sand collection was conducted in conjunction with UNESCO, geologists, and desert communities worldwide, honoring the lands that provided the raw materials and the dedicated stewards of these precious environments.
For those eager to indulge in this artistic wonder, Mirage welcomes visitors daily, free of charge. It embodies Apple’s unwavering commitment to art, innovation, and environmental consciousness, adding an enchanting touch of the extraordinary to its iconic Cupertino headquarters.