Apple’s new Cupertino campus reflects the innovation and environmental values the company is pushing.
WHILE the new iPhone series was the attraction at Apple’s big product announcement recently, all eyes were also on the new Apple Park campus and Steve Jobs Theatre.
The giant, spaceship-like campus and the glass-wall theatre had been the talk of the town among techies and Apple fans for months prior to the event. When Apple finally opened its door to the world Press, many began to see the connection between the Apple products and the campus.
The headquarters was Apple’s late CEO Steve Jobs’ last mega project, where he wanted a futuristic structure for employees to create next generation products and at the same time be close to nature.
In an emotional keynote address, CEO Tim Cook said the Apple Park is Jobs’ vision and it reflects Apple’s values, both for technology and the environment. “It is the honour of a lifetime to be the first to welcome you to the Steve Jobs Theater.
“Steve meant so much to me, and so much to all of us,” he added.
“His vision for Apple stretched far beyond his time with us. He intended Apple Park to be the home of innovation for generations to come. The workspaces and parklands are designed to inspire our team as well as benefit the environment. We’ve built one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the world. The campus will run entirely on renewable energy.”
Envisioned by Jobs as a workplace within a landscape, Apple Park draws from his memories of Stanford, a collegiate atmosphere that encourages co-operation and creativity.
As Jobs wanted Apple employees to work in a high-tech environment within natural surroundings, the campus’ design blurs the boundary between architecture and nature. The campus replaces 464,515 square metres of asphalt and concrete with grassy fields and over 9,000 oak, redwood and other native and drought-resistant trees, including 37 varietals of fruit trees. Currently, most of the trees are still young.
The Apple Park is powered by 100 per cent renewable energy. With 17 megawatts of rooftop solar, it 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 buildings, projected to require no heating or air conditioning for nine months of the year.
The campus’ ring-shaped, 0.26 million square metre main building is clad entirely in the world’s largest panels of curved glass. The floors and ceilings are made up of precast “void-slabs” which are well-designed polished concrete pieces that complement the building aesthetic and also house radiant heating and cooling tubing which are part of the building’s natural ventilation system.
As San Francisco and the surrounding area are in the earthquake zone, the main ring building can move up to 1.37m horizontally in an earthquake scenario. This is made possible with the base isolator technology that is anchored to the foundation so that it moves with the ground motion while the building remains in position.
“We have approached the design, engineering and making of our new campus with the same enthusiasm and design principles that characterise our products,” said Cook.
Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer added, “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 characterise our products.”
In honouring Jobs’ memory and his enduring influence on Apple and the world, the theatre at Apple Park is aptly named Steve Jobs Theater. It’s designed like an iceberg, where from the outside, one can only see a 6m glass cylinder, 50m in diameter, supporting a metallic carbon-fibre roof, located on a hill overlooking the ring-shaped main building.
However, beneath the simple-looking glass cylinder structure is a massive 1,000-seat auditorium adjacent to a foyer directly under the glass cylinder structure.
The Apple Park was completed by nearly 6,000 on-site workers at peak, totalling over 20,000 full-time construction jobs over the project’s duration.