Stunning new details have emerged about the soon to be opened Apple Park facility after Wired reporter Steven Levy got an exclusive tour of the campus. The building is meant to be more open than the current Apple HQ at Infinity Loop, and is designed to encourage collaboration.
There is just one restaurant in the whole facility, to make sure that employees bump into each other. The restaurant has four story high glass doors to let the weather in when it is well behaved. The sliding doors weigh 200,000 kg each — that's about the weight of 40 asian elephants or a Boeing 787 — and are moved by noiseless mechanisms hidden underground.
The building is environmentally friendly, with rooftop solar panels providing for all the energy needs of the facility. There are trees both inside and outside the ring-shaped main structure. Apple plans to plant over 9,000 trees at the campus. Steve Jobs spent hours in meetings with architects, going over the most minute details of the building. He wanted the wood used in the walls to be cut in a particular way, and in winter, so as to have the least amount of sap and sugar content.
According to the requirements by Jobs, the facility is one of the largest naturally ventilated buildings in the world, and does not require heating or air conditioning for nine months in a year. The ring breathes in through the undersides of the canopies and hot air is moved out by shafts that act like chimneys. The architects and engineers consulted experts who optimise the airflow in F1 cars to come up with the design for the breathing building.
The ring is built to withstand earthquakes and has steel base isolators that allows the entire facility to move up to four and a half feet in any direction. The mechanism allows the building to be functional after an earthquake, and is not just a safety feature. There is a 100,000 square foot fitness center for the employees, with a two story Yoga room that has stones sourced from a quarry in Kansas. The stones have been weathered, to give an appearance of pre-use.
Steve Jobs introduced the campus in a presentation to the Cupertino council on 7 June, 2011, and was it one of his most ambitious projects towards the end of his life.
The end result is a building that has been crafted with as much attention to detail as the consumer electronics products made by Apple. According to reports, Apple's design chief, Jony Ive, may have actually spent more of his time and energy in deciding the details of the campus, than on the newer iPhones.
Published Date: May 17, 2017 12:08 pm | Updated Date: May 17, 2017 12:08 pm