Apple has got so big that it’s running out if space – so the company is building a new HQ building to complement its campus at One Infinite Loop. Here are 52 facts about the new Apple campus, which is referred to by many as the ‘Spaceship Campus’ due to its flying-saucer-like design.
How big is Apple’s new campus?
1. The new Apple Campus will be set in a 2.8 million-square-foot area.
2. That’s a 176-acre site.
3. It will house more than 13,000 Apple employees in one building.
4. The building is more than a mile around.
5. There will be 300,000 square feet of research facilities and underground parking.
6. In May 2014, Apple leased 290,000 square feet of new office space in Sunnyvale known as Sunnyvale Crossing. It is thought that this additional space comprises seven buildings and will provide room for around 1,450 workers. It is located near to the new ‘Spaceship’ campus as well as the current ‘Infinite Loop’ campus.
Watch this video of Apple’s presentation about the new campus to the City of Cupertino:
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New Apple Campus design
7. The four-storey circular structure will have huge walls of glass to allow employees to look out from both sides of the ring.
8. Peter Arbour, an architect for Seele, the company that makes the glass staircases in Apple stores around the world, told Bloomberg: “It is something like six kilometres of glass.”
9. British firm Foster+Partners are the architects of this colossal building. Previous projects include Wembley Stadium, Canary Wharf Underground Station, Stansted Airport, London’s Millenium Bridge, HSBC HQ at Canary Wharf, the Maclaren Technology Centre and the Hearst Tower in New York.
10. In an interview with Architectural Record, Forster+Partners founder and chairman Norman Foster explained that he was inspired by the idea of a London square, where houses surround a park. This eventually evolved into the present design: a circular structure surrounding a large outdoor park.
11. Foster reveals in the video created to promote the Campus 2 project to the City of Cupertino’s planning commission (watch it above) that in the original plans there was no circular ‘spaceship’ structure. Foster said: “It didn’t start as a circular building, it really grew into that. So the idea of one building with a great park was really borne out of a very intensive process.
12. Despite aiming to be self-sufficient and earth-friendly, the range of materials used in the construction will without a doubt be the top of the line. “As with Apple’s products, Jobs wanted no seam, gap or paintbrush stroke showing; every wall, floor and even ceiling is to be polished to a supernatural smoothness. All of the interior wood was to be harvested from a specific species of maple, and only fine quality ‘heartwood’ at the centre of the trees would be used,” an insider told Business Week.
13. As a consequence of the large size of the building, the sections have been broken up with cafes, lobbies and entrances.
14. In the interview linked above, Foster explains that, when planning the layout of the building, the architects had to consider the different departments that would need to work together, and considered vertical proximities as well as horizontal ones.
“Of course, you have got an enormous range of skills in this building: from software programmers to designers, marketing, retail,” he said. “But you can move vertically in the building as well as horizontally. The proximity, the adjacencies are very, very carefully considered.”
15. Since Jony Ive’s promotion to Chief Design Officer, there has been speculation that he’ll be designing elements of Apple’s new campus, including desks and chairs to be used by employees.
16. A significant segment of the building is the restaurant, which opens up to the landscape.
17. The car park is buried below the landscape so there are no rows of parked cars to spoil the view.
18. A video made by Technology Integration Services was created based on publicly available information about Apple Campus 2; the company has no affiliation with Apple. The video depicts additional buildings along with the main ‘spaceship’ building and gives an indication of how vast the greenery will be in the area. A fountain can be seen in the middle of the campus along with a performance stage, presumably for presentations to Apple employees. Watch the video here.
19. This picture shows the Apple Campus 2 site when it was being prepped for foundation work with the first walls having been erected, running around the perimeter of where the main building will stand. This is where construction crews poured the foundation.
20. Phase two of the project, includes the creation of research & development buildings and other secondary buildings for meetings and presentations, requires demolition to clear land along N. Tantau Avenue then took place. Current residents, Panasonic, are based opposite the site. Panasonic’s response to Apple’s new headquarters is not known although tensions could run high between the neighbouring businesses should Apple ever branch out into the TV market.
21. Building contractors Skanska and DPR were fired from the Campus 2 project in early 2015 and was replaced by Rudolph and Sletten & Holder Construction.
22. The termination of the contract meant Skanska lost out on around $800 million in revenue.
23. Prior to the Apple’s issues with Skanska and DPR, Rudolph and Sletten worked on the interior of the campus and Holder Construction was handling the electrical, mechanical and plumbing infrastructure of the building.
How much input did Steve Jobs have in the new campus?
24. According to Norman Foster, Apple’s late CEO Steve Jobs requested that he be considered a part of the team rather than the client.
25. Jobs wanted the new campus to reflect the Californian landscapes from his childhood, Foster claims in the video.
26. Apple’s ‘senior arborist’, David Muffly, reveals in the video that part of Apple’s plan was to bring California back to Cupertino.
27. Steve Jobs was inspired by a large space known as the Main Quad on the Stanford campus.
When will Apple’s new campus be ready?
28. Although the project was intended to be ready by mid-2015, setbacks put the plans behind schedule. It currently looks like the campus won’t be ready until 2017.
At Apple’s 21 March 2016 press event, Tim Cook said: “This is probably the last product introduction in the town hall that you’re sitting in today… Next year, in 2017, we’re looking forward to moving to our new campus and our new theatre there. We expect we’re going to have many, many opportunities to invite all of you to join us there.”
(We assume there will be product introductions in the autumn of 2016 – the iPhone 7and 7 Plus, most likely, and the iPad Pro 2 – but that these will take place off-campus. Possibly at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, where the iPhone 6s was unveiled.)
Apple had previously said that it plans to move into the main structure in 2016, whilst other secondary buildings are completed on a rolling basis, so it’s possible that some parts of the campus will come into use earlier than then. But the official line points to a move in 2017.
How environmentally friendly will the new Apple campus be?
29. The new Apple Campus will aim at being self-sufficient. Most of the power for the facilities will come from an “on-site low carbon Central Plant”, according to an Apple Insider report. Apple intends to use alternative energy sources to power the campus, as part of its pledge to use 100 percent renewable energy at its facilities.
30. After revisions to the original plan, Apple showed that will be able to complete the project without having to remove any dirt from the area.
31. The structure will be outfitted with solar panels around the top of the building. It will run mostly off the Cupertino power grid but will use it as a backup electrical supply.
32. 7,000 trees will surround the campus. Apple has hired a leading arborist from Stanford University to help landscape the area and restore some of the indigenous plant life, including apricot orchards.
33. All landscaping is intended to make the area look very park-like. It will include jogging paths and walking trails around the building.
34. The former HP campus on which Apple’s Campus 2 is being built was covered in buildings, concrete parking lots and non-indigenous decorative trees ill-suited to the specific Pacific climate. The strongest of the trees will be replanted and augmented with sturdy species that will flourish to create large open expanses of greenery.
35. Apple VP of Environmental Initiatives Lisa Jackson reiterates that 80 percent of the site will be so-called “green space” while the main building will go without air conditioning or heating for 75 percent of the year thanks to natural ventilation. Further, 100 percent of the campus’ energy will be sourced from renewable assets like solar power and bio fuels.
36. Foster compared the new Apple campus to an airport, telling Architectural Review: “If you compare these very large buildings in terms of the area enclosed by the amount of external wall, they’re very efficient, so they consume less energy. They’re also a better experience because you’re not leaving one terminal, going outside, onto a road, or into a tunnel, or onto a train to get to another terminal. You’re not worrying about what the hell is happening to your bags as they leave one place and you hope that they end up in the other place.
“Overall, it’s a better experience – it’s more sustainable, it’s more economic. And, architecturally, it’s more interesting. The same is true with the very large Apple building.”
37. The new campus will reportedly use recycled water and will use 13,300 feet of pipeline to share the supply between it and Cupertino.
How much will the new Apple campus cost?
38. We don’t know – and neither will Apple, until the project is closer to completion. It was originally estimated that the campus would cost half a billion dollars, but (as is generally the case with large building projects), costs have overrun. The budget for the new spaceship-like headquarters ballooned to a little under $3 billion in 2011 and almost $5 billion by 2013, although at this point it was reported that Apple was looking at ways to trim this by a billion.
39. Apple is known for its exacting demands when it comes to design, materials and so on, but the spiralling costs of this project haven’t met with universal acclaim. Back in 2013, for instance, it was reported that angry shareholders were attacking the project – labelling it as wildly extravagant and complaining that too much was being spent on this vast project while nothing is being handed back to stockholders.
40. But Apple can probably afford it. A final spend of $5bn is a huge outlay but would still represent only about 2.3 percent percent of Apple’s gargantuan cash reserves – $215bn in January 2016.
What facilities will there be at the new Apple campus?
41. The main building will include a ‘wellness centre’. This $75m fitness centre will probably cater for the needs of the entire Apple community in Silicon Valley, which is around 20,000 people.
42. The headquarters will be fitted with a new 1,000-seat underground auditoriumwhich will allow Apple to have presentations in the same building, instead of having to go to San Francisco every time.
43. The new underground parking facilities will increase the number of spaces from 10,500 to 14,200.
44. Due to its underground location, this will triple the amount of landscaped area in the campus.
45. Despite rumours and an unsuccessful campaign by David Greelish, Apple will not open a museum at the new HQ. As Phil Schiller explained, Apple is “focused on inventing the future, not celebrating the past”.
46. There will be miles of jogging and cycling trails.
47. 1,000 bikes will be kept on the site and available to staff to get around the campus.
48. A new Caffè Macs employee cafeteria has recently opened at Apple’s Cupertino campus. Designed solely for Apple employee use, the general public is not allowed entry to the building, having been designed as an area for Apple employees to discuss work in a secure and private area. The cafeteria, built over two years and in a 21,468 square foot space, has been designed by Foster + Partners, the same agency responsible for Campus 2.
The building’s kitchen, server and espresso bar have been billed as smaller versions of the ones that will feature at Campus 2, enabling the food service team to test the design and layout of the kitchen and serving areas on a smaller scale. The cafeteria at Apple Campus 2 is expected to be eight times larger and span two floors.
The structure of Caffè Macs Alves is reminiscent of design plans for the new campus, containing high ceilings, stonewalls, glass façade and terrazzo floors, all of which are design signatures of Apple Campus 2.
49. There will reportedly be custom-designed 18-foot tables by a Dutch company called Arco for Apple employees to take advantage of in open work spaces to discourage an office-like atmosphere. There will be 500 tables, and if put end to end would roughly be the length of the National Mall in Washington, DC.
What will happen to the old Infinite Loop Apple HQ?
50. Even with this new colossal project opening in 2017, Apple has no plans to destroy its existing headquarters building located at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino.
What used to be on the site?
51. It is located on the former Hewlett Packard campus.
52. The local area of Cupertino has missed revenues from Hewlett-Packard since they left the site however the construction of Apple Campus 2 has lead to the City Council’s budget being boosted by an extra $30.6 million. $8 million of the extra revenue will be used to pay off the city retiree medical unfunded liability, with another $8.3 million being used to fund pavement maintenance. The remaining extra funding will be transferred to the city’s capital reserve.