Complete guide to Apple Park

June 30, 2017
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Apple is one of the biggest companies in the world, so it’s no surprise that it is fast outgrowing its current headquarters at One Infinite Loop in Cupertino, California. As a result, Apple has spent years building a new HQ.

The new campus is officially named Apple Park. (Before this was announced, the building was widely known as the ‘Spaceship Campus’ because of its flying-saucer-like design.) It’s located on the former Hewlett Packard campus.

When will Apple Park be finished?

Construction is scheduled to be finished by the end of 2017, but the large-scale building work is mostly done. There’s still plenty of exterior landscaping to be done, however. Jump down to the section of this article where we post aerial drone videosto see the latest progress.

Since April 2017, the 175-acre campus has reportedly been welcoming employees, but it’s set to take more than six months to move all 12,000 employees into the new site, and some construction will continue over the summer even as employees move in.

There will be major product launches at Apple Park before long.

Indeed, one of the most important additions to the Park is the Steve Jobs Theater, which is likely to be the only part of the building we see regularly. It’s a 1,000-seat auditorium located on a hill, one of the highest points within the Apple Park, and will no doubt be the site of the company’s future product launches – something Apple promised at its ”Let us loop you in’ launch event in March 2016.

How much did Apple Park cost?

It was originally estimated that the campus would cost half a billion dollars; the land alone cost $160 million. 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.

Apple is known for its exacting demands when it comes to design, materials and so on, but the spiralling costs of this project have caused some controversy. Back in 2013, it was reported that angry shareholders were attacking the project and labelling it as wildly extravagant.

Then again, Apple can probably afford it. A final spend of $5bn is a huge outlay but would still represent only about 2.3 percent of Apple’s gargantuan cash reserves: $215bn in January 2016.

Energy efficiency & green credentials

During the March 2016 event, Apple CEO Tim Cook said: “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. 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.”

Most of the power for the facilities will come from an “on-site low carbon Central Plant”, according to an Apple Insider report. The structure is outfitted with solar panels around the top of the building, too.

Additionally, 7,000 trees are set to 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.

The new campus will reportedly use recycled water, too, and will use 13,300 feet of pipeline to share the supply between it and Cupertino.

Design, layout and facilities

British firm Foster+Partners is the architects of this colossal building. Previous projects include Wembley Stadium, Canary Wharf Underground Station, Stansted Airport, London’s Millennium Bridge, HSBC HQ at Canary Wharf, the Maclaren Technology Centre and the Hearst Tower in New York.

In an interview with Architectural Record, Foster+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.

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