A look at Apple's futuristic headquarters
Apple headquarters structure.
Foundation of the Apple park building.
Apple park and its commitment to the environment.
Spaces for a break during the working day.
Beginning of the Apple park project.
Going from the garage of a house to the monumental and futuristic current headquarters of Apple, took about 40 years since its inception in 1976. The company created Steve Jobs has had 6 headquarters (all in California), the last five have been in Silicon Valley.
All that road traveled has served as an evolution to finally reach Apple park, also known as the spaceship or the ring.
Apple headquarters structure
It is an eco-friendly and efficient self-sustaining futuristic structure that also breaks with the style of any other design and existing office structure in the past.
In 2010, Steve Jobs announced this ambitious project that was in charge of the architect Norman Foster. Although I had already begun to imagine it since 2006, the building was designed to inspire creativity and promote productivity in a natural environment.
The aim was to blend the building with nature so that the 12,000 workers of the company had a comfortable and unique work space, and boy did they succeed.
At first glance its monumental construction is not noticeable because the building is camouflaged with nature, so from an aerial view this harmony can be better appreciated.
Vegetation occupies 80% of the complex for which more than 9,000 drought-resistant trees were planted, including olive, cherry and of course apple trees, as a nod to the brand. All fruits can be consumed by staff.
Foundation of the Apple park building
The large part of the 4-story building is located underground on bases made up of 692 stainless steel plates. Here nothing was left to chance, considering that California is an area with high seismic incidence.
The foundations of the building are grouped in an anti-seismic isolation system that allows them to move up to one meter in any direction without damaging the structure.
3,200 km of trails suitable for walking and running are located on the green carpet. There are also some 1,000 bicycles available to the staff with which they can travel between the buildings and the different entertainment areas.
Such as the gym, wellness center, basketball courts, or 2-story yoga studio used by staff.
Something amazing is the parking that is under the hidden orchards, as well as a wide network of mini roads that connects with the different departments of the Apple park.
Which is very important, considering that much of the staff arrives for their workday in a car.
One of the most spectacular, dazzling and emblematic spaces of the place, is the Apple Auditorium, which is known as the Steve Jobs Theater. This is the company's preferred space for the launch of its products.
It was built separately from the main building and on the surface you can see the entrance made up of a circular building, built mostly of glass.
Its impressive roof is shaped like a spaceship made of carbon fiber. This unique piece was manufactured in Dubai and flown to Silicon Valley in parts to be assembled.
It weighs around 80 tons and is an imposing visual focus and difficult to ignore in the complex. When we enter this impressive lobby, a 12.8 meter high glass elevator lowers guests to the auditorium which is located in the basement and has the capacity to seat up to 1000 people.
No doubt Steve Jobs would be proud, every day the thousands of Apple workers occupy more than 111,000 square meters of office space.
Apple park and its commitment to the environment
The monumental hoop construction symbolizes the strong partnership between Apple, its workforce and a commitment to the environment.
However, building a structure of these proportions implied several challenges, perhaps the most difficult and expensive was the installation of the glass panels that cover most of the building.
They are curved to give continuity to the entire circumference and are considered the largest in the world. It consists of 85 panels 13.7 meters high. Each one located throughout the exterior of the building.
Both façades of the ring, both internal and external, are made of glass and are illuminated by continuous strips of LED lights on the ceiling and on the floor that can be graduated to the desired intensity.
In the same way, natural sunlight passes through the entire building through its transparent structure that not only makes the building look beautiful, but also gives it a clean, bright and futuristic look.
In addition, making the most of natural light symbolizes the transparency of the business. The Apple campus cares for staff and the environment as evidenced by the concept of its roofs.
The building has one of the largest rooftop solar farms in the world. It has a power generation capacity of about 17 megawatts that allows it to cover around 75% of the energy demand required at peak hours.
The rest of the energy needed to operate daily is obtained with fuel cells, which run on biofuel and natural gas.
To save energy the main building does not use heating or air conditioning for nine of the twelve months of the year. Instead, it has a natural ventilation system that takes advantage of outside air currents to keep the interior at a comfortable temperature.
Spaces for a break during the working day
Apple headquarters also has spaces to be a break in the workday. The staff has at their disposal seven cafés distributed in three extended levels, in which 3,000 diners can sit simultaneously to enjoy a coffee or a launch.
At lunchtime, the kitchens in these cafés are capable of serving 15,000 lunches a day. The building also extends outside the spacecraft, towards other traditional buildings where the offices of the research and development area operate, along with a primary care clinic and the visitor center.
Being this space, the only space where you can visit the facilities without requiring a pass. It consists of four spaces distributed under the same roof, an observation platform or viewpoint with the same transparent concept of the entire park where the campus can be observed.
There we also find another area that includes a scale model of the Apple park, where we come into contact with the glances of its creators.
There are two other spaces with a 185-square-meter café and a 929-square-meter Apple Store, where the brand's newest products are exhibited.
Beginning of the Apple park project
Before starting the construction of the building, it was necessary to wait eight years between reviewing design proposals, planning the concept and obtaining permits.
The work began to be built in November 2013 and by 2017 the first employees were already occupying part of its facilities. The land on which the campus was built had a cost of 160 million dollars and most of it was owned by Hewlett Packard.
Initially, the estimated cost of the project was $500 million. But by 2011 it had already over budget and was around $3 billion.
By the time it was completed in April 2017, the total cost of Apple Park had reached $5 billion, making it the most expensive building in the United States.
But we must understand that the expense is not disproportionate when it comes to the headquarters of an international company that in 2020 had a turnover of more than 57,000 million dollars. Its market value is currently $2.3 trillion.
Although this space dedicated to creation, development and technology, conceived under the highest standards of self-sustainability and respect for the environment, sounds incredible, it has its detractors.
Some people say that the building lacks privacy and others say that it is very easy to get distracted there. But its employees think the opposite, and the truth is, who would not want to be part of the staff of the technology giant?
Despite the criticism, Apple park is the dream work environment for any employee in the world, and of course, the headquarters desired by any company.