Posts tagged with "Apple Campus":

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Apple Park and Louvre Abu Dhabi have created their own operating systems inside designer circles

In the early 1980s, a new time travel-themed attraction was unveiled at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Like an oversized golf ball pelted straight from outer space to Orlando, Spaceship Earth is a fantastical fabrication. Its monolithic geodesic dome conceals two structures propped up by six steel legs, each driven some 160 feet into soft Floridian swampland below. Designed with the help of Ray Bradbury, Spaceship Earth continues to shuttle eager space tourists through an accelerated history of the world, where animatronic Neanderthals cozy up with ancient Greek charioteers and American astrophysicists under a swirling net of stars. In fifteen short minutes, the ride’s conveyor belt ascends through an abridged history of humanity that urges, after its namesake Buckminster Fuller, for a team effort to save our planet "Spaceship Earth." It culminates in a future utopia that today’s passengers can customize via interactive screens and troubleshoot the world’s woes together in a group exercise. Fast forwarding through a quarter-century of globalization and hyper-capitalist development, the $1.4 billion Jean Nouvel-designed Louvre Abu Dhabi and Apple’s $5 billion Silicon Valley campus by Foster + Partners have crafted a freakishly similar world of suspended disbelief and alter-reality. While they substitute the comparatively cheap thrill of Spaceship Earth’s 11,300 alucobond tiles with eight layers of steel and aluminum and some four miles of curved glass respectively, the Louvre Abu Dhabi and Apple Park are essentially designer circles. In their use of this sacred geometry, both projects become a sort of cosmic architecture, according to Craig Hodgetts, Principle of Hodgetts + Fung Architecture and Design. “Nouvel’s sky-dome and the Apple headquarters rely on geometrically pure forms as a way to consolidate and insure a singularly unified experience,” suggests Hodgetts. “An absolute form, uncompromised, uninflected, unadorned, and too large to comprehend will lend a God-like authority to nearly any enterprise, and these structures assert the primacy of their makers rather than the profane delights of simple existence.” Each “absolute form” depends on its God-like authority to extricate itself from its problematic social and political contexts–whether that’s occupying 175 acres of a California suburb currently suffering from one of the country’s worst housing shortages while refusing to engage with its urban planning efforts, or lodged inside a petrodollar-fueled arms race for global domination among oil-rich nations in the Gulf via Western cultural capital. Concealed beneath the all-consuming designs of Louvre’s bedazzled ceilings and Apple’s infinite rings of glass are both projects’ hidden, delirious desire to remove all context and weave their own origin stories–whether of mankind or Mackind. Such grandiose narratives necessitate some serious cultural capital. Take, for instance, the UAE’s $900 million “loan” of the Louvre’s brand and expertise for the next 30 years, an agreement signed into place in 2007 which also authorized the borrowing of hundreds of French artworks from the collections of the Musée d’Orsay, Centre Pompidou, and Château de Versailles. Shrouded in mystery, this wholesale purchase included the expertise of a French curatorial committee which has reportedly advised the Emiratis to acquire almost 250 works thus far in assembling its own cultural history of the world, a collection that includes the record-breaking $450 million Da Vinci painting, Salvator Mundi, sold to an anonymous bidder at Christie’s last November.   Meanwhile, back in February 2017, Apple rebranded its sober “Campus 2” to “Apple Park"–emphasizing the OLIN-designed gardenscape, home to some 9,000 drought-resistant trees alongside other indigenous and imported flora (including its own apple orchard) that fills over half the site. With its hermetic green haven, Apple’s new campus indulges in a Land Before Time fantasy of Silicon Valley’s pre-tech ecology, intending to mimic California’s natural greenery before it was settled. It is a private garden of paradise viewable by Apple employees from all angles in Godlike omniscience. “It’s not about maximizing the productivity of the office space, it’s about creating a symbolic center for this global company,” said Louise Mozingo, Chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning at U.C. Berkeley. “They are creating an icon.” Even without the figures–the only data most journalists have to work with until Apple lets down its impenetrable forcefield to visitors–it would be hard to make a case for the efficiency or efficacy of Ring’s 2.8-million square footprint. Built to house only 12,000 employees on its 175 acres, with nearly 11,000 commuting from outside Cupertino, the Park is a techno-utopian timewarp of California’s modernist-era abundance. The campus also steers clear of Cupertino’s current public transit and housing shortages (the Bay Area added a reported 640,000 jobs between 2010 and 2015 while 75.8% of houses sold in 2017 for over $800,000). Instead, Apple taps into both collegiate spirit and corporate modernism, fabricating its design from a mix of Stanford’s quadrangles and the factory-like floor plans of the corporate campuses of the 50s and 60s favored by Foster. Apple justifies its inefficient use of 100 acres (offering more parking space than office space) with an origin story that waxes poetic on Steve Jobs’ first summer job at the now-razed Hewlett Packard Campus, which stood on this site in 1976, fresh from a summer picking apples on a commune in Oregon. Apple’s manifest destiny-like design narrative highlights the Park’s out-of-touch attitude towards its own conquest of valuable land in Cupertino, which could otherwise be used for affordable housing. Catering only to its inner circle of Apple acolytes, its “Spaceship” colloquialism feels particularly appropriate. If these buildings are the result of resuscitated megastructure ideologies that superimpose their own fabricated mythology over contemporary geopolitics and ethics, what do their higher lifeforms look like? Childless, apparently, according to Apple Park. Despite a 100,000 square foot allowance for its fitness center, and 2-mile outdoor running track perfectly camouflaged from the roaring I-280 nearby, the workspace of the future miraculously lacks a daycare center for its 12,000 employees. The Louvre Abu Dhabi’s ideal visitor doesn’t need superhuman smarts or a perfect body: he just needs to love the aesthetics of luxurious shopping malls. Beneath its latticed dome of 7,800 stars, in rooms of exotic marble and leather floors, visitors filter through seemingly endless and unordered rows of captionless artworks. Together, they form a utopian reimagining of human civilization that “turns a blind eye to a long history of human equality and exploitation,” suggests Javier Pes of artnet. But even without fingerprints to trace, the stated mission and ethos of the world’s “first universal museum,” praised by French and Emirati governments alike, has as many holes as its star-studded ceiling. Intended as an “antidote to the poison of hatred and barbarism” of culture wars in the Middle East, according to Louvre President Jean-Luc Martin, its starry-eyed humanitarianism clashes with the mass human rights violations committed against the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s migrant workforce, according to Al Jazeera, quoting French Director Benedicte Jeannerson of Human Rights Watch. These world-structures manifest through the fantasy of a new world order that’s somehow eclipsed all conditions of crisis, operating on their own cultural capital of Instagrammability, as with the Louvre Abu Dhabi, or exclusivity, as with Apple Park, which still remains a highly coveted fortress-cum-tourist mecca over a year after its official press launch. The closest most of us will get to stepping inside the Jobs Mausoleum is a monthly subscription to new Youtube drone footage. But just as Apple Park’s designer landscaping and sprawling carpark can’t curb worldwide species extinction and rampant property inflation, the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s petrodollar-primed, marble-encrusted villages of culture can’t white-out the political turmoil surrounding the Gulf and the systemic abuse of its displaced workers. If today’s conditions of global crisis can be considered a type of manmade gravity, then these structures aspire to grow so large that they might break free from this condition or create their own operating systems altogether. While looking to the stars for inspiration is all but human, we must eventually lower our gaze to the real implications of these projects and bring the God complex framing their hermetic existence back down to Earth.
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Foster+Partners’ Apple Park visitor center opens to the public

The Visitor Center at the new Foster+Partners–designed Apple campus in Cupertino, California is now open to the public. According to a press release issued by the design team, the new visitor center will act as an “exclusive public gateway” to Apple Park, the official designation for the recently-opened 2.8 million-square-foot office campus. The visitor center features a roof terrace, quartz stone cladding, and marble finishes, among other features. These design elements are deployed in the visitor center in order to give the public a glimpse of the sumptuous finishes utilized in the office building proper, which is not open to the public and is accessible only via automobile. The visitor center also features a small exhibition space showcasing a scale model of Apple Park as well as a small cafe. Images released to commemorate the opening depict rounded glass walls and a thin wood and carbon fiber canopy topping the center’s most public facade. The images also showcase interior design elements like a quartz-wrapped staircase similar to those deployed throughout the campus’s office areas. In the press release, Stefan Behling, head of studio at Foster + Partners said, “The idea was to create a delicate pavilion where visitors can enjoy the same material palette and meticulous detailing seen in the Ring Building in a relaxed setting, against the backdrop of Apple Park.” The public visitor center is located within an olive grove, part of the OLIN-designed campus landscape plan, which includes 175-acres of woodlands, drought-tolerant plants, fruit trees, and expansive earthworks. The Philadelphia-based landscape architects planted over 9,000 tree specimens for the project. The campus has been criticized from all sides since opening earlier this year for its budget, internal layout, and mono-functional programming, among other aspects.
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Here’s what Apple’s big announcement offers to architects

Today Apple launched its latest watch, TV, and iPhone series at the company's new Cupertino, California campus, designed by Foster + Partners.

One of the unveiled gadgets, a $999 device dubbed the iPhone X, features a larger screen and a whole host of fancy features that befit its high price tag. Almost like the Apple Watch, the new iPhone can be charged with magnetic induction and employs face recognition to unlock itself—there's no home button. With better cameras, the phones have the optimal hardware for augmented reality, a useful technology for designers and one that Apple has been keen to refine. You don't have to be a well-compensated tech bro to get in on the fun, either: cheaper phones in the iPhone 8 line were also launched today for those with less money to spend.

On all models, the Camera app uses machine learning to analyze lighting conditions and adjust the image accordingly. For graphic communicators, there will also be animated emojis, which use your facial movements to turn static icons into cartoons.

The stakes for the rollout are high. Since its debut ten years ago, Apple has sold more than 1.2 billion iPhones, and despite its comparably high price tag, the series' sales rank second only to phones from electronics manufacturer Samsung.

With all the tech-talk, what do architects and designers need to know about this new roll-out?

First, iOS 11, the new operating system, will allow designers to draw with the Apple Pencil on the iPadPro with greater ease.

But there's even bigger news. The OS now comes with ARKit, Apple's foray into augmented reality. Introduced in June, ARKit allows developers to churn out augmented reality apps using simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), a technology similar to the one that powers Pokémon Go. The key difference is that SLAM recognizes and scales objects relative to their environment, which is great for gaming but also provides the foundation for spatial analytic tools that are sure to be a huge boon to architects. Users will be able to upgrade to the new OS on September 19.

Developers for the AEC and design industries are bullish on the potential of these new features. Speaking with The Architect's Newspaper (AN), Anna Kenoff, co-creator of Morpholio (a suite that includes drawing app Trace and Board for moodboarding) called the new tools a "home run" for designers. A "drag and drop" feature will make it easier to access files and transfer them between programs, and the improved Pencil tool, she said, "will allow architects to work fluidly and precisely with their hands. It's making tedious processes easier because you're doing them by hand again." The latest versions of Morpholio's products will debut concurrently with iOS 11.
Below, Kenoff shared three other apps for architects that will work great with the new operating system:
Power-rendering app Procreate's biggest update yet will be released next week. And you don't have to shell out hundreds of dollars annually to access its graphics capabilities: The app costs just $5.99.
The newest version of image-editing app Affinity Photo features full HDR merge support and 360-degree image editing. As a bonus, Kenoff said it's easier to use than Photoshop because of its ease of use with the Pencil.
Shaper 3D is a 3D modeling program for massing models faster, and it's the first professional 3D CAD that runs on an iPad Pro.
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Some Apple employees are reportedly unhappy with workspaces in the new $5 billion Apple Campus

Apple’s new $5 billion headquarters has been in the works for almost six years now and it recently opened its doors, only to reportedly receive complaints and criticism from some employees. A controversial building from its conception, rumor has it that Apple Park has been met with dissatisfaction from certain workers over its open and collaborative workspaces, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal. The late Steve Jobs imagined the complex as a rethinking of the modern office—“I think we have a shot at the best office building in the world,” he said—and instructed London-based Foster + Partners to design a building that would fit all 12,000 Apple employees under one roof and include access to perks like a wellness center and cafes. Additionally, Apple Park moves away from private offices and cubicles and uses an open floor plan, bench seating, and shared desks. Although this design was intended to encourage collaboration between workers, some employees reportedly want the cubicles and old offices they left behind. Recent rumors of discontent among high-level Apple staff come from the notable Apple podcaster and blogger John Gruber. On his podcast, as reported by Silicon Valley Business Journal, he described how Apple’s Senior Vice President of Technologies Johny Srouji demanded a separate space outside the main building for his team. Reports of similar arrangements for other Apple employees were echoed by Bloomberg. Concerns from Apple workers were also echoed in a recent Wall Street Journal article that stated, “many will be seated in open space, not the small offices they’re used to. Coders are programmers are concerned that their work surroundings will be too noisy and distracting.” It is doubtful that Apple anticipated this response from its staff, but this conflict continues the ongoing discussion surrounding collaborative and progressive workspaces.
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How green are Apple’s carbon-sequestering trees really?

Apple is planting a forest in Cupertino, California. When the company’s new headquarters is completed later this year, 8,000 trees, transplanted from nurseries around the state of California, will surround the donut-shaped building by Foster + Partners. The trees are meant to beautify Apple’s 176 acres (dubbed Apple Park). But they will also absorb atmospheric carbon. That’s a good thing. Carbon, in greenhouse gases, is a major cause of global warming. Almost everything humans do, including breathing, releases carbon into the atmosphere. Plants, on the other hand, absorb carbon, turning it into foliage, branches, and roots—a process known as sequestration. That’s why, when architects, landscape designers, and urban planners concerned about climate change talk about their work, they often mention sequestration. These days, seemingly every project that includes greenery is touted as reducing atmospheric carbon. But how much carbon can one tree, or even 8,000 trees, sequester? I’ve spent a lot of time trying to find the answer. Among my sources is a 2016 article from the journal Landscape and Urban Planning titled “Does urban vegetation enhance carbon sequestration?” Its authors, several from the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, examine efforts to quantify the sequestration capacity of urban flora. For example, a study of a Vancouver neighborhood found that its trees sequestered about 1.7 percent as much carbon as human activities produced, while in Mexico City the figure was 1.4 percent. The results were worse in Singapore. Overall, the authors write, “The impact of urban vegetation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions directly through carbon sequestration is very limited or null.” Very limited or null. Another study seemed especially applicable to Apple. In 2009, researchers at California State University Northridge studied carbon sequestration on the university’s 350-acre campus. Students inventoried all 3,900 trees by type and size. Using data from the Center for Urban Forest Research, a branch of the U.S. Forest Service, they estimated the amount each tree was likely to sequester. The average was 88 pounds per tree per year. (By contrast, the average American is responsible for emitting about 44,000 pounds of carbon annually.) Then they compared total sequestration to the amount of carbon emitted by campus sources. (Those sources included the production of electricity to power campus buildings—but not transportation to and from campus.) The result: The trees sequestered less than one percent of the amount of carbon released during the same period. Put another way, the amount of carbon sequestered, at a school with 41,000 students, equaled the carbon output of eight average Americans. Are things better at Apple Park? On the emissions side, there is good news: The new building will rely largely on natural ventilation, reducing the need for air conditioning. (Note, though, that promises a building will perform a certain way often prove overly optimistic.) On the other hand, the campus is being designed with more than 10,000 parking spaces for some 12,000 employees, suggesting that the vast majority of employees will be driving to and from work. And those spaces are in garages that require lights and elevators. And the news gets worse. At Northridge, researchers looked at the trees as if they had always been there. But a reasonable approach to measuring the benefits of Apple’s trees would consider the carbon emitted in growing them off-site, bringing them to Cupertino, and planting them. Driving a flatbed truck 100 miles can release 100 pounds of carbon into the atmosphere—and Apple trees’ require thousands of such trips. And, since it wants the campus to be picture-perfect, Apple is using mature specimens. These are no seedlings; some are so large they have to be lowered into place by crane. And mature trees, because they aren’t growing much, hardly sequester any carbon. (Worse, when trees die, their carbon is returned to the atmosphere.) And keep in mind that many of Apple’s trees were already growing in other locations, meaning the carbon sequestered on the Apple campus would have been sequestered anyway. That suggests that any estimate of carbon sequestration at Apple Park should be reduced by at least half. In the plus column, grass and shrubs also sequester carbon, though not merely as much as trees, with their thick trunks and extensive root systems. So how much carbon will Apple’s trees sequester? The figures used in the Northridge study suggest that Apple’s 8,000 trees will remove some 700,000 pounds of carbon from the atmosphere each year. According to Apple’s submissions to the city of Cupertino, the new campus can be expected to produce 82 million pounds of carbon annually. That means that the carbon sequestered will be less than one percent of the carbon emitted. In short, Apple’s decision to plant 8,000 trees, whatever its other benefits, won’t have a significant effect on the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. The campus, even with a very green building at its heart, will emit more than one hundred times as much carbon as its trees absorb. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep planting trees. But it does mean that, as with so many issues related to global warming, there is no quick fix. Thinking there is could keep us from making the tough decisions climate change demands.
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Foster + Partners unveil first glimpses of the new Apple campus

Late last month, Apple’s 12,000 employee workforce began to move into the technology company’s new 2.8-million-square-foot headquarters in Cupertino, California designed by architects Foster + Partners, according to a press release. The move-in process will take a full six months to complete, capping off the over eight-year long saga involved in transforming an old parking lot into the so-called “Apple Park” complex, which Apple has dubbed as founder Steve Jobs’s “last product launch,” according to Wired. Jobs initiated the quest to build the new headquarters in 2008, a project that consumed him until his death in 2011. In a statement, Apple CEO Tim Cook praised Jobs’s vision and said, “[Jobs] 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.” To commemorate the end of construction for the $5 billion project, Apple has released several images of the completed complex, a building that contains the largest operable glass walls in the world, among its other superlative qualities. The donut-shaped office complex is located at the center of a 175-acre wooded site that has been reengineered by a series of earthworks and has been re-planted with over 9,000 specimens of drought-tolerant flora, including fruit trees. As if the building were a spaceship that had landed on its site, the highly-constructed landscape finds its way into the building’s donut hole-shaped courtyard, where it is accessible from the office spaces. The site arrangement comes from Jobs’s penchant for taking country walks in nearby areas; the office’s grounds contain over two miles’ worth of walking paths, among other features.

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The main, four-story building is topped by slightly-gabled roof containing an 805,000-square-foot solar array that provides much of the power for the complex. The arrays are interrupted by a continuous, protruding light monitor that facilitates the building’s passive ventilation strategies. The building is not mechanically ventilated, but instead relies on a combination of convection cooling and thermal massing provided by radiant heating and cooling systems to regulate its internal climate. On one end, the building is punctuated by two pairs of four-story-tall hangar doors—each of which weighing 440,000 pounds—that are controlled by silent mechanical equipment embedded underground. Those apertures convert an interior, two-level yoga studio and cafeteria area into a massive outdoor room. The glass doors—and the curved glass curtain walls along the exteriors of the project—were fabricated by German fabricator Seele Group. The yoga studio and its attendant 100,000-square-foot wellness center will offer healthcare and dental services for Apple’s employees.

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The complex also contains a 1,000-seat performancetheatere that will be named for Jobs. The theater is capped by a 20-foot tall, 165-foot wide glass cylinder and by a carbon-fiber roof. Designs for the theater were reportedly heavily influenced by Jobs’s sensitivities and will be used for the company’s future product launches. Construction and landscaping improvements will continue to wrap up on the complex as the employees slowly filter in over the following months.
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Check out the new drone footage of Apple’s Campus 2 headquarters

Two new drone videos of Norman Foster's Apple headquarters have been released, giving an insight as to how construction is coming along. The footage from Matthew Roberts and Duncan Sinfield covers the goings-on at the soon-to-be 2,800,000-square-foot offices at "Apple Campus 2" in Cupertino, California. Flying over the site, you can see the huge circular shape that dominates the vicinity and has since become the campus's defining feature. Atop of the ellipse is an extensive array of solar paneling which, apparently, is roughly 65 percent complete. To speed up the construction process, wide atrium doors have been opened up fully to allow workers easy access to the site. Other elements of the program, though, cannot yet be so clearly seen. For example, a 1,000-seat auditorium is due to be constructed, as is an on-site power plant facility and fitness center. Though muddy now due to the rain Cupertino has been seeing of late, the center of the campus will feature a tree-filled garden for campus staff. The first trees, in fact, have just been planted. This is Roberts's eleventh update using drone footage. He has been tracking progress on the site monthly since March last year. Sinfield, however, has posted 19 videos dating back to June 2015. Apple Campus 2 employees are expected to move into the facility later this year. This article appears on HoverPin, a new app that lets you build personalized maps of geo-related online content based on your interests: architecture, food, culture, fitness, and more. Never miss The Architect's Newspaper's coverage of your area and discover new, exciting projects wherever you go! See our HoverPin layer here and download the app from the Apple Store.
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Apple to lease HOK’s Curvy Central & Wolfe Campus in Sunnyvale, California

News broke last week that Apple plans to move into another spaceship of a building, the Central & Wolfe Campus in Sunnyvale, California designed by HOK. The Silicon Valley Business Journal reported that the company leased the 777,000-square-foot building just a few miles from its Norman Foster–designed, doughnut-shaped HQ and praised the curvilinear design for its non-box-like silhouette. The HOK and Landbank project, which has been on AN’s radar since 2014, uses its curves to give employees (Apple will house up to 4,000 here) better visual and physical access to the outdoors. The 18-acre site includes 9 acres of ground-level open space with 2 miles of outdoor trails and 90,000-square-foot rooftop garden. There are no plans as yet for a viewing platform for the curious public. “It was critical that every major design element that went into the campus had to raise the user experience bar. In this case, the ‘users’ include companies, their employees, surrounding communities, and Mother Nature,” Scott Jacobs, CEO of Landbank, told AN Back in May 2014. In the same piece, Paul Woodford, HOK's senior VP and director of design, noted that the firm had to challenge preconceptions about what is “leasable, efficient, and excitable.” The bet paid off. The Apple lease does raise the question of whether the HOK design will remain part of the deal. Real estate reporter for the Journal wrote: “One caveat: It’s unclear whether the project will be built according to that design, from architecture firm HOK, or if Apple and Landbank will want to modify it in some way. At this time there’s no indication it will change substantially, and indeed Landbank has made the signature look a key selling point, with a website that highlights the out-of-the-box design.”
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Apple is planning to build a viewing platform and visitors center so you can gaze upon its Foster-designed headquarters

Apple's upcoming doughnut-shaped flying saucer of a headquarters is steadily taking shape in Cupertino, California. The Norman Foster–designed, $5 billion complex obviously strays from the typical office park setup of clusters of boxy, generic buildings, but despite its starchitect design, it has attracted plenty of criticism for how little it engages with the community and the non-Apple employees who walk among us. But apparently that's not the whole story. The Silicon Business Journal went digging through city documents and uncovered plans for a visitor's center at the headquarters which includes a viewing platform where civilians can look out on the campus and imagine what's happening inside the curved walls. (Hopefully it includes boosting iPhone battery life.) "The plans show a super-modern glass-walled structure topped by a carbon-fiber roof with extended eaves, punctuated by large skylights," reported the site. "On the ground floor: A 2,386-square-foot cafe and 10,114-square-foot store 'which allows visitors to view and purchase the newest Apple products.' Stairs and elevators take visitors to the roof level, about 23 feet up." The campus is expected to be completed in late 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eB6_XkUFpAc

Eavesdrop> Sunny Apple: Cupertino HQ makes a big buy for solar power

http://youtu.be/tZTRTv56k58 We have given Apple flack for the suburban nature of its new campus in Cupertino. But we’ve been impressed with the company’s recent attempts to make things more eco-friendly, adding shuttles, bike lanes, a bus transit center, and walking paths. Now we hear Apple is purchasing 130 megawatts worth of energy a year from First Solar. The purchase will power the new HQ as well as all of its other California offices, a large data center, and the 52 retail stores in the state.
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Zip over Apple’s under-construction headquarters and take a seat in its newly-unveiled auditorium

The excitement over Apple's new mega-campus in Silicon Valley continues to build. First, we got an aerial drones-eye-view of the under-construction Apple Campus 2 in Cupertino, California (check it out after the jump!). And now, we get to see the corporate auditorium where the company will show off its new products once complete in 2016. Renderings released by the Contract Division of Poltrona Frau Group (PFG Contract) depict Foster + Partner's theater. PFG Contract will supply and install 660 custom chairs and 250 lounge armchairs. A grass walkway will lead visitors and employees to a glass pavilion marked by a saucer-shaped roof, making way to the underground stage. Forbes reported there will be a secret subterranean passage to the auditorium, allowing speakers or other employees to move between the 4-story main building and the stage privately, away from the press and other visitors. Auditorium completion is expected by spring/summer 2016. In 2007 PFG Contract worked with the Apple Design Team to create seating for theater spaces in Apple retail sites worldwide. The company's first commission was for armchairs for the ocean liner, Rex, in the 1930s, and they moved into designing seating systems for theaters and auditoriums in the 1980s. This past February, Dezeen reported that furniture company Haworth had bought PFG Contract. The 2.8 million square feet circular extension of Apple's headquarters, led by Foster + Partners, will sit in an over-100-acre forest designed by landscape architecture firm OLIN. Apple's forest will be an orchard of sorts, able to supply its own food, with plum, apple, cherry, persimmon, and apricot trees on site. The new campus will hold 13,000 employees, with an underground auditorium built during the first phase of construction.
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Video> Drone footage shows construction progress at Norman Foster’s Apple Campus

[beforeafter]apple-video1 apple-video2[/beforeafter]   Perhaps the most hyped corporate campus in history, Apple's Norman Foster–designed campus in Cupertino, is starting to come out of the ground. YouTube user jmcminn recently uploaded a video of a (loud) drone flying over the top secret construction site, where work began a few months ago and should continue through 2016. The circular foundations appear to be over a quarter complete. The 2.8 million square foot, 12,000-employee campus was first revealed in 2011 and joins ambitious new Silicon Valley campuses by Samsung, Google, Facebook, Nvidia and more in a remarkable architectural run in the area. Wondering if people are interested? The Apple construction page has almost 3 million views. For more construction news visit the city of Cupertino's update page. Other partners on the project are engineers Arup and landscape architects Olin (managing over 10,000 square feet of landscaped space).