A little over two years ago, the late Steve Jobs made his first presentation—and his final public appearance—to the Cupertino City Council on Apple Campus 2, a glass-enclosed spaceship of a headquarters designed by British architectural icon Norman Foster. We’ve known the basics of the proposed building and campus since then (as seen in our January 2012 issue, “Apple Campus 2”), but the council’s final approval in November has made public more details about Foster’s futuristic design for one of the world's biggest brands.
The foundational elements of the project haven’t changed much—the 2.8 million-square-foot Main Building will have four floors and accommodate 12,000 employees—but the specifics are beginning to take shape. We now know the building will include a massive 60,000-square-foot dining facility with seating for 2,100 occupants, in addition to space for 1,750 people on the building’s terraces—perfect for outdoor dining among the campus’ 15 acres of native grasses, herb gardens, and 30 species of trees, including apricot, olive, and apple. A separate, underground auditorium, located to the south of the Main Building and surrounded by grassland, will become the location for future product launches, with seating for 1,000.
Foster’s penchant for technology and Jobs’ attention to detail will also be on full display in the new headquarters. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, specially made 40-foot-tall curved glass panes made by Seele in Gersthofen, Germany will ring the building’s exterior; inside, the gaps between interior surfaces have been stipulated to be no more than 1/32 of an inch in size (in comparison to the 1/8 inch found in most construction).
“This project is pushing the boundaries of technology in almost every aspect,” says Foster + Partners architect Stefan Behling in a video presented to the Cupertino City Council. “The façade will be new, the glazing is a completely new system, the concrete structure is unique—everything is handcrafted for this project.”