Apple's futuristic new campus nears completion
Apple's Foster + Partners-designed "spaceship campus" was originally revealed all the way back in 2011, and it's finally nearing completion. The firm announced today that Apple Park, as it is now officially called, will open to employees in April this year.
Moving 12,000 Apple employees from the firm's current campus into the new digs is obviously no small task, and the process will be phased over six months from Apple Park's April opening.
Construction work and landscaping will continue for some time yet on the 175-acre (70.81-hectare) Cupertino plot, however. An on-site theater is expected to be finished sometime later this year. Named the Steve Jobs Theater in honor of the late co-founder, the 1,000-seat auditorium will be situated atop a hill and entered via a 20 ft (6 m)-tall glass cylinder. It will be topped by a metallic carbon fiber roof.
In addition, Apple Park will also include a visitor's center with an Apple Store and cafe open to the public. A fitness center for employees and R&D facilities are also planned.
Apple Park's sustainability is much-lauded by the firm and indeed seems significant. The project involved 5 million sq ft (464,515 sq m) of asphalt on the site being replaced with more sympathetic landscaping, including 9,000 native drought-resistant trees and grass, and walking and running paths for staff.
A 17-megawatt solar panel array will enable Apple Park to run entirely from renewable energy. Hailed as the world's largest naturally-ventilated building by the firm, it's also expected to require no heating or air conditioning whatsoever for nine months of the year.
According to Apple, the main building is clad in the world's largest panels of curved glass. Featuring a total floorspace of 2.8 million sq ft (260,128 sq m) inside, it's certainly an impressive piece of engineering and we'll no doubt have more to say on its design once it's complete.