Apple Park: cooler than an iPhone?

In early September, Apple held a presentation, where they showed as many as three new iPhones. But it was even more interesting to look at the building in which it took place. The most impressive thing that the company showed at its presentation was its new campus. This is one of the most expensive structures on the planet, three times more expensive than Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. Area - more than the Pentagon; The facility, according to the idea, should be free to accommodate 12,000 Apple employees. Roads and parking lots are hidden under the ground. The walls are made of concave glass, and the whole structure resembles a large flying saucer that has landed.

This campus, Apple Park, is the last big project that Steve Jobs worked on before his death. "We have a chance to create the best office building in the world," he said, defending construction in front of the Cupertino City Council in 2011. “I’m sure architect students will come here to study it.” Well, now the gigantic structure was completed, exactly according to Jobs' plans, and we at Pochtoy decided to check what came of it.

Issue price

Apple is known for its high demands on design and materials, but still the rising costs of a new campus have caused fierce controversy. In 2013, the outdated shareholders even demanded to stop spending money on this “wildly extravagant” project. At first, it was expected that Apple Park would cost half a billion dollars. But, as often happens with large construction projects, they did not invest in the budget. One land attracted $ 160 million. Steve Jobs's theater - another $ 161 million, a fitness center for employees - $ 74 million, a tunnel - $ 25 million. In 2011, the park was already worth $ 3 billion, and by 2013 its budget was “inflated” $ 5 billion.

As a result, Apple's new headquarters drew on $ 5.5 billion ($ 6 billion, adjusted for inflation) - three times more expensive than the tallest structure in the world. Or almost 7 Zenit Arenas! The campus is in the top 5 most expensive structures on the planet, after a couple of nuclear power plants and the Saudi royal family strongholds .

However, Apple is quite affordable: it still remains the most expensive company in the world, and $ 6 billion is only 2% of its giant financial reserves (about $ 280 billion). In addition, Apple Park will save money in the process. This is one of the most energy efficient buildings in the world. Solar panels installed on the roofs, have a capacity of 17 MW and will cover 75% of the electricity needs, and the walls of buildings are able to "breathe" and do not need to spend on air conditioning.

Steve Jobs Theater

The most important building in Apple Park is the Steve Jobs Theater. It is also the most noticeable, for two reasons: first, it stands on a hill, on the highest point of the campus, and secondly, this is where the most important conferences and new product launches from Apple will now take place. The audience can accommodate up to a thousand people, and all of it is underground. From above - the 50-meter cylinder in diameter with 6-meter height glass walls. They support a 73-ton roof made of carbon fiber, one of the lightest and most durable materials. Under the ground, visitors to the theater descend two curved giant marble stairs. Sculptors worked on them for more than six months. All surfaces, walls, floor and ceiling, polished to supernatural smoothness - the way Steve Jobs wanted. And all the wood in the interior is a special maple variety, and only from the core of the trunk.

It sounds very cool, but the press, who attended the event on September 12, was not delighted with the theater. They say, yes, it is very beautiful, and, perhaps, the pinnacle of engineering, but no one thought about the public. For example, in a huge overground space there is simply nowhere to sit. “It's like an aquarium, only the fish have at least something to do,” comment in WIRED. Above there is nothing, it is an empty area for waiting for an underground presentation. Even some pictures and flowers are missing, not to mention screens or a table with a buffet table. In terms of style and size, by the way, it resembles the Apple Store, into which nothing has yet been delivered.

Apricot orchards

Around the campus are seven thousand trees. Apple hired a lead tree builder from Stanford University to plant them. Each plant was grown in the San Francisco Bay Valley, specifically ordered by the company, and then transported in huge wooden containers for transplanting. Apple will restore the apricot orchards, which once, forty years ago, so impressed Steve Jobs, and the company's employees will be able to eat ripe fruits. For watering plants used recycled water. Trees are planted by adults, and the vegetation on campus looks pretty pretty. But what stops Apple Park from repeating the fate of Moscow Zaryadya? Suddenly, visitors will make these plants along with the roots?

Apple Park Protection

Apple takes security very seriously. Within Apple Park, all new products will be developed, and the company intends to protect its intellectual property. In 2012, she said that the new campus will help "eliminate any public access to important things" and "will provide effective perimeter protection from violators." And in October 2013, a document came up in which one of the company's executives dealt with the location of one particular tree. “If we move it five feet closer, the tree will be a serious threat to our security.” People will potentially be able to climb on it and climb over the fence. ”

The new campus, with the exception of the Steve Jobs Theater, will be as closed to visitors as possible. And even Apple employees will not have access to parts of the zones in the new building.

Design on the fan

The architecture of the giant building was the responsibility of the British bureau Fosters and Partners, famous for Wembley Stadium, the restoration of the Reichstag, the Millennium Bridge in London, the Hurst Tower and many other religious buildings. Norman Foster said in an interview that for the model he took one of the blocks of London, with the houses surrounding a large open-air park. Such an open plan is found not only outside, but also inside the campus. Apple employees will no longer be sitting in their offices, but around large round tables, as in some legend about King Arthur. The idea is that it will help them in joint work on projects.

Not everyone is happy with this layout. They say that some of the best workers are even thinking of quitting, just not to sit at all on the review. One of the most notable critics of Apple’s “open office” has become the vice president of hardware technology, Johnny Scroogee . When he was shown floor plans, he did not find cultural expressions (“What the x --- I, you all went to ---, this is idiocy”). As a result, he refused to work in such conditions, and a separate building was built for his team on the side of the campus.

In Apple Park, it seems, everything was provided, besides why it is actually needed. Like the iPhone X, it looks great, but it brings up questions about whether it was worth the money, and who asked for it at all. Hopefully, this is only a first impression, and Apple employees in a few years will be just as enthusiastic about this building as architecture lovers.

PS delivers all Apple gadgets directly from the USA! iPhone 8 is priced at $ 300 cheaper than the Russian, iPhone X is cheaper at $ 400 (no joke - $ 999 instead of 79,990 rubles). Well, in general with us it is very profitable to bring goods from America. This month we have a new FastBox service, with which delivery of 500 grams (just a smartphone / tablet) across the ocean costs from $ 8.99. And if you follow this link and enter the GEEKTIMES code, there will also be a $ 7 discount on the first delivery. Themselves in shock.


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