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More than three years into construction, Apple Campus 2 is finally nearing completion. This aerial video shows off the stunning progress made on the main 280,000-square-foot-facility, which is set to accommodate over 13,000 employees, as well as a new research and development building and many other improvements made over the last 12 months. Credit: YouTube/Duncan Sinfield
THE last work of Apple’s mercurial co-founder, the late Steve Jobs, is about to be unveiled — and it could be his most extraordinary achievement yet.
The Sun reports, the company’s sprawling new headquarters in Cupertino, California, has been built with astonishing attention to detail.
From the arrangement of electrical wiring to the finish of a hidden pipe, no aspect of the 2.8 million-square-foot main building has been too small to attract scrutiny.
But constructing a building as flawless as a handheld device is no easy feat, according interviews with nearly two dozen current and former workers on the project, most of whom would not be named because they signed nondisclosure agreements.
Since Apple unveiled its plans in 2011, the completion date has slowly moved forward.
Jobs’ initial projection was 2015 but this spring now seems most likely according to those involved in the project. A lengthy approval process with the city contributed to the delay.
Apple has not revealed the total price tag, but former project managers estimate it at about $6.56 billion — a figure CEO Tim Cook did not dispute in a 2015 TV interview. More than $1 billion was allocated for the interior of the main building alone, according to a former construction manager.
For all the time and money sunk into the project, some in the architecture community question whether Apple has focused on the right ends.
The campus is something of an exception to the trend of radically open offices aimed at fostering collaboration, said Louise Mozingo, a professor and chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning at U.C. Berkeley.
Its central office building, a massive ring of glass frequently likened to a spaceship, could be a challenge just to navigate, she noted.
She said: “It’s not about maximising the productivity of the office space, it’s about creating a symbolic centre for this global company.”
An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment for this story.
Tech companies have long favoured generic office parks which allow them to lease and shed space through booms and busts.
Jobs’ unveiling of what’s formally known as Apple Campus 2, months before his death, marked a new chapter in Silicon Valley architecture.
When completed, the campus will house up to 14,200 employees, according to the 2013 project description.
The main building, which boasts the world’s largest piece of curved glass, will be surrounded by a lush canopy of thousands of trees.
Little remains from the cement-laden campus Apple acquired from Hewlett-Packard, though the iPhone maker has preserved a century-old barn that remained intact as the land passed from tech giant to tech giant.
— With Rueters
For 17 years thought to be lost, this candid, in-depth interview with the late visionary filmed in 1995, Steve Jobs discusses at length his early days, career battles, and vision for the future, just two years before he would go on to retake control of Apple.