Latest Apple Park Drone Video Shows More Trees and Paved Walkway to Steve Jobs Theater

Matthew Roberts has shared his latest drone tour of Apple Park, providing a closer look at Apple's new headquarters as construction wraps up.


There aren't many notable changes since the July video, but August's edition reveals further landscaping efforts, including more trees — there will be over 9,000 in total — planted within the inner circle of the main building.

Apple has also begun paving certain areas of Apple Park, including the walkway to Steve Jobs Theater. Many areas of the campus remain covered in dirt, however, so it's clear there is still a lot of landscaping work to be completed.

Some of Apple's employees have already moved into the new headquarters, while others like design chief Jony Ive and his team will follow suit later this year. The new campus will eventually house around 12,000 employees.

Apple will still use its Infinite Loop headquarters as an ancillary campus, along with a handful of other offices in the Cupertino and Sunnyvale area.


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Some Apple Park Employees Said to Be Dissatisfied With Open Office Design

During a new episode of The Talk Show on Daring Fireball, John Gruber touched on the topic of the open floor plans that Apple has implemented within its new campus, Apple Park. Unlike office spaces at One Infinite Loop and other Apple-owned buildings -- which give most employees their own office -- Apple Park sports a large open floor plan with long tables for programmers, engineers, and other employees to work at.

Apple Park's open office spaces have been highlighted in numerous profiles on the campus, most recently by The Wall Street Journal in July, and now Gruber has reported that he's received emails from numerous Apple employees who are particularly dissatisfied with the design (via Silicon Valley Business Journal).

Standing desks within one of Apple Park's open offices
Judging from the private feedback I've gotten from some Apple employees, I'm 100% certain there's going to be some degree of attrition based on the open floor plans. Where good employees are going to choose to leave because they don't want to work there.
One source is said to have been with the company for 18 years. They emailed Gruber, telling him that they're working on something that is "going to blow people's minds when we ship," but before that happens their team is transitioning to Apple Park. Gruber noted that the email was very level-headed and had a "perfect Apple sensibility," but the source nevertheless said that if they don't like the Apple Park workspaces, they're likely to leave the company after the product ships.

Gruber said he got a "couple of similar emails," with employees stating that they won't outright quit before they move to Apple Park, but if it's as bad as they think it's going to be then they will consider leaving Apple. During the podcast, Gruber and special guest Glenn Fleishman pointed out numerous disadvantages to an open work space, particularly for coders and programmers who aren't used to a lot of foot traffic and noise in their vicinity while they work.

Gruber went on to mention Apple vice president Johny Srouji as one of the employees dissatisfied with the Apple Park office spaces. Srouji was allegedly so against the changes that Apple "built his team their own building" outside of the main spaceship building.
"I heard that when floor plans were announced, that there was some meeting with [Apple Vice President] Johny Srouji's team,” said Gruber. “He's in charge of Apple's silicon, the A10, the A11, all of their custom silicon. Obviously a very successful group at Apple, and a large and growing one with a lot on their shoulders.”

Gruber continued, “When he [Srouji] was shown the floor plans, he was more or less just 'F--- that, f--- you, f--- this, this is bulls---.' And they built his team their own building, off to the side on the campus … My understanding is that that building was built because Srouji was like, 'F--— this, my team isn't working like this.’”
The idea that open work spaces at Apple Park could potentially "irk" employees goes back to some of the original profiles on the building. Last year, Bloomberg explained that there will be "few traditional offices" at Apple Park, and management will have to be at a vice president level or above to get their own formal office space, although there is reportedly potential for employees below this level to be eligible. During the company's presentations to the Cupertino city council, Apple's viewpoint indicated an open floor plan is "conducive to collaboration between teams."

In other Apple Park news, some Snapchat users have recently noticed that a handful of construction workers and visitors at the campus have been taking enough snaps to accumulate into a Snapchat Story of its own. If you're on the app, you can search "Apple Park" from the main screen to find the Story. The new "Snap Map" also shows an increase in picture-taking activity at Apple Park.


Apple Park opened to the first round of employees over the summer, and the campus will eventually house close to 12,000 workers. Over the past few years, drone footage has consistently documented construction on the site, originally referred to as Apple Campus 2, with more recent updates focusing on the advancements made to the area's landscaping and the Steve Jobs Theater.


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Jony Ive Talks Apple Park, Scoffs at Claim of New Campus Contributing to Local Tree Shortage

The Wall Street Journal has shared a lengthy interview with Apple design chief Jony Ive about Apple Park, the company's new headquarters in Cupertino, California, revealing a few new anecdotes about the all-new campus and the exhaustive architectural process that has went into constructing it.


Ive, for instance, reportedly scoffed at a recent article claiming Apple Park has contributed to a tree shortage in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Ive takes offense at the idea that he hasn’t already thought of every detail during the years of planning Apple Park. He scoffs at an article claiming that Apple contributed to a tree shortage in the Bay Area by buying up so many plants for the campus, “as if we’d got to the end of our project and we thought, Oh, we’d better plant some trees.” Apple began working with an arborist years ago to source trees, including varieties that once made up the bountiful orchards of Silicon Valley; more than 9,000, many of them drought-resistant, will have been planted by the time the campus is finished.
The report also mentions that Ive's design team will be among the last to move into the new headquarters this fall. Employees began moving over from Apple's existing Infinite Loop campus in April, and when the transition is completed, the spaceship-like campus will reportedly house some 12,000 workers.

Apple Park's fourth floor is where the company's executives will be situated, including Ive's design studio, along with the Apple Watch team and part of the group working on Siri, according to the report. Apple's Mac and iPad divisions will be interspersed with software teams on the middle levels, it adds.

Apple Park has open workspaces with desks that can be raised to standing level at the push of a button (Image: WSJ)

Apple Park's main cafeteria, which will reportedly serve some 14,000 lunches a day, is a four-level atrium with massive 440,000-pound glass doors. Apple employees have to pay for food, but at a somewhat subsidized rate, the report said. For perspective, some tech companies like Google offer entirely free meals.

Outside, the green space within Apple Park's inner circle will play host to Apple's iconic "beer bashes" on Friday afternoons, which often include featured performances. Here, more than 9,000 trees, many of them drought-resistant, will supposedly have been planted by the time the campus is finished.

Some of the trees will be regularly harvested to provide fruit for the campus kitchen, according to the report.

The Wall Street Journal's complete interview is a worthwhile read for those interested in learning more about Apple Park. A handful of drone operators have also been filming monthly videos that provide a closer look at the new headquarters and its surrounding facilities throughout the construction phase.


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Latest Drone Footage Reveals Landscaping Progress in Apple Park’s Inner Circle

Drone videographer Duncan Sinfield posted a new video on his YouTube channel today, offering a "late July" bird's eye view of Apple Park, the company's new headquarters in Cupertino, California.


Sinfield's video reveals landscaping around the campus has picked up momentum in the last few weeks, with a large grove of trees in the inner circle of Apple Park being the clearest sign of progress.

When finished, Apple Park will be surrounded by some 9,000 trees. The landscaping is being overseen by an arborist personally chosen by the late Steve Jobs, who believed trees would be one of the most important parts of the Park and represent a microcosm of the old Silicon Valley, when there were said to be more fruit trees than engineers.


Tantau Avenue, which runs along the east side of the campus, has been closed to vehicle traffic for much of July as Apple works rapidly to finish the Visitor's Center ahead of the official opening day. Apple started hiring employees last month for the Visitor Center, which will include an Apple Store and a public cafe.

Earlier this month we got a glimpse of Apple Park's Glendenning Barn, a historic landmark that the company carefully dismantled piece by piece and relocated to another part of the site, which was formerly a HP campus.


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Apple Has Finished Moving and Precisely Reassembling a Historic Barn At Its New Headquarters

Matthew Roberts has uploaded his latest 4K drone tour of Apple Park, the company's new headquarters in Cupertino, California.


A limited number of Apple employees began moving into the new headquarters in April, but the video shows that construction is still well underway. Among the highlights are a closer look at the main circular building, Steve Jobs Theater, the visitor center across the street, and the overall landscaping.

Roberts also flew his drone over the historic Glendenning Barn, which Apple has now completely reassembled after tearing it down and pledging to move it to a new location due to construction of Apple Park.


Glendenning Barn, a historic site in Cupertino, has been situated on Apple Park's property since the early twentieth century. After taking over the site of HP's previous campus, Apple reportedly dismantled the redwood barn piece by piece, including every plank, nail, and crossbeam, and made careful notes on its construction.

The drone video reveals that Apple has successfully recreated the barn, although a few of the redwood planks appear to be brightly colored, indicating they might not be original. Apple reportedly stockpiled redwood salvaged from an old grove in case any damaged planks needed to be replaced.

When finished, Apple Park will be surrounded by some 9,000 trees, with a large pond, walking trails, benches, and a fitness center for employees.


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Houses Near Apple Park Met With Increased Tourism and Rising Real Estate Values

Construction progress surrounding Apple Park has been well documented over the past few years, with monthly drone videos providing anyone interested with clear glimpses into Apple's spacious new campus. Less discussed have been the neighborhoods surrounding Apple Park, including how they have been affected by Apple's construction on a campus that measures 2.8 million square feet, spans 176 acres, and will eventually house around 12,000 employees.

A new report by The New York Times this week has focused on the positive and negative outcomes following Apple's announcement of its major new site, which officially began construction in 2013. In the town of Sunnyvale, which sits across the street from Apple Park, as many as 95 development projects have entered planning stages in recent years, while local businesses in Cupertino have pivoted to meet the needs of Apple employees, including a Residence Inn opening in September that will be stocked with Macs for guests.

Sunnyvale residents, whose home sits across from Apple Park via The New York Times

Eventually, onlookers won't be able to see Apple Park's circular "spaceship" building from nearby streets (thanks to Apple's sourcing of 9,000 trees coming to Apple Park as the year progresses). Until then, the campus is attracting tourists to come out and take pictures and fly drones over the site. Some who live nearby welcome to boom to businesses and tourism, even allowing tourists to stand outside on their driveways as they pilot drones over Apple Park.
Onlookers snap pictures of the spaceship from the streets. TV helicopters circle above. Amateur photographers ask residents if they can stand on driveways to operate their drones, hoping to get a closer look at Apple Park.

“I just say, ‘Hey, go ahead,’” said Ron Nielsen, who lives in Birdland, a Sunnyvale neighborhood across the street from the spaceship. “Why not?”
Residents of nearby neighborhood Birdland have been more critical of Apple's construction, complaining about loud noises early in the morning, unpredictable road closures, unsightly barriers, and construction potholes that have resulted in punctured tires. In response, Apple has tried to appease frustrated residents, going so far as to send carwash certificates to a woman who called the company about her vehicle getting covered in construction dust, and offering to pay for a solution to bottlenecked traffic.
Homestead Road, the thoroughfare that separates Apple Park from Birdland, became its own subject of debate. Cupertino officials wanted to construct a tree-lined median to calm traffic. Apple offered to cover the costs.

But homeowners objected. Residents complained that the island would eliminate one lane, backing up the heavy traffic even more. When 20 or so neighbors approached a Sunnyvale town meeting in solidarity, the city ended up siding with the residents.
Apple hosted over 110 community gatherings when Apple Park was in the design phase, intended to get feedback from residents who would be living near the campus. After the meetings, Apple sent out community mailers five times to around 26,000 households in the area. Apple vice president of real estate and development, Dan Whisenhunt, said that the company continues to respond to community concerns as best it can, "and if the issue is serious enough, I will personally visit to see what is going on."

With all of the increased traffic of businesses, Apple employees, and interested civilians, the value of property in the neighborhoods surrounding Apple Park has also increased. Local real estate agents told The New York Times that in the wake of Apple's plans for the campus being released as far back as 2011, "prices in the area really started to rise." In 2011, a three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,400 square-foot house was priced at $750,000, and has since doubled in price.

On average, prices for local homes have increased by 15 to 20 percent each year since 2011, and those bidding on homes in the area offer 20 to 25 percent over the asking price in order to secure real estate.
Birdland is already drawing Apple employees, replacing homeowners who have cashed out to move to quieter regions. Those who remain are realizing that life will not be the same when all 12,000 of the Apple workers go in and come out on a daily basis. People in the neighborhood dread the increased traffic and expect workers to park in front of their homes since there will be fewer available spaces in the company garage.

Apple’s answers to concerned residents will continue, Mr. Whisenhunt said. “When you tell people what is upcoming, some of the anxiety they have calms down a lot,” he said. And yet, he acknowledged, “you don’t make everyone happy.”
Although a small number of employees have already moved into Apple Park, construction is expected to continue into the second half of 2017, with buildings like the Steve Jobs Theater predicted to open sometime in the fall. The latest drone videos have captured shots of the lit-up Steve Jobs Theater and historic Glendenning Barn.


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New Apple Park Drone Video Shows Off Steve Jobs Theater as Lobby Lights Up

Drone videographer Duncan Sinfield has posted a new video on his YouTube channel today, giving viewers a fresh look at Apple Park as a small number of employees begin settling into the campus and more buildings take shape. It's been nearly two years since Sinfield originally started providing monthly drone footage for what was previously referred to as "Apple Campus 2."

Now, Sinfield's late June 2017 update provides a glimpse into Apple's ongoing construction progress at Apple Park, including a noticeable progression in the number of trees and other pieces of greenery within the "spaceship" building's circular courtyard. Early on in the video, viewers can also catch a shot of the main atrium of Apple Park, with its floor-to-ceiling glass doors that originally began to take shape in November 2016.


Notably, the new drone footage provides one of the best looks yet into the Steve Jobs Theater, with Sinfield gathering footage of the campus auditorium as lights turn on inside. The lobby of the theater is visible in the video, thanks an all-glass construction that offers visitors a 360-degree view of Apple Park. On two sides of the lobby, spiraling stairs lead downward to the underground auditorium where Apple will host future events.

In last month's drone video update, provided by Matthew Roberts, the Steve Jobs Theater still had multiple window coverings and construction equipment housed inside, so Apple is making fast progress on the building. The company has yet to confirm when the auditorium will officially open, but it's expected to sometime later in the fall.


The Steve Jobs Theater is capped with the world's largest freestanding carbon-fiber roof, and sits atop a hill at one of the highest points of the 175-acre campus. When Apple announced Apple Park's official name back in February, along with the new name for the auditorium, CEO Tim Cook commemorated Jobs and the new Steve Jobs Theater by saying, "Steve’s vision for Apple stretched far beyond his time with us. He intended Apple Park to be the home of innovation for generations to come."


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Apple Park’s Senior Arborist Recalls Meeting Steve Jobs, Sourcing 9K Trees Over 7 Years

Although Apple Park has opened to a small group of employees, the site's buildings and landscaping remain in ongoing construction around the campus. In a new interview with Backchannel, Apple Park's senior arborist, David Muffly, has provided insight into the work it's taken to choose, locate, and plant 9,000 trees at Apple Park, as well as detailed his first interactions with former Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

Jobs discovered Muffly's work during walks he would take around a large satellite dish on Stanford’s campus, admiring as he went hundreds of native oak trees along the path. He made Apple headhunters find the arborist responsible for planting the trees, leading to Muffly, who at the time was working a job pruning lemon trees in Menlo Park.

David Muffly

The two were said to have hit it off "within 20 minutes of meeting," where Jobs described what would see a grand opening seven years later as Apple Park. Muffly and Jobs met in 2010, and in 2011 Muffly was granted the official title of "senior arborist" at Apple.
Within 20 minutes of meeting, it was clear that the arborist and the technologist were on the same wavelength about trees. Jobs told Muffly that he wanted to create a microcosm of old Silicon Valley, a landscape reenactment of the days when the cradle of digital disruption had more fruit trees than engineers.

In one sense, the building would be an ecological preservation project; in another sense, it’d be a roman a clef written in soil, bark, and blossom. Muffly, who had been sensitive to the native growth of the region for years, got it immediately. “That’s what I’ve been doing — planting fruit trees, oak trees,” he said.
Eventually, Muffly was shown early design drawings of Apple Park and the arborist realized the full scope of the project. While thousands of workers would be focusing on the construction of the campus' architecture, he and a small team of landscaping experts would face the full brunt of responsibility for what Jobs considered one of the most important parts of the site: the trees.
And he began to get a sense of the massiveness of the project — hundreds of architects and untold numbers of contractors would wind up working on the building, an edifice that might well become as iconic to California as the pyramids are to Egypt. But the campus itself was meant to be a statement on nature. And that would be his job.

Yeah, there’s that building, he thought. But there’s a lot more trees than buildings. There’s going to be, like, 5,000 people making that building. And it’s going to be just me and my friends doing the trees. “So right off the bat, I was like, Whoooaa. This is as real as it gets.”
Muffly eventually began working with Philadelphia-based landscape architecture firm The Olin Studio to make Jobs' vision a reality at Apple Park. The team agreed that Apple Park should be stocked with trees and greenery "that might thrive in drought conditions brought about by climate change," as well as diversifying the variety of trees on the campus with native trees as the backbone of the ecosystem and then less common genetics dispersed throughout Apple Park.

As Muffly worked with Jobs in the early planning of Apple's new campus, before the late CEO's passing in 2011, he was impressed with Jobs' knowledge of trees. "He had a better sense than most arborists," Muffly said, and at his official pitch to the Cupertino City Council, Jobs promised an increase from the 3,700 trees on the site to 6,000 before the project's completion.


To fill the revised goal of 9,000 trees on the site, Muffly eventually scoured Christmas tree farms across California.
...When Muffly began his work, he realized that nearly all the (non-indigenous) existing trees would have to go. “It was all junk trees and parking lots here,” he says. “So it was a long process. Over the next year or so. I surveyed the trees and picked out about a hundred of them that I felt were worth moving. And we had to stretch to get a hundred out of the [roughly 4,000] existing trees.”

Muffly looked at the redwoods at some abandoned Christmas tree farms up on Skyline, but the soil was too rocky to grow them to Apple’s specifications. “So I sent all my little tree elves to help me, telling them we need big trees we can transport to the site. Next thing I know we’re finding these in two abandoned Christmas tree farms in the Mojave Desert, Yermo, and Adelanto. Who knew there were Christmas tree farms in the Mojave?” Apple actually bought the Yermo site.
All of the landscaping work for Apple Park eventually created shortages for other companies attempting to buy trees in the area, with a report by the San Francisco Chronicle earlier this year stating that, "Buying trees is a surprisingly cutthroat business."

In a behind-the-scenes look at Apple Park last month, one architect reminisced about Jobs' particular fondness for trees: to the late CEO, "trees were the most beautiful bits of art," said architect Stefan Behling. "He used to say, 'The most amazing thing about trees is it doesn't actually matter how rich you are: You can never buy a really old, beautiful tree.'"

You can read the full Backchannel interview with David Muffly right here.


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Latest Apple Park Drone Video Catches a Glimpse of Historic Glendenning Barn

This morning Matthew Roberts shared a new drone video of Apple Park on his YouTube channel, representing the latest addition to the drone videographer's ongoing monthly aerial coverage of Apple's new campus. Roberts' Apple Park coverage dates back to March 2016, and fellow drone pilot Duncan Sinfield has been providing aerial footage for Apple's new workspace since 2015.

In the new video, a closer glimpse at the Steve Jobs Theater is provided, with some of the window coverings having been removed since the last update. The auditorium is still one of the areas of the campus that's under heavy construction, as it isn't expected to officially open until sometime later this year.


Roberts also captured one of the first glimpses of the historic Glendenning Barn that Apple has finished reconstructing and placed at Apple Park. Built in 1916, the historic Cupertino barn has deep ties to the city's agricultural past and was located at the planned site for Apple Campus 2.

During preparation for the construction of Apple Park, Apple carefully deconstructed the building plank by plank and made notes on how to rebuild it exactly the same. Now, the company has done just that and remade the Glendenning Barn at Apple Park, residing next to the employee fitness center and in the middle of what will eventually be a larger collection of fruit trees once landscaping on the campus is finished.


Other spots at Apple Park highlighted in Roberts' new video include the parking garage, R&D facility, and the Spaceship building itself. Yesterday, Apple quietly updated Apple Maps to include 3D models of these buildings in the mapping app, as well as access roads around Apple Park.

Apple recently gave Wired a behind-the-scenes look into Apple Park, including tidbits about Steve Jobs' connection to the campus, a look into the "Ring" building's original design, and detailed images of the campus' construction and interiors.


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Apple Maps Now Shows Apple Park 3D Models, Campus Walkways

Apple has quietly updated its Maps app to include additional 3D coverage of the new Apple Park campus location in Cupertino, California.

The enhanced detail includes a "Map" view with 3D building models as well as access roads running in and out of the campus. Traffic directions, pedestrian walkways, and other information can also be found when searching the area.


In addition, the company has added some new points of interest for Apple Park, such as the Steve Jobs Theater, the research and development facility, the staff fitness center, and above-ground parking. The manmade pond that lies within the walls of the main building also features.

Apple has gradually been adding Maps location information and satellite imagery for Apple Park since March. The company has already started moving thousands of staff to the new campus while landscaping and exterior work to the central office building continues, as evidenced in recent drone footage.

Apple Park began as an idea by the late former CEO Steve Jobs, who pitched the plans for the campus to the Cupertino City Council in 2011, with a completion date for 2015. Demolition on the proposed site began in 2013, but construction delays pushed back a late 2016 opening to the spring of 2017.

(Via AppleInsider.)


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