Apple Park ‘Nearly Complete’ as Construction Begins on Basketball Courts and Other Employee Amenities

Apple Park is officially nearing completion as 2017 winds down, according to a new drone video that has captured footage of the company's campus. Shared by Matthew Roberts, the video comes nearly one month after an update in late September showed off Apple Park at sunset, and almost one year after "major landscaping changes" appeared around the campus.


Now, according to Roberts, Apple Park is "nearly complete," with fewer pieces of construction equipment dotting the site. Landscaping remains a focus for the remaining work, and paths are being paved throughout the campus to connect buildings and areas of Apple Park for its employees. In terms of complete buildings, the new video showcases the finalized Visitor's Center, which members of the media got to visit during the iPhone X event in September.

Roberts' drone video also shared progress made on the sporting areas at Apple Park that the company has built for workers to unwind, including an outdoor spot for basketball and tennis courts currently in the middle of construction. Elsewhere on the campus, there's also a 100,000 square foot fitness center for employees to work out in.


Although Apple Park isn't yet officially finished with construction, some workers have already moved in to offices on the campus, and Apple hosted its iPhone X event at the Steve Jobs Theater last month. Once it is finally completed and all employees are moved in, Apple Park will house 12,000 workers across its 2.8 million square foot campus.


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New Drone Video Captures Footage of Apple Park and Steve Jobs Theater at Sunset

Although employees moved into Apple Park earlier in the spring, it has been reported that it will take until the end of the year for construction to be completed. Since that date is now fast approaching, a new drone video by Matthew Roberts has shared some aerial footage of the progress Apple has made since the last update earlier in September.

The video provides a few clear shots inside of the main spaceship building at Apple Park during sunset, where the tree-lined atrium welcomes employees, as well as some views inside the Steve Jobs Theater. Apple introduced the iPhone X there on September 12, inviting employees and members of the media to watch the event inside the underground auditorium and then get hands-on with the new smartphone as the event ended.


The new drone video even includes a quick glimpse directly down through the roof of Apple Park's main building, thanks to a series of glass panels sitting between the solar panels that line the top of the structure. It's unclear exactly when Apple expects to finally be done with construction on the campus. In today's video there are still multiple construction crews and pieces of equipment sitting outside of the central building.

Roberts' video also includes a few shots of the Visitor's Center and the underground tunnel that funnels traffic through the campus. Once everything is completed Apple Park will house around 12,000 employees, and include 9,000 trees, a large pond, walking trails, benches, and a fitness center for workers.


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Apple Park Visitor’s Center Shown Off in New Images

Ahead of Tuesday's iPhone-centric event that will see members of the media invited to Apple's new Apple Park campus for the first time, close-up images of a nearly completed visitor's center have surfaced.

The images were snapped by a resident who lives in Cupertino and shared with TheApplePost. According to the photographer, construction crews were working on the building late at night, perhaps suggesting Apple is aiming to have it completed soon.


The visitor's center, made from glass, appears to include the same wooden tables that are found in Apple Stores, plus an accessory wall at the back, which makes sense as it will serve as both an Apple Store and an area for visitor's to stop by when coming to the Apple Park campus.


A rooftop observation deck is built into the visitor's center, allowing people to get a view of the main building, and it has a cafe and an outdoor seating area, according to building plans.

A rendering of the Apple Park visitor's center

It's not clear when Apple plans to officially open the visitor's center on the campus, but given that it looks nearly complete, it could perhaps open on Tuesday alongside the Steve Jobs Theater where Apple's iPhone event will be held.


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Steve Jobs Theater Includes Custom-Made Rotating Elevators and Retractable Wall Hiding Demo Area

We're six days away from Apple's iPhone 8 reveal event, set to be the first major product unveiling taking place at Apple Park, in the new Steve Jobs Theater auditorium. To get fans ready, Bloomberg today posted a detailed look into the internals of the Steve Jobs Theater, highlighting a few well-known facts while also sharing new tidbits of information about the building that's dedicated in memory of the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

The theater is built on a piece of high ground, allowing its occupants to catch a wide view of Apple Park from inside its glass walls, as well as hiding the building's four underground stories. The media will enter through the glass-encased lobby, and will be able to descend down two curved staircases into the main auditorium. However, two custom-made rotating elevators will also shuttle occupants into the lower sections and back up again after the event.

It also boasts two custom-made rotating elevators, which turn as they ascend and descend so that passengers enter and exit by the same door even as they go in and out from different directions. So far, so Apple—the more elegant single door, with its complex engineering, preferred to the more obvious double-door solution.
Down in the auditorium, the 1,000-occupant capacity theater holds as many leather seats, and earlier reports estimated each to cost around $14,000. In these seats, onlookers will get to watch the unveiling of the iPhone 8, iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus, Apple Watch Series 3, and more next Tuesday, September 12, and afterwards more architectural "surprises" will be presented to Steve Jobs Theater attendees as they leave the auditorium.

Steve Jobs Theater floor plan via the City of Cupertino

One section of the theater's wall space near the entranceway of the building is said to "obscure a hollow space below the floating saucer." This way, upon entry attendees won't see what's behind the wall, but as the event ends and they walk back towards the surface, a product demonstration room will be revealed with all of the just-announced devices available for the first hands-on coverage.
Once CEO Tim Cook and his cohorts finish showing off the new iPhones, Apple Watch and TV onstage, a surprise will await the departing attendees. An inside wall, which obscures a hollow space below the floating saucer, will retract to reveal the product demonstration room, according to someone with knowledge of the design. For fellow Brits: think the Thunderbird 3 launchpad underneath Tracy Island's circular pool house.
Last night the latest Apple Park drone video was shared by Duncan Sinfield, providing a clear glimpse into the Steve Jobs Theater as people moved around inside the building and sat nearby on benches outside of the lobby. The lobby itself is a 20-foot tall glass cylinder that overlooks the main campus building and is surrounded by landscaping, also boasting the world's largest freestanding carbon fiber roof.


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New Apple Park Drone Video Shows Off Steve Jobs Theater Ahead of Next Week’s Event

Construction on Apple Park is nearing completion and Apple is putting the finishing touches on the Steve Jobs Theater where next week's iPhone-centric event will be held, according to a new video shared this evening by drone pilot Duncan Sinfield.

Sinfield's video offers up a close look at the now-finished theater and it depicts landscaping progress at the campus, both inside and outside of the ring-shaped main building.


The theater is a 20-foot tall glass cylinder that overlooks the main campus building and is surrounded by greenery. It boasts the world's largest freestanding carbon fiber roof and spans 120,000 square feet with an underground auditorium area that seats 1,000 people.


Apple named the theater in honor of late Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs, who envisioned the design for Apple Park before his death in 2011.

Apple's iPhone keynote, which takes place on Tuesday, September 12, will be the inaugural event at the Steve Jobs Theater. Apple announced Apple Park as the location for the event when it sent out media invites last Thursday.


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New Drone Video Shows Continued Landscaping and Construction at Apple Park

Apple is putting the finishing touches on its Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California, and a new video shared today by drone pilot Duncan Sinfield shows the company's recent progress on landscaping and other final construction projects.


Greenery is being added to the interior and exterior of the ring-shaped main building at a rapid pace, filling in an area that was once just mounds of dirt. Apple is using native plants and trees, and is said to be planting thousands of trees in Apple Park, including many fruit trees.

Much of the interior of the building is outfitted with furniture, and work is largely completed on the solar panels on the roof and the window shades that will project the building from bright sunlight to moderate the inside temperature.

The Steve Jobs Theater, where Apple will host events, appears to be nearly complete, but there's still construction equipment in the area, so it's not quite clear if it will be ready in time for Apple's September iPhone event.

Along with the main drone video showing off Apple's progress, Sinfield has also published a 360-degree video. The video doesn't work in Apple's Safari browser, but if you use Chrome you can rotate the video to get a full view of the campus. On an iPhone, the YouTube app can be used with tilt gestures for a more complete picture of Apple Park.


Apple employees started moving in to Apple Park earlier this year, but it will take until the end of the year for the campus to be complete and for all of the employees to transition to the location.

Apple Park will be the home of approximately 12,000 Apple employees. Other Apple employees will work at the company's Infinite Loop campus and at other office locations in Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Cupertino, San Jose, and San Francisco.


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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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