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Apple Headquaters – The Circle
Set in rolling fields, this shimmering spaceship promises to follow Apple’s values of ‘innovation, ease of use and beauty’.
With its x-ray vision for detail, Apple is clearly like no other client on earth.
“The building is pushing the boundaries of technology in almost every aspect,” says senior Foster architect Stefan Behling. “The glazing is a completely new system that’s never been done before,” he says, referring to the 12m-high concave sheets of glass for the main facade being manufactured in Germany, the biggest of their kind ever made. “Everything is handcrafted for this project.”
“80% of the site will be green space,” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s environmental director, beams in the promotional video for the project. “75% of the year we won’t need air-conditioning or heating. We’ll have natural ventilation,” she adds, rolling off a dizzying barrage of statistics. “It will run on 100% renewable energy, with one of the largest solar arrays in the world for a corporate campus.”
And what a campus it will be. The 176-acre (71-hectare) plot looks set to put the Garden of Eden to shame, its copious fields planted with 7,000 trees – cherries, plums, apricots, persimmons, and of course, apples.
So why the circle?
“It started off as a much more organic blob,” says an architect who worked on the project. “But it slowly got less blobby – it wasn’t smooth enough for Steve.”
According to Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s chief financial officer, the circle form is all about workflow. “We found that rectangles or squares or long buildings or buildings with more than four stories would inhibit collaboration; we wanted this to be a walkable building, and that’s why we eventually settled on a circle.”