Jony Ive on Apple’s new HQ and the iPhone.

Anticipation was higher than usual – and it always runs to feverish – when the press and other interested parties made their way to California’s Silicon Valley last September for the latest Apple keynote presentation. The most titanic of the valley’s tech titans was due to unveil its most significant update to the iPhone since its launch, ten years previous. In that time the iPhone has upended industries and transformed how we do just about everything. The update was a big deal. But most of the golden ticket holders were as excited about where they were as what they were about to see.

The engineered topography was borne of the earth h2.

This was the first up-close mass sighting of the most talked-about new building in the world, a $5bn, or so it’s said, Foster + Partners-designed loop of glass, aluminium, limestone and concrete and Apple’s new HQ. Guests worked their way up an artificial hill, part of 175 acres of undulating new landscape where once was dead-flat parking facility and dull corporate sheds, most of it owned by Hewlett-Packard.

This engineered topography, a fantasy of California, gentle and abundant, was borne of the earth removed to make way for the new building’s earthquake-proof foundations, and has been planted with 9,000 trees, including cherry, apricot, apple and pear.

Behling’s excitement and pride in the theatre and its big brother are palpable and genuine. But he is quick to acknowledge that at every stage this was a collaborative project.

Drones have buzzed over this site during construction h3.

All those trees, as was the intention, mean that the 2.8 million sq ft new building never fully reveals itself. You see only sections and its giant curve is never apparent. Nor, given the elevation, are two of its four storeys. Drones have buzzed over this site during much of its construction.

The theatre is essentially a glass rotunda with no support h4.

The keynote is taking place in the new Steve Jobs Theater, itself a small marvel of engineering, ingenuity and attention to detail. ‘If the overall project is a small town, then this is the town hall, and jewel,’ says Stefan Behling, a Foster + Partners partner and one of the lead architects on Apple Park.

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  • The details were worked out with Ive.
  • The big vision also belonged to Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs who first met with Norman Foster in 2009.
  • And was much consumed by Apple Park during the last two years of his life
    • That vision was of making work as much like a walk in the park as possible.
    • More pragmatically, it was about bringing together a workforce.
    • The office space in The Ring is, within limits, configurable.
    • Teams can choose if they want to work in individual offices or open spaces.
  • Each floor in each segment has a central area.
  • With an oak meeting table and glass whiteboards.
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Our building is very configurable and you can very quickly create large open spaces or you can configure lots of smaller private offices. I’m sure in 20 years’ time we will be designing very different products, and just that alone will drive the campus to evolve and change.
Peter Vanwynsberghe
, Renatex

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This was the first up-close mass sighting of the most talked-about new building in the world, a $5bn, or so it’s said, Foster + Partners-designed loop of glass, aluminium, limestone and concrete and Apple’s new HQ. Guests worked their way up an artificial hill, part of 175 acres of undulating new landscape where once was dead-flat parking facility and dull corporate sheds.

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