The Apple Park has been on the books for quite some time now. Since well before 2011, Steve Jobs had been dreaming up what would the future headquarter for his company would be like. As he did with most things, he wasn’t bashful about it. His plans for an absolutely massive, circular, spaceship-looking building in California were ambitious to say the least.
As the campus gets closer to its opening this year, a reporter over at Wired got an in-depth look at the space. Here are five of the craziest details we’ve learned about the Apple Park:
1. Steve Jobs had the whole thing meticulously planned out
In many ways, the Apple Park is the last of Jobs’ products to be revealed to the world. As the piece reports, Steve Jobs had his fingerprints over nearly every design decision involved—including from the type of wood he wanted to be used, the kind of trees he wanted planted, and his idea for a “building that breathes.”
It seems that though these ideas made some people scratch their heads at first, the result looks to have followed his vision quite closely.
2. The building “breathes”
According to the report, Jobs hated air conditioning, fans, and open windows. When you live in California, that could cause a bit of a problem. So working on the new headquarters, the Apple engineers consulted with those who develop airflow technology for Formula One race cars.
The result pretty interesting: natural ventilation that uses flaps and sensors to circulate air and measure where from and how much the wind is blowing. Furthermore, tubes of water have been placed within the concrete floors and ceilings to help keep the temperature in a comfortable middle ground. All of this is done to prevent the central heating and cooling system from kicking in, which are only reserved for the most extreme temperatures.
3. Work life is based on “pods”
The days of cubicles are long gone for a lot of companies, though the Apple Park’s approach to work life goes to the opposite extreme to create an open work space. The entirety of office space is divided into “pods” which were Jobs’ original idea for office life. Everything from meeting rooms to the CEO’s personal office was to be democratized in identical pods spread all throughout the building.
Jobs’ idea was to intentionally force employees to bump into each other more often to encourage collaboration and innovative thinking.
4. Created and patented containers for to-go pizza
It’s for this same reason that Jobs wanted there to be only one restaurant: to encourage eating together and bumping into one another throughout the day. One of the sillier things that only a company like Apple would do, is actually design and patent a container made for taking pizza back to your pod. This was done by the Apple Park cafe, Francesco Longoni, who even he was motivated to innovate.
These special containers vent out air and moisture to keep pizza crust from getting soggy. Now that’s what I call paying attention to the details.
5. It’s completely sustainable
“The workspaces and parklands are designed to inspire our team as well as benefit the environment. We’ve achieved one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the world and the campus will run entirely on renewable energy,” says CEO Tim Cook.
Apple has accomplished this through the installation of an insane 805,000 square feet of solar arrays on the roofs of the building. The Apple Park is completely run on renewable energy, which is pretty impressive considering how massive this complex is.