By Sal Maccarone
During the years 1969-72 while first attending college, I worked as a manager for a new restaurant called, “The Red Coach.” It was on the corner of Wolfe and Homestead roads in Cupertino, CA. Caltrans had just recently completed work on a stretch of Hwy 280 from San Jose through Sunnyvale, and they had installed an interchange at Wolfe Rd. That started the ball rolling in Cupertino, hence the reason for the new restaurant. But, who could have imagined then that someday the most expensive building in the world would be built right across the street?
Apple Park was Steve Jobs dream! He worked obsessively on the plans for it during the last years of his life. His dream was to have an Apple workplace that would encourage a spirit of collaboration among employees. Affectionately known as “The Spaceship,” the three million sq. ft. $4,000,000,000 (that’s four billion) building within the park is the realization of Steve’s dream, and perhaps his greatest product design. With room enough for twelve thousand employees this four-story ring-shaped building is also the world’s largest naturally ventilated work space. Designed by architect Norman Foster, the Neo-futuristic spaceship building was in the works for more than five years.
This is where art meets architecture! It is the utmost example of “Thinking outside of the box!” Considered as both art and architecture the building defies logic. For example, in lieu of support beams, the entire four story cylindrical building is held up by 3,000 curved glass panels. Four perimeter miles worth of glass! Specially designed and patented, these curved, laminated glass panels are 45 feet high.
This massive ring-shaped building is a symbol of dedication to design, green energy, and total transparency. With a footprint larger than the Pentagon, it takes about 15 minutes to complete a lap around the inside. Apple is into fitness!
The entire 175-acre Apple Park campus, including the spaceship building, is powered by 100% sustainable energy. This renewable system includes in part: One of the largest solar roof installations in the world, and fuel cells recharged by biofuels. An additional one billion dollars was ultimately invested into the rest of the campus which includes: The Steve Jobs Theater, a very colorful Rainbow Stage, parking for 13,000 cars, and eight other buildings. 82% of the total campus consists of green space planted with indigenous trees, which helps to make the business park look more like a nature refuge.
Here is a link to a great video that helps to explain the level of detail within this amazing campus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9dJ_cE5Asw