A Sneak Peek at Apple’s New Cupertino Headquarters

The circular office has been referred to as a spaceship or a doughnut. Once the glass walls are constructed, Apple employees will be able to peer out and see offices on the other side of the circle. (Anya Schultz/KQED)

The circular office has been referred to as a spaceship or a doughnut. Once the glass walls are constructed, Apple employees will be able to peer out and see offices on the other side of the circle. (Anya Schultz/KQED)

Apple’s new Cupertino headquarters, known as Campus 2, has been largely off-limits to press since construction began last year.

Referred to as the “spaceship” for its flying saucer-like design, the new headquarters will be a round, four-story structure — big enough to house roughly 15,000 employees. Offices, research and development space, dining facilities and a large theater are among the building’s features.

The company is bringing in thousands of mature trees to create a wooded, parkland setting, though much of that property will be off-limits to the public.

The site is being heralded for its environmentally-conscious design and construction methods, which include plans to use recycled water to flush toilets, and solar arrays to meet much of the campus’s energy needs.

“What Apple inherited on the property was several older buildings, all of which were broken down and deconstructed,” says KQED Science reporter Amy Standen, who got a tour of the site. “Much of the material from those old buildings was recycled into new building material to make the new campus, according to Apple.”

Apple says 95% of the waste from the buildings that were demolished will be reused. (Anya Schultz/KQED)
Apple says 95% of the waste from the buildings that were demolished will be reused. (Anya Schultz/KQED)

Critics of the project say the building’s design is too insular, and not well integrated into the community.

“Once the campus is open, Apple employees will have relatively little reason to leave the building,” says Standen. “And some say, ‘Why not put this in the middle of San Jose? ‘”

A more urban setting could be better connected to public transit and create opportunities for locals to interact with the company, say critics.

Apple says Cupertino is the company’s home — and they are building the building that fosters innovation.

When the building opens in 2016, nearby neighbors are hopeful they might get a tour at an open house. At the very least, Campus 2 will have a visitor’s center and parking lot.

KQED Science will have more photos and details from the tour when our radio feature airs on Feb. 23.

The main office will be a large circular building and is being constructed with concrete pieces. (Anya Schultz/KQED)
The main office will be a large circular building and is being constructed with concrete pieces. (Anya Schultz/KQED)
The large office space will surround a park. Employees will be able to park their cars underneath the campus or in the parking lots being constructed with solar panels on top. (Anya Schultz/KQED)
The large office space will surround a park. Employees will be able to park their cars underneath the campus or in the parking lots being constructed with solar panels on top. (Anya Schultz/KQED)
Adjacent to the circular office space, Apple is constructing an amphitheater. (Anya Schultz/KQED)
Adjacent to the circular office space, Apple is constructing an amphitheater. (Anya Schultz/KQED)
Apple's current campus is only a few blocks away from the new campus. (Anya Schultz/KQED)
Apple’s current campus is only a few blocks away from the new campus. (Anya Schultz/KQED)
Apple has a room-size model of the new campus in a building on site of the construction zone. (Anya Schultz/KQED)
Apple has a room-size model of the new campus in a building on site of the construction zone. (Anya Schultz/KQED)

 

A Sneak Peek at Apple’s New Cupertino Headquarters 12 February,2015Olivia Allen-Price

  • Sean

    The impact on the people living next to the construction site has been bad. Months of cement-dust filled air, coughing, layers of this cement dust over patios, cars, on windows for MOOOONTHS and months. In the end, had to purchase an indoor air filter just to abate extreme coughing fits for months. Not to mention horrible disruption of the local roads and traffic and disorder. Added danger, obscured lane lines that needed to be repainted or somehow made visible much sooner. Far too many near-misses with other cars because none of us could see the lane lines. Has not been good for the locals so far.

    • Michael Christopher Frazier IV

      Do you complain about every single improvement project while it is being constructed? People like you seem to fight every single project ever proposed because of “impacts” on communities. The nation is growing. This company is doing the same. Be happy they are keeping the business in your state as opposed to moving it to Plano Texas like other large corporations. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

      • Sean

        So, you’re the guy that comments on car posts a lot, it seems. That’s
        nice. I think you said something about a BMW looking like it had Down
        Syndrome? How lovely. You seem well rounded kid. Truly. You do you buddy. Short answer: Unless
        you also live in the blocks surrounding this construction site, then I
        guess you dont have a lot to add regarding local short term impact from
        the construction?

        If some massively disruptive construction was going on in your neighborhood and there happened to be a news story about it AND you felt like voicing your issues with the local disturbances, I think that would be fine…and I dont think I’d feel weirdly compelled to comment on your post about something going on within your hood. That would just seem….odd. Like I had nothing else to do with myself, you know? Anyhow. Guess I’ll close this webpage that I’ve had open here since I made the post.. alas, I wont get to read whatever commentary you have. Will you make another Down Syndrome reference? You’re good at those.

        Buy Apple, they make great products, I fully support the gear. The issue has been the construction impact and the health and traffic hazzards caused, nothing about the ‘progress’, nothing about the company at large. Hard to beat Apple products.

  • yu tube

    Other than a “artsy” aspect, round is not the shape for efficient space use building.

  • Apple is going to be sorry it doesn’t rotate.

Author

Mina Kim

Mina Kim is KQED News’ evening anchor and the Friday host of Forum. She reports on a wide range of issues affecting the Bay Area and interviews newsmakers, local leaders and innovators.

Mina started her career in public radio at KQED as an intern with Pacific Time. When the station began expanding its local news coverage in 2010, she became a general assignment reporter, then health reporter for The California Report. Mina’s award-winning stories have included on-the-scene reporting of the 2014 Napa earthquake and a series on gun violence in Oakland.

Her work has been recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Association, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Asian American Journalists Association.

Mina grew up in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Oak Park, CA. She lives in Napa.

Author

Olivia Allen-Price

Olivia Allen-Price is producer and host of the Bay Curious series. Prior to joining KQED in 2013, Olivia worked at The Baltimore Sun and The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va. She holds degrees in journalism and political science from Elon University. She loves to talk about running, ice cream and curly hair.

Follow: @oallenprice
Email: oallenprice@kqed.org

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