I know, I have called Apple's Campus 2 " just another gas guzzling suburban office park right out of the 1960s" but also admit that "I have no doubt it will be astonishingly beautiful and a technical tour-de-force." And as we have another voyeur's view it is getting more tour-de-force-ish as it gets closed in.
First there is this spectacular roof that was installed on the glass lobby over the underground theatre (for some reason Apple spells it Canadian). It appears to have no visible means of support, sitting on curved glass walls. It's also made out of carbon fiber, in Dubai of all places. It's made of 44 slices of carbon pie 70 feet long and 11 feet wide at the outside, and weighs 80 tons, which I calculate out to be an
astonishingly light 3.3 light 10.4 pounds per square foot. [see comments]
According to Mashable, "Apple doesn’t want you to call it a UFO". That didn't stop Gizmodo from suggesting that Apple's flying saucer sucks" when compared to, say, the 15 mile wide one that destroyed the White House in Independence Day.
Mashable is full of mind-boggling data about the glazing:
The new campus required the creation of custom-made machines — which Apple calls “manipulators” — to handle the lifting and placing of nearly 900 curved glass panels, some of which measure an incredible 46 feet long and 10.5 feet wide....
I am not sure which is right but here they say:
More than 900 of the 3,000 glass panels have already been installed, but they won’t be Apple’s largest design accomplishment. At the entrance to its on-campus restaurant, there will be two glass doors that span four stories high (at 92 x 52 feet, it's about the size of a basketball court).
Either way that's a lotta glass. Fortunately it's got shading devices that are also a form of control for natural ventilation.
Apple does not appear to have bought any of Michigan Tech's nifty new drone-catchers, so Duncan Sinfield is still flying his amazing photo drone over the construction site.
You can see in this video that the building has been topped off and the glazing being installed, the entrances to the parking garage being buried, the mountain of dirt being removed and spread around. It is all pretty spectacular.
However Apple also announced this week a big office space lease in San Francisco. As Julia Love of Reuters notes,
The move is one sign of the intensifying war for tech talent – and of the overwhelming preference of younger tech workers to live and work in the city, with its vibrant nightlife and public transportation. The two floors Apple has leased in a building mostly occupied by CBS Interactive offer abundant open space and exposed ceilings, the preferred tech aesthetic.
Apple always took the approach that their employees should be in walking distance of each other on the Cupertino campuses. But the world is changing, there are lots of new startups to chose from, and it is a long 46 miles to Cupertino from the city, a trip that many do not want to take. So there's room in this for 500 urbanites.
"Apple’s attitude has always been that you have the privilege of working for Apple, and if you don’t want to do it, there’s someone around the corner who does,” said Matt MacInnis, a former Apple employee..."Now they have to compete.”