We've gotten plenty of peeks at Apple's new corporate campus, Apple Park, courtesy of various drone operators and a few highlights from the company itself. But as its official opening draws near, Steven Levy (writing for Wired) got a first-hand look at the campus in progress.
We drive through an entrance that takes us under the building and into the courtyard before driving back out again. Since it's a ring, of course, there is no main lobby but rather nine entrances. Ive opts to take me in through the café, a massive atrium-like space ascending the entire four stories of the building. Once it's complete, it will hold as many as 4,000 people at once, split between the vast ground floor and the balcony dining areas. Along its exterior wall, the café has two massive glass doors that can be opened when it's nice outside, allowing people to dine al fresco. "This might be a stupid question," I say. "But why do you need a four-story glass door?"
Ive raises an eyebrow. "Well," he says. "It depends how you define need, doesn't it?"
Levy has long had a knack for crafting engaging interviews and stories of the tech landscape, and this Apple Park profile is no different: Not only does Levy tour the campus, but he reflects on its larger statement to the world:
It's probably more accurate to say that Apple Park is the architectural avatar of the man who envisioned it, the same man who pushed employees to produce those signature products. In the absence of his rigor and clarity, he left behind a headquarters that embodies both his autobiography and his values. The phrase that keeps coming up in talks with key Apple figures is "Steve's gift." Behind that concept is the idea that in the last months of his life, Jobs expended significant energy to create a workplace that would benefit Apple's workers for perhaps the next century. "This was a hundred-year decision," Cook says. "And Steve spent the last couple of years of his life pouring himself in here at times when he clearly felt very poorly.
Set aside fifteen minutes of your afternoon and read Levy's interview for more on Jobs's influence, Apple Park's new "pod"-based workplace, and Apple's newest (pizza-based) product for Café Macs.