Apple announced a wide range of new products this week, but the backdrop for the launch may be its most exciting innovation of the year: Apple’s new campus, known as Apple Park.
Once derided as a “retrograde cocoon,” the facility was designed with painstaking attention to detail to maximize opportunities for creativity and collaboration and to capture founder Steve Jobs’ complex vision for the space.
Apple Park covers 2.8 million square feet, accommodates 12,000 employees and cost approximately $5 billion to build. The facility, designed by architecture firm Foster + Partners, includes a fitness center, an energy plant and acres of apricot orchards. The ring-shaped building has been compared to a spaceship and the Pentagon.
One of the most distinct aspects of Apple’s new headquarters is that it will house 12,000 employees in one structure. Fitting that many people in one building is a logistical hurdle that Apple believes will encourage collaboration between workers and between departments. Jonathan Ive, Apple’s chief design officer tells Wired that the greatest achievement of the campus is that it is “a building where so many people can connect and collaborate and walk and talk.”
It’s hoped that by housing so many employees in one facility, workers will be more likely to build relationships with those outside of their team, share ideas with co-workers with different specialties and learn about opportunities to collaborate.
The building will be divided into modular sections, known as pods, that will be used for office work, teamwork and social activities. Everyone from the CEO to summer interns will be placed into these pods, helping employees build connections and discover mentorship opportunities. The science and design behind Apple’s innovation-obsessed new workspace