Photos of Construction Material Hint at Scale of Apple's Spaceship Campus

Friday July 18, 2014 4:18 AM PDT by Richard Padilla
Construction at Apple's "Spaceship" Campus has been progressing at a rapid pace in the past few months, as the company most recently began putting up the outer walls and laying roadwork. Now, iFun.de (Google Translate) shares new photos of the steel and glass material that will be used for the campus' facade, which are being provided by German company Josef Gartner GmbH.

spaceship_facade_materials
Construction material for Apple's Spaceship Campus tested by Josef Gartner

The images show the steel and glass components being tested by Josef Gartner outside of its premises, and could hint at the scale of Apple's new Campus 2 building upon completion. The building will have a circular, multi-story structure surrounded by greenery, additional buildings, performance stages, a fountain, and more.

spaceship_facade_concept
A concept image of what the front of Apple's Spaceship Campus will look like

Apple's Campus 2 project will be constructed in two phases, with the first phase finishing up by 2016 and including a 2.8 million square-foot ring-shaped central building, an underground parking facility, a 100,000 square foot fitness center, and a 120,000 square foot auditorium. Meanwhile, the second phase of construction will take place after 2016 and include an additional 600,000 square feet of office, research and development buildings as well as an additional parking structure with 1,740 spaces.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

15 weeks ago
I shall now proceed to hand in my notice as a Doctor and apply to be a cleaner at Apple Campus 2.
Rating: 7 Votes
15 weeks ago

Am I crazy for thinking that maybe Apple would want an on-site medical person or two for a campus this large?


Google does have medical offices on its Googleplex campus. I would be surprised if other large companies don't. The calculation is simple.

1. Minimize the time needed away from work for routine checkups.
2. Routine checkups presumably lead to better overall health, which also minimizes time away from work.

It's a win/win for the employer.
Rating: 4 Votes
15 weeks ago
"Hint at scale"? All the plans are published online for how big it's going to be. Should be called " First look at actual exterior materials as mockup".
Rating: 3 Votes
15 weeks ago

I shall now proceed to hand in my notice as a Doctor and apply to be a cleaner at Apple Campus 2.


Am I crazy for thinking that maybe Apple would want an on-site medical person or two for a campus this large?

The building is designed to hold 12000 employees. Just basing this off of the ratio of nurses to students at my middle and high school, plus the university I went to, I'd imagine that Apple would want to have a team of 5-10 medical personal on campus.

Then again, I don't know if my employers have ever had medical personal onsite... but at the same time, I've never worked in a building that held more than ~300 employees.
Rating: 3 Votes
15 weeks ago

... but Apple obviously think this investment is good for shareholder value or they would not do it.


You might recall the only time Tim Cook has shown anger in public, was when an analyst asked about the Solar Farms versus Stock Value. Tim Cook boiled as he attempted to keep calm, replying that he would suggest that anyone who felt Apple should not do the right thing, but only what the stock price wants, should GET OUT OF THE STOCK.

Unfortunately I have not seen any video of this leaked, but it was described quite vividly in the press.

I was amused, and proud, of the iBoss.
Rating: 3 Votes
15 weeks ago
In construction, this is what is referred to as a "mockup" wall. I believe MacRumors is familiar with that term...

Required of the contractor in the building specifications, its purpose is to demonstrate to the architect that the fit and finish of all components meets the design criteria, which in the case of this building are insane (1/32" tolerances, etc.). Good luck, guys.
Rating: 2 Votes
15 weeks ago

In construction, this is what is referred to as a "mockup" wall. I believe MacRumors is familiar with that term...

Required of the contractor in the building specifications, its purpose is to demonstrate to the architect that the fit and finish of all components meets the design criteria, which in the case of this building are insane (1/32" tolerances, etc.). Good luck, guys.


In this case, because it's Apple (and Sir Norman), the priority might be fit-and-finish, but more importantly, mockups are commonly used for envelope testing and for observing detailing with respect to air/water infiltration, i.e. non-glamorous things like flashing and air barriers. Here they may also be looking at light control via the shading devices as well.


1/32" of an inch isn't really a big deal in construction these days. Tight tolerances are especially desirable with external walls to prevent them from looking wavy and shoddy.


You either aren't really "in construction" or must only work on museums. If it's the latter, I'm jealous.

I've designed buildings that cost $1,100 a square foot, and even then we only got down to 1/16". In typical commercial construction "these days," 1/8" is the norm for dimensioning, but 1/2" for joint and structural steel tolerances are more common. Furthermore, governing bodies and industry agencies allow much more than 1/32" tolerance (out of plumb, variation in dimension over 10' etc), precisely because it doesn't look wavy and shoddy up to that point.
Rating: 2 Votes
15 weeks ago


Thankfully Apple never puts shareholders first, they put their customers first.


This is 100% false. And if they ever said this there would be a huge backlash. I may think the spending on this campus is excessive, but Apple obviously think this investment is good for shareholder value or they would not do it. I respectfully disagree with that and think a smaller investment would provide the same value. It does not need to be curved glass for example. That is an unnecessary expense being undertaken just because they can.
Rating: 1 Votes
15 weeks ago

How much should a building cost that has to hold 12,000 employees?

Would shareholders prefer Apple to pay rent for enough space to hold 12,000 employees?

They already rent space in dozens of facilities all over Silicon Valley... and that's why they are building their own massive office.

I guess it's a matter of rent vs buy?


It isn't a matter of rent vs. buy; it's a question of functional vs. extravagant. Many aspects of this building make no practical sense, and its cost per square foot is over the moon, which is where the building seems to be designed to be viewed.

----------


As for the new campus, that was Jobs' last big project he helped with. I doubt they are sitting there at Apple today going "we need to cut costs on a building one of our founders helped work on to appease shareholders". Not when they have hundreds of billions in the bank and the cost of this building is a single digit percentage of that.


It's pretty clear that this building is all about Steve, but a legacy to a founder is entirely the wrong rationale for the design and construction of a corporate campus. It isn't a matter of appeasing the stockholders. It is much more a matter of the design being extravagant, and what that says about how major decisions are being made. As a longtime stockholder I can only hope this project is a one-off, and isn't the start of a trend.
Rating: 1 Votes
15 weeks ago



Seems excessive to me. I wouldn't like it as a shareholder.


How much should a building cost that has to hold 12,000 employees?

Would shareholders prefer Apple to pay rent for enough space to hold 12,000 employees?

They already rent space in dozens of facilities all over Silicon Valley... and that's why they are building their own massive office.

I guess it's a matter of rent vs buy?
Rating: 1 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]