updated 10:13 pm EDT, Tue June 10, 2014
'Spaceship' design obvious even in earliest phase of construction
KCBS aerial reporter Ron Cervi on Tuesday posted photos of the ongoing construction of Apple's "Campus 2" future headquarters in Cupertino, with the first "foundation" walls being placed and the overall shape of the building already becoming obvious from the air. The area where the main building will be constructed has been cleared following extensive demolition of the former HP campus that happened mostly in February. Pruneridge Avenue, a road that runs through the future campus, has also now been permanently closed.
The project is not expected to be finished until some time in 2016, with the project begun by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs with an initial presentation to the city council in July of 2011. The meeting turned out to be the ailing Jobs' final public appearance before his death.
Sadly, Jobs didn't live to see the project receive final approval, which happened last October. However, much of Jobs' original vision for the campus -- as a return to the sort of agriculturally-oriented use of valley land he remembered from his youth -- looks to be on track for realization, alongside a futuristic curved-glass building that reflects some of the latest Apple Store design cues in a massive building that will hold 15,000 employees and has been dubbed "the spaceship" for its modern look and energy-conserving design.
Cervi was able to take several photos during a flight over the construction area, including one that shows Apple's triangular old HQ just down the highway from its future headquarters (seen below). Though some local commenters are bemoaning the loss and destruction of the "once-gorgeous, tree-lined strip" that was Pruneridge Avenue, plans call for a restoration and walking paths alongside orchards where the road is now.
Another commenter noted that crews appear to have dug a "40-foot (deep) trench" around the perimeter of the planned building, leading them to wonder if Apple will be putting a tram system in place to move people efficiently from one side of the circular building to the other. The center of the planned facility is a large, open-air park that will have areas for dining and concerts among other functions.
Jobs and the architectural team designed the building to foster "accidental meetings" and socialization among employees, a function borrowed from Pixar's headquarter design -- the feeling being that such encounters can encourage collaborations and idea sharing, breaking down the "fifedoms" of separate divisions often seen in modern work environments.
The disruption in road work and the ongoing construction has already fostered some humorous commentary from observers, with many remarking on how truly large the main campus building is going to be. When one Twitter picture-taker noted both the 40-foot trenches and the steel pilings inserted very 80 feet to support "a massive structure," a commenter noted that they were "looking forward to the iFixit disassembly guide for this. Should be epic," to which another wag responded that the imagined tutorial for the new HQ "scores a surprising 8/10. Docked for using pentalobe screws." Yet another witty commenter noted that "Apple has erected Jurassic-park sized fencing to keep the giant machinery from escaping."