State-of-the-Art Apple Park Taking Shape in California

With a small tribute to Steve Jobs, tech giant Apple invited members of the press to tour its new campus in Cupertino as the company introduced the latest version of the iPhone on September 12; although the presentation of the device was impressive, many journalists were also awed by Apple Park, a project that was deeply personal for the late CEO.

Apple Park is located in an upscale suburb of Cupertino and within reasonable walking distance from the company headquarters. This corporate facility occupies 175 acres and is planted with more than 9,000 trees that share space with rolling meadows, small lakes and ponds. Apple Park was envisioned by Steve Jobs for the specific purpose of sparking employee creativity and to provide a nurturing space for relaxation and meditation.

While many tech companies in California's Silicon Valley provide green spaces and other perks for their employees, Apple Park is already being considered as the most elaborate. In addition to the green areas, Apple Park also features a central building with a wide open lobby and a massive underground theater, which is where the press conference announcing the iPhone X was held. The building has comfortable conference rooms and workspaces where employees are encouraged to collaborate on new projects.

As can be expected from a project formulated by Steve Jobs, Apple Park is powered entirely by a massive solar panel array and offers blazingly fast wireless internet connectivity. Although the park is not open to the public, tours are planned for the future, and there is an Apple Store gift shop that sells themed apparel along with other merchandise.

Even though Apple's employees seem to be enjoying the new park on the day that the iPhone X was introduced, the same cannot be said of the "spaceship," the futuristic and circular campus structure that surrounds Apple Park. This is where Apple employees have been working since August, and not all of them are happy about the move.

The open floor plan design of the theater and its lobby is replicated throughout the spaceship; this means that engineers and executives must sit around very long tables that do not offer much in the way of privacy. According to insider reports that were leaked last year, Apple's microprocessor division objected to the open floor plan and convinced management to allow them to work in an enclosed space.