About one mile East from Apple’s “Campus” headquarters in Cupertino, California, a massive step-up is in the works. Simply named Apple Campus 2, the 176-acre site is set to open in 2017, housing more than 130,000 employees of the venerable tech company, standing as a “green energy” beacon with thousands of trees and solar panels lining the circular, spaceship-like structure.
The Apple Campus 2 will be where the company would design and produce all of its future products, which they will unveil inside the Theatre, a subterranean auditorium that will feature 120,000 square feet of space, a seating capacity of 1,000, and the world’s largest freestanding roof.
The Theatre’s roof will stand as one of the most notable instances of modern, green, commercial roofing, at least according to Apple. Dubai-based Premier Composite Technologies created 44 identical radial panels to form the 80-ton roof, which is 140 feet in diameter. Apple had previously announced that they would choose composites over their signature aluminum or steel aesthetic.
A Modern Marvel
Each radial panel is 70 feet long and 11 feet wide, made of carbon fiber, one of the best materials for commercial roofing. Apple had them shipped in pieces from Dubai, installing them with “manipulators.” A single one of these custom-made machines and lift and place panels around 46 feet long and 11 feet wide. Suppliers from across 19 countries are helping Apple finish construction of the Campus 2 by the end of 2016.
Jony Ive, Apple’s Chief Design Officer, shares his thoughts on the Apple Campus 2, among other things. He cites the importance of fulfilling their company’s commitment to making technology personal, and how Apple Campus 2, with all of its structures, materials, and functions will be a monumental step towards that goal.
“Both the hand and the machine can produce things with exquisite care or with no care at all,” he says. “But it’s important to remember that what was seen at one time as the most sophisticated technology eventually becomes tradition. There was a time when even the metal needle would have been seen as shocking and profoundly new,” Ive says.