This month, Apple employees will begin moving into the company's brand new multi-billion cheerio-shaped campus (some say "spaceship," I say cheerio). What amazing and original name hath Apple bestowed upon this soon-to-be icon of Silicon Valley; the crowning jewel that sits atop decades of cutting-edge design, technology, and branding? (*drumroll*) Apple Park.
Kind of meh, right?
What "Apple Park" lacks in branding pizazz, it makes up for in architectural oomph. The campus was a passion project conceived by Steve Jobs during his final years and is truly a work of high-end structural engineering. Here are some of the coolest facts about the new complex.
1. Once the dust settles, the total cost of the campus is expected to be about $5 billion (or, for a point of reference, slightly more than the annual GDP of the entire nation of Mauritania).
2. The initial land purchase was cobbled together from nine Cupertino properties that were completed in 2006 (though additional nearby land purchases would follow). It is reported that Apple kept its identity secret during its initial land buying spree to stop a bidding war and keep prices down.
3. Once fully operational, the campus will house up to 12,000 employees. For those keeping track, that's about the population of Mariehamn, the capital city of the autonomous Finnish territory of Aland.
4. The Park's employee café can seat around 3,000 patrons. To put that number in context, it's roughly equal to the number of currently active players on every team in the MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL.
5. The Park's 1,000-seat auditorium will be named the Steve Jobs Theater. Probably not intentional, but the auditorium doesn't not resemble a turtleneck.
6. The Park's inner courtyard will be home to a 30-acre green space complete with mini fruit orchards including apricot, olive and apple trees. The space will also host an herb garden and pond. How very Zen!
7. The campus will be exceedingly eco-friendly. According to a release from Apple, the site will be "one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the world" and "will run entirely on renewable energy." Energy sources will come from solar panels on the roof and supplemented by on-campus Bloom Energy Servers, which run off of harvested methane.
8. Parking is built both underground and in two large parking structures accommodating approximately 14,200 employees. Hopefully, Steve Jobs stipulated that there be bountiful parking for disabled drivers — according to his official biography, all throughout his life, the late CEO was known to park in handicapped spaces on the reg. (He was kind of a huge jerk!)
9. Not only will parking be plentiful, but it will reportedly be managed by sensors and apps, which will manage traffic and parking spaces.
10. There will be 300 car-charging stations and 2,000 bicycle parking spaces. How Silicon Valley, right?
11. There's much more to the Park than the eye can see. The structure will be four stories above the ground, but will also include three stories below ground.
12. The campus was conceived by Steve Jobs but designed by British architect Norman Foster, who designed the famous egg-shaped 30 Street Mary Axe in London (among many many other notable buildings).
13. The campus's ring-shaped main building will cover 2.8 million square feet. That's about 49 standard football fields.
14. All the windows on the outside of the building are curved and, according to Apple, are made of "the world's largest panels of curved glass."
15. The campus will house two separate buildings just for a secure highly secure R&D department.