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Apple Spaceship Campus

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Popular Science takes us on a tour of Apple’s Spaceship Campus construction [Video]

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We’re following construction progress of Apple’s Campus 2 via a series of drone videos and renders, but Popular Science got invited in for a closer look at some of the unique features of the building.

The piece starts out with some stats, among them that there are around 3,000 sheets of glass, the heaviest of which weighs 7000 pounds. And it’s the glass that’s been one of the great challenges of the project …



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Cupertino mayor claims he was surrounded/escorted out by Apple security personnel in row over city taxes

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[UPDATE: Cupertino mayor Barry Chang is refuting the claims made by The Guardian, saying that he never said the words quoted in the article: “I was shocked and dismayed to see a recent article quoting me with words I never used and describing situations that never happened,” he said in a statement on the Cupertino city website.]

Cupertino mayor Barry Chang has accused Apple of ‘abusing’ its home city by failing to contribute to much-needed public projects, and claims that he was ‘surrounded’ by security and escorted off the premises when he tried to discuss traffic congestion.

Apple is not willing to pay a dime. They’re making profit, and they should share the responsibility for our city, but they won’t. They abuse us.

However, the Guardian notes that Apple paid $9.2M in city taxes in 2012/13 …



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FastCo interview: Tim Cook talks Apple philosophy/legacy, Apple watch skepticism, new Campus & more

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Fast Company has an extensive interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook, focusing on what has changed and what has stayed the same since he took over from Steve Jobs. The interview comes a day after FastCo published a sizeable excerpt from the book Becoming Steve Jobs, in which Cook criticized the portrayal of Jobs in Isaacson’s biography.

Cook said that while much has changed, the culture–the fundamental goal of the company–remained the same.

Steve felt that if Apple could do that—make great products and great tools for people—they in turn would do great things. He felt strongly that this would be his contribution to the world at large. We still very much believe that. That’s still the core of this company.

The company has never tried to be first to market, he said, but rather to “have the patience to get it right” … 

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Apple provides facts & figures to support “greenest building on the planet” claims

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After Tim Cook recently claimed at an environmental conference that its new ‘Spaceship’ headquarters would be “the greenest building on the planet,” Apple today provided (via Business Insider) a few illustrative facts and figures to support the claim.

For example, Cupertino law requires that construction sites reuse at least 75% of their demolished materials. Apple says it’s using over 90% of the old headquarters in building the new one.

This includes recycling all of the concrete from its present headquarters to form part of the foundations of the new campus. Trees cleared from the construction site are being turned into lumber for use in the building.

Once completed, Apple says that not only will 100 percent of its energy come from renewable sources (Apple is building a large solar farm at the site), but that the unique design of the structure means it will require far less energy to run than a conventional building.

The new HQ will also save money on heating and cooling. Apple says the building will have natural ventilation for 75% of the year.

While these are just a few snippits, we’re likely to hear more as construction work progresses.

Apple places a high priority on its environmental credentials, hiring former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson to oversee environmental issues, building a dedicated microsite for environmental responsibility, releasing an Earth Day video narrated by Tim Cook, and running press ads calling on other companies to follow its example.

Architects hate Apple’s spaceship design, but Pixar president says they don’t understand

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Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt says that even at an international conference of 6,000 architects, he couldn’t find a single one who liked the spaceship design of Apple’s new campus building. Though if the single quote given is representative of the quality of the critiques, this may not be saying much.

“Does it have to be a spaceship?” asked an official at the American Institute of Architects.

Pixar president Ed Catmull wrote in his book Creativity Inc that they are failing to understand a key feature of the building, derived from a lesson Steve Jobs learned when leading the design of Pixar’s headquarters …



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The spaceship is on the way: aerial photo shows demolition work on Apple’s Campus 2 site

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Apple’s new ‘spaceship’ headquarters has been a long time in the coming, with Steve Jobs presenting the plans to the Cupertino city council back in 2011, but work has finally begun. KCBS eye-in-the-sky reporter Ron Cervi took the above Instagram photo, showing that demolition work on the site is now underway.

While we heard last month that the demolition phase was starting, this is the first visible evidence we’ve seen. Apple also recently constructed a full-size mockup of one small section of the building in order to test construction methods and enable the company to see how the concrete elements would look in real life … 

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Apple receives full set of building permits for its ‘spaceship’ campus today [Update: video added]

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View of the main campus from the on-site auditorium building

Apple will receive the full set of building permits for its ‘spaceship’ campus in Cupertino today, following a formal approval vote by the full council. This final vote was  just a rubber-stamping exercise, with the go-ahead effectively granted a month ago.

We have a pretty detailed idea of what to expect, thanks to a detailed scale model, project video and series of renders made available by Apple as part of its planning application.

It’s taken the company some time and work to reach this point. The company initially faced objections from local residents on environmental and traffic grounds, prompting CFO Peter Oppenheimer to send out a brochure to local residents to alleviate concerns, and the project is reportedly $2B over-budget. But work can now begin, with completion expected in 2015 or 2016.

You can watch the video of the full council meeting below.