Exclusive Apple Campus 2 December 2014 aerial tour shows progress on 'spaceship' building, theater,

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 2015
The latest video of Apple's Campus 2 mega-project shows major progress on both the "spaceship" ring and parking garage, with over a dozen massive cranes now at work on the site. A previous prototype segment has also been removed.

Campus 2 Ring December 2014


Over the last two months, despite the early darkness of winter and unusually torrential rains, work on Apple Campus 2 has continued on an aggressive schedule.

The bare, compacted soil fill of the excavated spaceship ring structure is now completely covered, with concrete joists now being laid out to build a floor structure.

Earth ramps extending down into the ring floor are all gone; vehicles access is now provided through channels that will eventually connect to a rebuilt Pruneridge roadway that ducks underground to send cars beneath the surface to either the basement of the ring or to the two large parking structures at the south end of the site.

Multimillion dollar theater

The site of Apple's underground theater is also more clearly defined, surrounded by a bank of fill that will eventually be covered with trees.

Campus 2 December 2014 Theater


Construction permits indicate that the auditorium complex will cost around $161 million to complete.

The theater site will include a 120,000 sq ft "assembly space" with seating for 1,000, kitchen facilities and a large lobby area. In September, the theater excavation was a shallow pit (below).

Campus 2 September 2014 Theater

Ring prototype building now gone

Behind the theater area, Apple maintains a series of buildings along Tantau Avenue, although some of these structures now appear to have been vacated for eventual demolition.

Campus 2 prototype building


A prototype building constructed to model the permanent ring structure (pictured above) is now gone, just months after it was first exclusively photographed by AppleInsider.

Parking structure rising rapidly

The first of two massive parking structures, which was bare land in September and was just beginning to rise in October, is now nearly assembled up the the third floor (shown below).

Campus 2 parking December 2014


Granted final approval just over one year ago, Apple's Campus 2 project is rapidly moving toward its occupancy goal of 2016.

Apple's cofounder Steve Jobs unveiled the huge project in 2011, noting that the central 2.8-million-square-foot "spaceship" structure would house 12,000 employees, surrounded by bucolic landscaping including orchards of fruit trees and other greenery, featuring open space and walking paths to reclaim most of the 150-acre plot previously covered by asphalt parking lots.

Campus 2


See previous coverage on AppleInsider of Apple Campus 2 and the current Infinite Loop headquarters, or our other articles on drones. Viewers interested in our B&H Photo-sponsored DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ v3.0 drone that makes this arial footage possible can read more about the device or pick one up here.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    When it is completed, I hope they have public tours. I would love to check it out...
  • Reply 2 of 37
    Sweet
  • Reply 3 of 37
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member

    I don't know what a "pruneridge" is. And I can't see me no tunnels. :???:

  • Reply 4 of 37
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,007member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by BobSchlob View Post

     

    I don't know what a "pruneridge" is. And I can't see me no tunnels. :???:


    Pruneridge Ave. was the name of the street they removed. It appears the tunnel will be constructed by digging a pit and covering it. Wait until the next report to see whether Pruneridge returns or whether the tunnel is simply covered with trees and native plants.

     

    I am amazed to see how much dirt they've dug up. Cupertino now has a new Mt. Apple to put on the map.

  • Reply 5 of 37
    stevehsteveh Posts: 480member
    Pruneridge is a local street that crosses Wolfe Rd. about a block north of Hwy. 280 in Cupertino, adjacent to the new Apple campus.

    Back when I worked at Four Phase Systems, in what is now the Infinite Loop headquarters, the area around Pruneridge Ave. was still prune, apricot, and other fruit tree orchards.
  • Reply 6 of 37
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,509member
    Nice movie, nice report. Flying remote cameras are a very big deal.
  • Reply 7 of 37
    Is this the largest construction project in the U.S. right now?
  • Reply 8 of 37
    Great to see this new drones eye view of Apple HQ taking shape. Will Steve Jobs have an empty office there too?
  • Reply 9 of 37

    I'm surprised Apple went with a standard ugly concrete parking garage instead of some of the high tech underground automated parking structures that you often see in Europe and Asia. It would make the area look much nicer.

  • Reply 10 of 37
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,423member

    I hope that video was taken on a Sunday, because it didn't look like any actual construction was going on.    

     

    I also fail to understand why the auditorium is going to cost $161 million.   That seems incredibly excessive.   Prior reports said that it's going to have seating for 1000, so that's $161,000 per seat.    You should be able to construct a small house for each person for that.     And for big Apple press events, is 1000 seats anywhere near enough?    And even for internal Apple events, obviously only a very small percentage of employees can fit in there at any one time.

  • Reply 11 of 37
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,355member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by BadMonk View Post



    When it is completed, I hope they have public tours. I would love to check it out...



    They will not give public tours. It is an engineering campus. Heck, Apple doesn't give tours for its other buildings.

     

    Note that to make this a publicly accessible building would impact the cost significantly, as there would be additional building code requirements to meet for a public building. From an operational perspective, it would also increase costs by requiring additional security, liability insurance, tour staff, etc.

     

    If Apple had chosen to build a company museum, conceivably that would be accessible to the public, but there is nothing in the plan that suggests a company museum. Moreover, Apple's corporate culture does not spend much time looking at the past. They are always looking to the future.

     

    If you live in the SF Bay Area, your best bet is to befriend an Apple employee for a private visit.

     

    Note that Apple isn't alone in this. Most Silicon Valley and Fortune 500 corporations do not give out public tours of their regular employee facilities.

  • Reply 12 of 37
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,355member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

     

    I hope that video was taken on a Sunday, because it didn't look like any actual construction was going on.    

     

    I also fail to understand why the auditorium is going to cost $161 million.   That seems incredibly excessive.   Prior reports said that it's going to have seating for 1000, so that's $161,000 per seat.    You should be able to construct a small house for each person for that.     And for big Apple press events, is 1000 seats anywhere near enough?    And even for internal Apple events, obviously only a very small percentage of employees can fit in there at any one time.




    The SF Bay Area has been receiving a lot of rain recently. When the ground is saturated, construction halts for a couple of days. Commercial construction sites around here are shut down on weekends (both Saturdays and Sundays) anyhow.

     

    Levi's Stadium was built for $1.2 billion, so while pricey, the Apple auditorium budget is not out of the realm with what they are trying to do. The auditorium is completely underground which adds significantly to the cost. And heck, Levi's Stadium would have been more expensive if the builders had actually built parking lots. ;)

     

    On a standalone free-standing structure, you basically just need to add a few doors for your emergency exits. For an underground space, you need to dig tunnels, build staircases, provide lighting, air, failsafe systems, etc. for emergency exit tunnels that hopefully never get used.

     

    There may be some additional costs associated with geological structural work as Calaveras Creek flows underground very near this location. Stuff like that. If you don't know the site well, you'd probably think you'd be building some simple big box space in a hole in the ground..

     

    $161,000 might buy a small house in Detroit, but it won't buy a doghouse in Cupertino.

     

    No venue can accommodate all events and situations. Apple Campus 2 auditorium is meant for a certain limited range of audiences and situations. You can't fit a family of eight in a studio apartment, nor does it make sense to hold a Ping Pong match on a football field.

     

    The point of this auditorium was to build a space for the media and certain other functions: it was not intended to be a location for a company All Hands meeting. I'm pretty sure that Apple has thought this though, not just you. Apple knows how many employees it has in its Silicon Valley campuses, they deliberately created a space that would not accommodate all of them. 

     

    1000 seats is probably the right size. Apple has rented a fair number of facilities over time, as well as use its own Town Hall space on campus. They should know about the pros and cons of each sized space. Building a larger theatre simply just adds a bunch of less qualified folks to attend.

     

    More importantly, the intimacy of the space really decreases beyond 1000 seats. If you attend concerts or plays, this is very noticeable. This is a spoken word auditorium, it's not intended to be a venue for baroque chamber music or a rock concert. It doesn't need the elaborate and cavernous backstage area to hold large sets for a six hour Wagner opera matinee and the three hour Puccini opera scheduled for the evening performance.

     

    Apple isn't building a school gymnasium for assembly hall either.

     

    However, one internal thing that this theatre could be used for would be divisional/group All Hands (like iOS, OS X, VLSI, etc.) or technical presentations since security is high in an underground facility.

  • Reply 13 of 37
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,355member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by BobSchlob View Post

     

    I don't know what a "pruneridge" is. And I can't see me no tunnels. :???:


     

    Pruneridge is a frequently used name in this part of western Santa Clara Valley. There's a Pruneridge Golf Course and Pruneridge Shopping Center as well as other businesses. My guess is that the name was originally "Prune Ridge" (two words) describing a plum orchard that had view of the local coast range, much in the same way that Mountain View is named after the town's view of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

     

    Since it sounds like you are not from the Silicon Valley, I will mention in the Sixties and earlier, this area was highly prized agricultural land, mostly focused on fruit orchards: peaches, apricots, plums, cherries, etc. The landscape architecture plans of Campus 2 include planting some fruit trees as a tribute to the valley's rich agricultural heritage.

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

     

    Pruneridge Ave. was the name of the street they removed. It appears the tunnel will be constructed by digging a pit and covering it. Wait until the next report to see whether Pruneridge returns or whether the tunnel is simply covered with trees and native plants.

     

    I am amazed to see how much dirt they've dug up. Cupertino now has a new Mt. Apple to put on the map.




    Pruneridge Avenue will not return to the Apple Campus 2. It's gone.

     

    http://www.mercurynews.com/sunnyvale/ci_25427880/cupertino-pruneridge-avenue-nears-end-road-permanent-closure

  • Reply 14 of 37
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,355member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Stourque View Post



    Is this the largest construction project in the U.S. right now?



    I'd be shocked if it were.

     

    Both Dulles and O'Hare airports had/have construction projects going on. If the state ever moves forward, California High Speed Rail will be one of the top.

     

    Heck, even locally, in terms of manpower/man-hours, the Warm Springs BART extension may be a larger project than Campus 2. From a legal standpoint, BART has to deal with multiple governments for the Warm Springs extension. That complicates things more than Apple just dealing with the City of Cupertino.

     

    While the Campus 2 site is big, it's still just a private office building. It's not a public space like an airport and thus is exempt from many of the building code requirements enforced on such places.

     

    Transit infrastructure projects tend to be massive, but most people don't recognize them as such because they fixate on a small segment of the construction like a new rail line or utility building by their house, plus the work goes on for years.

     

    The recently completed new eastern span of the Bay Bridge was a larger project than Campus 2. Technically, the Bay Bridge public works project is not over, even if the new span was completed in September 2013 (before the Campus 2 ground breaking). The old cantilever east span is being deconstructed right now (Phase I) roughly in the same but reverse manner in which it was constructed, with the removal of five truss spans (Phase II) and the underwater foundations to conclude (Phase III).

     

    Airport modernization projects also tend to get short shrift since a lot of times the new construction replaces existing construction and people ignore things like rearranging roads, freeway exits, access ramps, subway stations, etc.

     

    It's easy to see a new housing development + golf course go up on previous farm land. 

  • Reply 15 of 37
    stourque wrote: »
    Is this the largest construction project in the U.S. right now?

    Manhattan's Hudson Yards project claims to be the largest real estate project in the U.S. right now:
    http://www.hudsonyardsnewyork.com/
  • Reply 16 of 37
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,355member

    Yeah, that's more like what I expected for a large construction project. 

     

    Pretty impressive for USA standards, yet puny compared to these Chinese projects.

  • Reply 17 of 37
    Cool vid.

    Like the music.
  • Reply 18 of 37
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,355member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RalphMouth View Post

     

    I'm surprised Apple went with a standard ugly concrete parking garage instead of some of the high tech underground automated parking structures that you often see in Europe and Asia. It would make the area look much nicer.




    The Campus 2 documents state that site parking is a combination of above-ground and below-ground spaces.

     

    As in many contemporary urban developments, the parking structure partially acts as a sound wall.

  • Reply 19 of 37
    Thanks for the video updates, DED.

    ralphmouth wrote: »
    I'm surprised Apple went with a standard ugly concrete parking garage instead of some of the high tech underground automated parking structures that you often see in Europe and Asia. It would make the area look much nicer.

    Do you have any examples? The only ones I can think of are done when space is at a premium, and they are slow and complicated.
  • Reply 20 of 37
    stourque wrote: »
    Is this the largest construction project in the U.S. right now?

    Not even close.

    Never mind the square footage of this area, the sheer size of the Viaduct Project in Downtown Seattle dwarfs this by a long shot.

    This is the most amazing use of space and design.

    Yet, of it's roughly 3.7 million square feet of office space, Amazon is adding 4 million square feet of office space, off of Lake Union, Seattle, just off the new Viaduct.

    And that's one of dozens of projects in Seattle.

    http://www.downtownseattle.com/resources/development-and-construction-projects-map/

    Road construction wise the State of Washington is rebuilding I-90 from Snoqualmie Pass to Easton, WA.

    http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/I90/SnoqualmiePassEast/

    The 520 corridor project is another huge one.

    http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR520Bridge/

    Then there is the highspeed Rail from Vancouver BC to Eugene Oregon.

    http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Funding/stimulus/passengerrail.htm

    Lots of projects up here in Washington State, and tens of billions more to be spent on other projects long overdue.
Sign In or Register to comment.