Apple Inc Campus 2, Phase 2 plans R&D facilities big enough to design a car

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 2015
Apple is moving forward with advanced plans for Phase 2 of its ambitious Campus 2 project, including testing workshops and research and development facilities with enough room to develop and test new products the size of an automobile.

Apple Campus 2 Phase 2
Apple Campus 2 Phase 2, take 2


Apple Campus 2 is just beginning to rise, but a modified Phase 2 development envisions additional buildings on the site, echoing the clean, simple lines and glass walls of the central "Spaceship" Ring.

Tantau gets a Phase-lift

Viewed from above, a series of sleek, white rectangular buildings--housing an additional 2,200 employees--are planned on 16 acres at the southeast corner of the Campus 2 site along North Tantau Avenue where it intersects with the 280 freeway, east of the large main parking structures now under construction. Campus 2's Phase 2 R&D and testing facilities were realigned last fall, likely in order to address an evolving strategy involving much larger products than Apple has ever designed and built before

Originally, this secondary development was portrayed as ten square buildings on either side of Tantau, along with one larger rectangular building (as depicted below).

Apple's revamped plans for Phase 2 merge these boxes together into fewer, larger office buildings, with a dedicated parking structure that also incorporates racks of servers in an on-site data center.

The timing of this Phase 2 redesign correlates with Apple's reported moves to focus on development of an automotive product. AppleInsider outlined the company's automotive industry inclinations back in 2012, but recent mainstream media reports that suggest the company plans to develop an entire vehicle are relatively new.

That indicates that Campus 2's Phase 2 R&D and testing facilities were realigned last fall, likely in order to address an evolving strategy involving much larger products than Apple has ever designed and built before, whether a car or vehicle information systems the company would be testing within vehicles.

previous Phase 2
Previously, Phase 2 outlined plans for ten separate square buildings

New R&D office includes EV parking in underground garage

The largest building in the Phase 2 cluster is a four story, 300,000 square foot office building (below) devoted to research and development, featuring expansive curtain walls of glass that provide unobstructed views of the surrounding landscaping.

Apple Campus 2 Phase 2


Apple Campus 2 Phase 2


The main Phase 2 building includes one level of 280 underground parking spaces--including facilities for electric vehicles--with limited additional parking on the surface, making room for plenty of bicycle parking and open landscaping.

Apple may intend to use these new buildings to develop an electric vehicle--potentially even a self driving car--but the Phase 2 R&D campus expansion itself is designed to encourage employees' transit use, ride sharing and bicycle commuting, a significant shift from the previous car-centric suburban sprawl it replaces.

The Phase 2 site's former 103,000 square feet of office space at Ridgeview Court 1 (below) was demolished over the past month. Expansive surface parking lots previously covered most of the open land surrounding the buildings.

Ridgeview Court 1 in Apple Maps Flyover


Over the past year, Apple used part of the former parking lot to build a mockup prototype section of the Ring for testing.

That temporary structure was also removed over the winter, leaving a bare lot on a island of land separated from the rest of the Campus 2 site by Calabazas Creek.

The main Phase 2 building will also include a kitchen, espresso bar and dining facilities overlooking a landscaped outdoor seating area along the creek. The southern boundary will feature an acoustic wall to help shield the site from freeway traffic noise.

The street side of the building will be partially obscured by new trees (below), while the secure and private inner side will be surrounded by landscaping.




Planning documents indicate that the site's secured, secluded and serene location are key elements in its design as an R&D facility, giving designers a relaxing, reflective space to develop new products and the technologies that will power them.

Car-sized testing workshop facilities

Across the street, a pair of two story testing facilities will provide 222,000 square feet of additional workshop and office space, replacing Apple's three existing buildings at the Tantau 1 and Tantau 2 locations and nearly doubling their existing 146,000 square feet of office space.

Apple Campus 2 Phase 2


In place of the surface lots, a separate five story parking structure will provide room for 620 vehicles as well as a new 32,000 square foot data center located in the basement.

Like the two much larger parking structures in Phase 1, this building will also feature a roof covered in solar panels to help offset its energy use, even prior to accounting for the separate off-site solar array the company is funding in rural Monterey County to the south.

Apple's architects presented proposed renderings of the parking structure both with and without mesh panels, both featuring a design complementing the circular main campus and reflecting the minimal, open design concept previously used in a series of new Apple retail stores, including the company's nearby Stanford store.







A third office building to the north of the creek will contribute another 84.000 square feet of space in a smaller two story structure of a similar design, at the location of existing Apple buildings at Tantau 3.

The sites on Tantau border a residential neighborhood, separated by a wall and trees. The public Jenny Strand Park to the east, featuring a large open field and tennis courts, will be accessible from the Phase 2 buildings via a passageway.




The new buildings will be stitched together by a boardwalk and landscaping featuring a variety of redwood, oak and other deciduous trees paired with sustainable ground cover designed to require minimal irrigation.

The R&D, testing workshop facilities and server data center of Phase 2 will complement the 2.8-million-square-foot "Spaceship" Ring designed to accomodate 12,000 employees, along with a fitness center, auditorium, transit center and other amenities.



AppleInsider presented an exclusive video overview (above) of construction progress in our recent February Campus 2 report.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 76
    Any car design studio would have a lot of enclosed space. Car photographers are [I]very[/I] good at getting shots of models in development, I hope Apple's prepared for that.
  • Reply 2 of 76
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,429member

    Just because the space is big enough for designing a car doesn't automatically mean they will be designing a car.

  • Reply 3 of 76
    Not really a fan of this other building. It looks plain in comparison to the torus.
  • Reply 4 of 76
    Well, looks like AI has some news feed fodder to keep em busy for the next 6 years. Now every little tidbit of news will be reverse engineered to buttress any and all iCar rumors.

    New building? Must be for a car. New bathroom? Must be for extra car engineers. Apple just repaved their driveways; must be for the iCar!
  • Reply 5 of 76
    What can't be designed in that building? How big was the building that designed Apple Campus 2?
  • Reply 6 of 76
    solipsismy wrote: »
    What can't be designed in that building? How big was the building that designed Apple Campus 2?

    I think it might be a bit small for a space cruiser.

    Confirmed: Apple is not building the USS Enterprise.
  • Reply 7 of 76
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    They were talking about this on CNBC this morning with their Autos expert confirming that his sources say Apple is doing something in the automotive field. His thinking was Apple developing the software for existing vehicles. I could maybe see that happening if they partnered with Tesla. But what other auto manufacturer is going to give Apple complete control over their dashboard? And unless Apple has complete control we just have another CarPlay bandaid solution. I'm very skeptical that the likes of Honda, Toyota, BMW, Audi, VW, etc. are going to hand over their dashboard to Apple.
  • Reply 8 of 76
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,901member
    This would be a total of about 600,000 square feet of R&D labs. That's quite a lot.

    If they were to do a car in there, it wouldn't be a problem. The size of those buildings show that there would be plenty of interior space that could be shielded from the outside by walls. So no problem there.

    I like the buildings.
  • Reply 9 of 76
    I think it might be a bit small for a space cruiser.

    Confirmed: Apple is not building the USS Enterprise.

    You don't think that building can house enough people to design the USS Enterprise? We're not talking about building, but specifically designing?
  • Reply 10 of 76
    All this speculation about a car is ridiculous. It's far more likely that Apple is using its vans for map data and that if it's working on anything for a car it's more likely to be infotainment control systems similar to QNX or Android Auto.

    A full blown car is even less likely than a full blown TV that you rumor mongers have been blathering about for four years and we all know how that's been turning out.
  • Reply 11 of 76
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,613member

    I love those street level mock-ups. They are getting so real and yet remain so utterly fake. Something very 'model railway' about them :)

  • Reply 12 of 76
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,489member

    The torus is to contain a circular racetrack.

  • Reply 13 of 76
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,179member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post



    Any car design studio would have a lot of enclosed space. Car photographers are very good at getting shots of models in development, I hope Apple's prepared for that.

     

    I think Apple knows one or two things about secrecy. 

  • Reply 14 of 76
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,901member
    rogifan wrote: »
    They were talking about this on CNBC this morning with their Autos expert confirming that his sources say Apple is doing something in the automotive field. His thinking was Apple developing the software for existing vehicles. I could maybe see that happening if they partnered with Tesla. But what other auto manufacturer is going to give Apple complete control over their dashboard? And unless Apple has complete control we just have another CarPlay bandaid solution. I'm very skeptical that the likes of Honda, Toyota, BMW, Audi, VW, etc. are going to hand over their dashboard to Apple.

    While I'm not saying that they would do a car, we can look to Apple's size, and what they might need to do next to gather a serious amount of growth for the future.

    QNX right now, has about half of the auto makers using it. Linux is making a big move though. Nevertheless, the amount of money QNX is bringing into Blackberry is estimated to be no more than $60 million a year. So there's no big money there. With Apple putting CarPlay on top of QNX, or Linux, there's no real money there either. So it's a matter of selling content or subscriptions the way Sirius does now. But even if they do that, how much will that bring? Well, very little, considering, again, Apple's size.

    The fact is, they have to do something big to increase their size outside of their current product lines. Even if the watch does very well, we're talking about an incremental $10 billion, or so, over the next couple of years, yearly. Even that won't move the needle much. A new ATv with significant content upgrades? That will help, but again, it's just a few billion a year.

    But a car is big bucks. If Apple does what it does everywhere else in hardware, they would charge more than the average price, but not a very high price. So maybe averaging $45,000 for a car upgraded with all the performance and trim kits, with a low end price model of possibly $35,000, and a high price model of about $45,000, both before upgrades. That would put the cars above the average price, but not at an outrageous point. We need to remember that Apple's products are always affordable to the middle class. Not always easily affordable to the lower portion of the middle class, but affordable anyway.

    So, going with an average price, with trim, etc., the car could cost about $40,000. Sell a modest 100,000 a year, and that's $4 billion. If Apple could manage to make them popular, but still well below the majors, and sell 500,000 a year, we're now talking a good $20 billion a year. Now, that's a number Apple would be interested in!

    I read, yesterday, that the automotive industry, worldwide, sells 80 million cars a year, at a total of $2 trillion, and that the car industry just in the USA sold about $500 billion. As Cook has said, Apple likes getting into industries that are big, so that Apple has room to grow. This industry is big. If Apple could just sell 1% of the cars worldwide, that's 800,000 cars, at my assumed $40,000 average, which would be $32 billion a year. That would move the needle. And if they could just sell 2%, well, that's really big bucks at $64 billion a year.

    Again, not saying that I be.ieve Apple is definately doing this, but I do believe that they are at least investigating it. They would be crazy not to.
  • Reply 15 of 76
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,901member
    All this speculation about a car is ridiculous. It's far more likely that Apple is using its vans for map data and that if it's working on anything for a car it's more likely to be infotainment control systems similar to QNX or Android Auto.

    A full blown car is even less likely than a full blown TV that you rumor mongers have been blathering about for four years and we all know how that's been turning out.

    While speculation, publicly, began with the vans, it's pretty obvious that these vans are not specifically Apple's attempts at auto research. Though it's always possible that Apple is using them for a dual purpose. I do believe that it's mostly for a street level view, similar to what Google is doing. But that doesn't mean that Apple doesn't also have software and hardware in there as research tools for autonomous driving as well. It doesn't mean that there is no driver, as some have speculated. I think that wouldn't be allowed at this stage, even if Apple already developed the software.

    But it does seem that whenever someone definitely states that Apple won't be doing something, it turns out that they are, so I wouldn't be so dead set against the idea.
  • Reply 16 of 76
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,925member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post





    I think it might be a bit small for a space cruiser.



    Confirmed: Apple is not building the USS Enterprise.

    How do you know that? Maybe this talk of a car is just a diversion. I hereby start the rumor that they are really developing an interstellar space vehicle and it will include Starship Play.

  • Reply 17 of 76
    irelandireland Posts: 17,671member
    Anyone else think the name Apple Campus 2 is a terribly underwhelming name for one of the coolest buildings ever to be built?

    The Eiffel Tower
    The Empire State Building
    Campus 2 ?
  • Reply 18 of 76
    rogifan wrote: »
    They were talking about this on CNBC this morning with their Autos expert confirming that his sources say Apple is doing something in the automotive field. His thinking was Apple developing the software for existing vehicles. I could maybe see that happening if they partnered with Tesla. But what other auto manufacturer is going to give Apple complete control over their dashboard? And unless Apple has complete control we just have another CarPlay bandaid solution. I'm very skeptical that the likes of Honda, Toyota, BMW, Audi, VW, etc. are going to hand over their dashboard to Apple.

    According to Phillip Elmer DeWitt, Phil Schiller's sworn testimony in court previously revealed that Apple has been investigating and working on car solutions for probably seven years already. In other words, this is a bunch of noise and it'll be nothing until it's something.
  • Reply 19 of 76
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,613member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

     

    The torus is to contain a circular racetrack.




    It's true - but only in the basement. There are other tracks on the other floors. Apple is entering Formula E - http://www.fiaformulae.com

  • Reply 20 of 76
    No car. In-dash hardware and software.
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