A video uploaded to YouTube in August offers the first bird’s eye view of construction or « the spaceship », Apple’s new Cupertino campus in Northern California. The drone operator (jmcminn) filmed the campus using a DJI Phantom 2 equipped with a GoPro Hero 3+ Black edition. The drone was flown under 400 feet, picking up details of the extraordinary donut-shaped complex designed by British architect Sir Norman Foster.
Steve Jobs chose Foster and met with him often in the two years before his death in 2011. In fact, Jobs presented Foster’s plans to the Cupertino City Council in what turned out to be his last public appearance. His words to the council? « We have a shot at building the best office building in the world. I really do think that architecture students will come here to see it. «
The cost of the project is estimated to have ballooned from $3 to $5 billion, which if true, would eclipse New York’s World Trade Center complex. Jobs insisted upon quality of materials typical of an Apple computer rather than standard building materials, using back-painted glass and curved metal and glass reminiscent of Apple’s first-class design. Almost three million sq. ft. of built area will provide earthquake-proof office space for 13,000 employees. Details include a1000-seat underground auditorium with secret passage access for Apple’s leaders, an on-site power plant, multiple cafés and restaurants and underground parking to eliminate cars from view. Inspired by Stanford University’s Main Quad, Jobs is said to have requested a design that would bring back the landscape of his childhood. Over 7000 indigenous trees will be planted, and the campus will become a working farm producing cherries, apples and apricots.
Some of the excavation for these features can be seen in the uploaded video, as well as the general circular shape of the structure and courtyard, walls for gardens and patios, and the overall scale of the high tech campus, which dwarves surrounding structures.
images courtesy city of cupertino