Why Apple’s new HQ is nothing like the rest of Silicon Valley

“‘I think we have a shot at building the best office building in the world’ were the words Steve Jobs used to describe Apple’s new headquarters in 2011,” Jennifer Magnolfi writes for Harvard Business Review. “The grand vision at the heart of his last project is now being unveiled as Apple finalizes construction on Apple Park. Wired called the facility ‘insanely great (or just insane),’ and in many ways it is exactly that.”

“The sheer magnitude of Apple’s new headquarters sets it apart from any other technology workspace on the West Coast. Instead of many buildings spread across a campus, the site features one master circular structure (2.8 million square feet) called the Ring, designed to house 12,000 employees,” Magnolfi writes. “To get a sense of its scale, the Ring’s internal courtyard is wider than St. Peter’s Square in Rome. Its external wall would surround the Pentagon.) The four-story glass building designed by Norman Foster seamlessly integrates a long and diverse list of technical achievements — from the enormous solar panel array on the roof to hidden cable management mechanisms at the workstations — all according to Jobs’s uncompromising design standards.”

Apple Park with overlay of the U.S. Pentagon
Apple Park with overlay of the U.S. Pentagon

“As someone who studies the design of high-tech workspaces, I am drawn to ask a more fundamental question: Why is Apple heading in such a different direction than most of its Valley peers? In other words, what is this project really about?” Magnolfi writes. “The answer starts, as in all things Apple, with Steve Jobs.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s a round peg in a square hole. It’s one infinite loop.

Insane? Well, then, here’s to the crazy ones. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

I want to leave a signature campus that expresses the values of the company for generations. — Steve Jobs


  1. All other HQs are occupied and fully functional whereas Apple’s “new” HQ is still incomplete, behind schedule, not fully occupied, and not running at maximum capacity. Apple’s HQ is a monument to Tim Cook’s incompetence and failure.

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