California, May 15: American multinational technology company Apple Inc has begun testing its newest and the most expensive corporate headquarters in history - The Apple Park. As many as 12,000 Apple HQ employees have moved to the new splashy edifice from the company's old HQ in Cupertino, California. The 2.8 mn square-foot circular building resembles a spaceship. The total building cost is pegged at $5 billion.
Apple Park began as an idea by former CEO Steve Jobs, who pitched the plans for the campus to the Cupertino City Council in 2011, with a completion date for 2015. Demolition on the site began in 2013, and construction delays eventually pushed back a late 2016 opening to the spring of 2017. In February, Apple officially named the campus "Apple Park."
Construction is still ongoing at the campus, with the Steve Jobs Theater expected to open sometime later in the year, and small landscaping details continuing to be worked on as more employees move into the buildings. Eyes have been on Apple Park's construction since it began, with interesting coverage including nighttime footage, aerial photography, and even a recreation of the campus in Minecraft.
Apple Park is the most lavish in a spate of glitzy new architectural projects by tech titans at a time when their businesses are booming and market valuations are soaring to new heights. Facebook and Alphabet have tapped top architects Frank Gehry and Bjarke Ingels for expansions, Amazon is building giant glass globes containing an indoor forest in Seattle, and business-software company Salesforce.com paid to put its name on a new, 61-story tower that will be the tallest building in San Francisco.
The entire campus is powered by 100% renewable energy which will be obtained from rooftop solar panels. Additionally, Apple claims that the main building is also the world’s largest naturally ventilated building, projected to require no heating or air conditioning for nine months of the year.
Apple Park will also include a visitor’s center with an Apple Store and cafe open to the public. Secure research and development facilities and the Steve Jobs Theater for Apple employees. The parklands offer two miles of walking and running paths for employees, plus an orchard, meadow and pond within the ring’s interior grounds.