It’s been nearly a year since the nominal completion of tech monolith Apple’s $5 billion, \ Norman Foster-designed, spaceship-like headquarters in Cupertino, with its acres of solar panels, cornucopia of parking spaces, and potentially hazardous glass walls.
It’s also been nearly a year since Curbed SF checked in on the facility’s progress via South Bay videographer Matthew Roberts’ regular aerial overviews with his drones; Roberts spent over a year charting the progress of the building in construction on his YouTube channel.
In his most recent upload on Monday, an old time’s sake-style flyby revealed that the extensive (and expensive) landscaping in and around Foster’s ring now looks downright pristine and manicured, finally lending Apple Park the park-like atmosphere that it sought.
Reportedly, some 9,000 trees dot the campus. So many, in fact, that the company’s purchases might have caused a brief tree shortage for similar projects last year, although that may or may not have been a slight exaggeration at the time. Notice that many of the rows of saplings have some growing yet to do before they (and thus the building) reach their full potential.
In 2017, Apple arborist David Muffly told Apple Insider that late Apple founder Steve Jobs wanted the new HQ’s outdoor element to “recreate the local landscape before it became the modern-day Silicon Valley.”
In the case of this particular Cupertino site that would technically mean becoming an apricot orchard. The company has indeed planted a number of fruit-bearing trees in and around the ring.
Truth be known, however, the completed structure looks a tad too immaculate and poised to really recall the Silicon Valley of pre-silicon days, any more than Disneyland’s Main Street really resembles a latter-day small-town USA. Abiding artificiality, right down to the perfect circle lake, is the keynote.
Of course, it is a technology company, and the building must facilitate business above all else, so maybe no other approach would really have worked. Here’s a more detailed look at the facility: