Silicon Valley simply refers to the second Apple campus being constructed in Cupertino, California as the flying spaceship. That sweeping characterization, however, bellies the fact that the structure and its construction have been following the company's fanatical obsession for details.
Reuters recently managed to round up several employees who have worked or are currently working in the design and construction of the campus. The report revealed an astonishing attention spent by the management on every minutia in the process. As a result, the previous 2016 target completion of the $5 billion edifice has been pushed to spring this year.
Apple's Quest For Perfection
The emerging narrative is that no square foot of the building is being left without scrutiny. Take the case of the door handle, for example. According to the sources interviewed, door handles have to be repeatedly sent to management for approval. Reuters claim that the matter has not been resolved after a year and a half of debate. Even how the wirings and pipes are hidden attract interest as well.
The use of wood is also purportedly governed by a 30-page tome, which contractors have to consult lest the output get unceremoniously rejected.
Clearly, Apple is pulling all the stops to ensure that the campus is perfect, seamless, and is according to how Steve Jobs envisioned it to be. For this purpose Apple has demanded that the process should reflect the way the company manufactures its electronic devices and no less.
Contractors revealed that the interior design alone has already cost a whopping $1 billion. This is probably the reason why previous reports cited that Apple's chief designer Jony Ive is also in the thick of things, overseeing construction, a prospect that was a bit trivial when the intel first surfaced.
"As with Apple's products, Jobs wanted no seam, gap or paintbrush stroke showing," a source was quoted in a Mirror report. "Every wall, floor and even ceiling is to be polished to a supernatural smoothness."
It is not surprising therefore to know how the very first general contractors Skanska USA and DPR Construction withdrew from the project even when construction already began. Apple has even engaged fire department representatives in a near standoff over the design and placement of the building's signage.
Building An Icon
It seems that Apple is not only constructing its headquarters but it is more like bent on building an icon. Considering the level of attention to details, one could even say Apple wants to build a wonder of the world and critics will surely pounce on that as hubris.
"It's like a painting that you don't want to touch," Brett Davis, regional director of the District Council 16 union for painters and related crafts, told Reuters. "It's definitely going to be something to see, if they let you in."
Once it is finished, key features that could immediately take your breath away would include the largest piece of curved glass installed in the main building. The bulk of the space will also be filled with trees, making it the greenest building in the planet according to Tim Cook.