Apple fans and architecture buffs can now sneak a peek at Apple’s massive spaceship campus at the new Apple Park Visitor Center, which opened Friday. As with all the campus buildings and Apple’s new stores, Foster + Partners led the design effort at the new Visitor Center. The building is is wrapped in a transparent envelope set beneath an incredibly thin floating carbon-fiber roof. The combination of glass and carbon fiber is becoming a hallmark of Apple’s architecture – these materials are also used in the Steve Jobs Theater, which boasts the world’s largest carbon-fiber roof.
Set within an olive grove and positioned for sweeping views of Apple Park, the 20,135-square-foot Visitor Center comprises an Apple Store, cafe, Apple Park exhibition area, and a roof terrace. A model of Apple Park that illustrates the massive scale of the 175-acre campus, as well as the undulating artificial landscape, first greets visitors. The full-height glazing and floating roof makes the building appear weightless and blurs the line between indoors and out.
The furnishings and materials mimic those at Apple Park to give visitors a taste of the main building. The Visitor Center’s small cafe echoes the campus’ restaurant in the timber furnishings and marble countertops. The staircases are also clad in the same quartz stone used in the main building. “The idea was to create a delicate pavilion where visitors can enjoy the same material palette and meticulous detailing seen in the Ring Building in a relaxed setting, against the backdrop of Apple Park,” said Stefan Behling, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners.
Images via Nigel Young / Foster + Partners