Located across the street from the spectacular new mother ship (known as the Ring Building), which houses Apple employees in a groundbreaking new circular glass building, the new Apple Park Visitor Center attempts to bring non-Applers some of the glitz and excitement. The center features the all-glass walls of the main campus and consists of an Apple store, an exhibition hall with a 11,000-pound programmed scale model of the new campus along with iPads that allow you to view it in augmented reality, an upscale cafe with Illy espresso drinks and fine chocolates (the limited menu is on an iPad Mini), and a rooftop observation deck that looks out to the campus. The visitor center--which is the only place where you can buy Apple-branded paraphernalia like T-shirts and notebooks--is fronted by a mature olive grove.
|iPads allow viewing augmented reality at Apple Park Visitor Center
in Cupertino, California
|cafe at Apple Park Visitor Center in Cupertino, California
|Apple store at Apple Park Visitor Center in Cupertino, California
The 2.8 million-square-foot Apple Park campus itself is bounded by N. Wolfe Road, E. Homestead Road, N. Tantau Avenue, and Highway 280. It has the largest footprint of any building in the world. It houses 13,000 employees, and walls are 45-foot-tall curved safety glass. The outdoors center of the circle features 175-acres of woodlands, drought-tolerant plants, and fruit trees (including 13 varieties of apple trees) and is described by an employee as “everywhere you look is greenery.” And it really does have an other-worldly presence resembling a space ship.
|Apple Park campus seen from Apple Park Visitor Center in Cupertino, California
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images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers