The new Visitor Center at the Norman Foster-designed Apple campus in Cupertino, California, is now open to the public. The center serves as a gateway to the 175-acre Apple Park and its centerpiece: a mammoth, 2.8 million-square-foot headquarters building defined by its donut shape and fully transparent exterior, clad in the world’s largest panels of curved glass. The campus will also include a public café, two miles of nature trails, research facilities, a 100,000 square foot employee fitness center, and the 1,000-seat Steve Jobs Theater.
Sited within an olive grove, the Visitor Center in many ways mimics the main building, known as the Ring Building. It, too, has a fully glazed envelope; its staircases are clad with the same quartz stone; and the café countertop is made from the marble used at the main restaurant. A large-scale model of Apple Park greets visitors, who can then go up to the roof terrace to observe panoramic views of the lush campus, which features 9,000 native trees, meadows, and a pond.
Although more than 12,000 employees began occupying the Ring Building in April, it is still under construction; the Visitor Center is the first structure of the campus to be realized.