Apple’s futuristic new campus, Apple Park is set to launch next month. We look at the key themes behind their new headquarters.

When it comes to Apple you can’t help but think of innovation. They’re the company that brought music into our pockets with the iPod and catapulted the smartphone market into maturity with the iPhone 3G. They’ve had an influential impact on every section of the technology world, and now with the development of Apple Park, they’ve turned their sights to office design and construction.

While we’re not predicting the launch of an iOffice Design anytime soon, we’re certainly impressed with the design language and employee wellbeing that they’re putting at the core of their new campus. We say campus, because Apple Park has been designed around the same ethos as a university campus; facilitating a multitude of work environments (code developers, marketers, industrial designers and tech-heads all under one roof) with different space requirements, and a solid focus on innovation.

Let's take a look at the core office design themes from their fit out that can be scaled to suit any office size or budget.

Image © Apple

Biophilia

To compliment the ultra-modern finish, Apple is using maple finishes throughout the fit out. This provides an element of depth and warmth to any workplace, as it allows staff to feel more 'grounded' and at ease with their surroundings. Coupled with floor-to-ceiling windows with views looking out over the 20 acre property, Apple should be able to seamlessly blend the outdoors with a mostly ultra-modern interior. If we look at Apple retail stores, they’re famous for having large indoor trees that compliment their iconinc wooden worktops, yet contrast the refined metalic finishes, polished concrete and square glass cubes. Apple is also planting upwards of 3,000 native Californian species of trees and providing over two miles of running tracks and usable outdoor space for staff. 

Activity based working

Apple has also strategically designed the workplace layout proximity both horizontally and vertically across its four floors. This allows them to place teams that need to intensely collaborate close together, but also place them in close proximity with teams that would be otherwise removed from their day-to-day workflow; facilitating spontaneous encounters across the wider business. Just remember in university when you’d move from a geography lecture and pass your pals leaving economics down the hall.

The entire campus will be secured to allow employees to really embrace activity-based working; from traditional desk-based working, to productive meetings in the large four-story on-site café, and even outside in the acres of green space provided. I mean, why wouldn’t you soak up the Californian sun as often as you can!

While most employers don’t have the workforce or resources of Apple to spend on their fit out, the core takeaway here with university-style workplaces is providing facilities for your staff to engage with each other and also somewhere where they want to spend their downtime. There's no need to go off-site to grab a bite to eat, walk through a park or even fit in a lunchtime workout. 

Image © Apple

Destination workplace

On a smaller scale, this translates into a destination workplace, which can be scaled to suit both large and small office spaces. This is focused on turning your workplace into a destination where your employees look forward to coming and want to be every day. It draws them in, because it facilitates more than just sitting at a desk from 9-5pm. While you don’t need to have a 100,000 sq ft fitness centre like Apple (which is roughly three times the size of your local supermarket!), you can have on-site fitness facilities or even host weekly yoga sessions in larger meeting rooms to help with wellbeing. Even having staff showers and bike parking help support the different active lifestyles of your workforce. Apple is confirmed to have in excess of 13,000 staff parking spaces, so we can only assume that they will equally support staff that also choose to ride or run into the office with cycle parking and change facilities.

The numbers we know so far...

2,800,000 sq ft site size

$5b estimated project price tag ( March 17)

3,000 trees on site

13,000 employees

1,000 seat Steve Jobs auditorium

100,000 sq ft staff fitness centre

As with any Apple product reveal, we're pretty excited to finally see inside their new 'office' once it's finally revealed later in April.