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Apple to open campus with dedicated orchard in April

Apple today confirmed that its long-awaited new campus will be open to employees starting in April this year.

More than 12,000 Apple staffers will be shipped into the ‘Apple Park’ campus over six months, with some construction still ongoing through the summer. The building, originally envisioned by late Apple founder Steve Jobs, is ring-shaped, occupying 2.8 million square feet.

In memory of Jobs, who would have turned 62 this Friday, February 24, Apple has decided to name the theatre at the Apple Park campus: ‘Steve Jobs Theater’. The 1,000-seat auditorium will open “later this year”, and could be used for future iPhone launches.

Speaking about the news, Apple CEO Tim Cook described how late Jobs’ vision lives on through the new campus:

Steve’s vision for Apple stretched far beyond his time with us. He intended Apple Park to be the home of innovation for generations to come. The workspaces and parklands are designed to inspire our team as well as benefit the environment.”

Cook continued: “We’ve achieved one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the world and the campus will run entirely on renewable energy.”

The Apple Park campus was designed in partnership with Foster + Partners (who helped design London’s Apple Store Regent Street revamp), and features 9,000 trees, a massive solar panel installation, an Apple Store, a cafe that’s open to the public, a 100,000-square-foot fitness centre for employees, and a secure R&D facility.

There are also parklands that include two miles of walking and running paths, as well as an orchard, meadow, and pond.

“Steve was exhilarated, and inspired, by the California landscape, by its light and its expansiveness,” said Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Steve Jobs. “It was his favourite setting for thought. Apple Park captures his spirit uncannily well.”

“He would have flourished, as the people of Apple surely will, on this luminously designed campus,” she added.”

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