Facade engineering for Apple’s ambitious new headquarters in California.

The desire for the most advanced office building in the world houses 12,000 employees on one site with ancillary performance space, parking, a fitness centre and an outstanding landscape. The overall area of the main building is in excess of two million square feet with a construction budget of approximately $5bn, making this one of the largest building construction projects in the world. A significant feature of the building is the envelope.

The 800 glazing panels are amongst the largest that can be fabricated in the world today, 14m (46’) long and 3.2m (11’) high, which are incorporated into defining the building’s radial geometry. Spanning vertically between the slabs, and defining the floor to ceiling heights, neither mullions nor supporting structure are needed.

Vertical joints between the panels are located in front of the columns and are therefore obscured when viewing the landscape from within. In this manner, the sheer size of the glass avoids connection details and maximizes transparency. Feature glass canopies at each floor provide shading around the building negating the need for additional methods to limit solar gain into the building.

As the Client’s Representative for all elements of the building envelope, we developed the facade concept with the design team, all glazing details with the architect, and our expertise during the construction phase of the project has managed the procurement and fabrication of the large quantities of glass to the exacting quality required for the project.

Cupertino, CA


Foster + Partners