Apple Park, better known as the “spaceship” campus for the striking, circular design of its main building, has been welcoming workers for nearly a year, though the finishing touches are still being added to some parts of the sprawling site.
During a shareholders meeting on February 13 — the first to be held at the subterranean Steve Jobs Theater inside the grounds of the campus — one of those in attendance asked Apple CEO Tim Cook when they might be able to get a tour of the famous donut-shaped headquarters in Cupertino, California.
But CEO Tim Cook was having none of it, according to Business Insider‘s Kif Leswing, who attended the meeting.
The Apple boss said the problem with offering tours around the main facility is that “we have so much confidential stuff around.”
Cook described it as “the bane of my existence to hold things confidential,” dashing the hopes of Apple fans and design nerds wishing to one day step inside for a sneak peek of the impressive ring-shaped building.
Jony Ive: ‘It’s our house’
As Leswing noted, Apple’s chief designer, Jony Ive, made similar comments in an interview toward the end of 2017. “We didn’t make Apple Park for other people,” Ive told Fast Company, adding, “It’s our house.”
The man behind many of Apple’s most successful products said that if you did gain access, you’d find different teams working together in open-plan office spaces.
“An industrial designer will be sitting next to a font designer, who will be sitting next to a sound designer, who will be sitting next to a motion graphics designer, and a haptics expert, and somebody who is used to working on three-dimensional figures that are animated, next to a user interface expert, with digital model makers and physical real-world model makers,” Ive said. If that was confidential, it’s not anymore.
Of course, there’s no reason why Apple should open up its headquarters to the general public, though perhaps the shareholder who asked Cook on Tuesday was hoping that at least investors might be offered a quick look.
The truth is, the closest regular folks will be getting to Apple Park will be via the tech company’s new Visitor Center, which includes a store, exhibition space, and cafe, as well as a view of the campus and its main building. Cook said it was built for “fans and tourists … to get them as close to the park itself,” with its roof deck offering “a nice visual.”
Another way to get a view of the campus — at least, of its exterior — is via one of the many flyover videos viewable on YouTube. Matthew Roberts has made regular visits over the last couple of years, tracking construction progress, and his latest effort, posted this month and embedded above, reveals that Apple Park is pretty much finished.