Aerial video shows Apple’s ‘spaceship’ HQ nearly complete

Apple’s striking “spaceship” campus in Cupertino is now only six months away from completion, with the latest flyover video offering dramatic shots of the main donut-shaped building as well as other parts of the complex such as the eye-catching entrance to the underground auditorium and a view of the research and development buildings.

Using a DJI Phantom 3 Professional quadcopter, drone enthusiast Matthew Roberts has been offering monthly updates as the massive construction project nears its conclusion. According to his latest video, serious progress has been made with the huge solar panels on the roof of the main building. It’s estimated that once up and running, the panels will be able to take care of around 75 percent of the building’s energy needs during peak time. Work is also well underway on fitting the building’s 3,000 floor-to-ceiling glass panels, as well as the canopies to help shield staff from the California sun.

We also get to see the auditorium lobby now fitted with the world’s biggest carbon-fiber roof. The auditorium itself, which has around 1,000 seats, is underground, which explains the piles of geofoam nearby. The material will be used beneath the mud landscaping above the auditorium, with its light weight helping to ease the pressure on the cavernous space beneath.

The large research and development facility looks almost ready, a place where Jony Ive and his team will be endeavoring to cook up Apple’s next big thing, or simply bashing out ideas for tweaks to future iterations of the iPhone.

Roberts also gives us a decent view of the 100,000-square-foot fitness center, as well as the parking areas, described as “95 percent complete” and which also feature solar panel roofs.

The campus covers about 176 acres and will incorporate office space across four floors. The structure, which’ll be home to some 14,000 Apple employees when it opens toward the end of this year or early next, is the work of the acclaimed British architect Norman Foster, though the project was the long-time ambition of Steve Jobs, who helped develop the plan until his death in 2011.

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