If you've been following the development of Apple Campus 2—the so-called Spaceship HQ—you may have been wondering if you'd get to see it yourself. Turns out you will, because Apple is building a full blown visitor center, complete with an Apple Store, a cafe, and an observation deck overlooking the main building.
Silicon Valley Business Journal (SVBJ) uncovered plans for the visitor center buried in documents filed with the City of Cupertino in April. Those plans describe a building with glass walls and a carbon fiber roof with large skylights.
Apple Campus 2 Visitor Center elevation filed with Cupertino
SVBJ noted that the screen behind observations on the roof is designed to protect the privacy of neighboring residents
The ground floor of the center will contain a 2,386-square-foot cafe, plus a 10,114-square-foot store. It's unclear if this will be a normal Apple Store, or something more akin to the Company Store at Apple's current campus that sells Apple-branded clothes and other merchandise, as well as some devices. The Company Store shut its doors for renovation in June, and is scheduled to reopen sometime this fall.
If it is a full-blown Apple Store, it will be Cupertino's first. The documents said the store would allow "visitors to view and purchase the newest Apple products," so it seems a safe bet. Members of the City Council have long asked Apple to open such a Store in the city, lamenting that all of its neighboring cities had one, while Apple's own hometown didn't.
The roof the visitor center at the new campus will be home to the observation deck, which will be accessible by both elevator and stair. Some 684 parking spaces will be available below-ground, with elevators leading up to the visitor center.
Rendering of Apple Campus 2 Visitor Center
According to the documents filed with Cupertino, the visitor center will, "create a public face of the Apple Campus 2 that reflects Apple’s business and design practices, and allows for a long-term presence in Cupertino."
Which sounds like code for a place where people can view the destination architecture without bothering Apple employees or poking their noses into the real work being done inside the structure.
Which, if you think about it, is very smart. The entire world has been watching this project since Steve Jobs officially presented Cupertino with plans for the project. Apple itself considers the building destination architecture—something that should be seen, that serves as art, and becomes a destination in and of itself.
Creating a place where the public can look, but not touch, and participate without getting in the way, is exactly the right move.
The Silicon Valley Business Journal published additional images from Apple's filing.