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How Apple Park Will Transform Apple—and Jony Ive

Nigel Young/Foster+Partners

As Apple Park construction ends and the iPhone maker slowly enters its new home, its design chief Jony Ive might finally feel like he’s completed a mission.

That’s one of many takeaways from a recent in-depth look by WSJ. Magazine into Ive and his work on the new Apple AAPL campus over the last several years. In the wide-ranging interview, Ive describes how he’s taken over for late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in making the Apple Park vision a reality. And he and his fellow Apple executives discuss why the new headquarters could be such an important development for both the company and future generations.

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Here’s a brief look at the highlights from the interview, and the impact Apple Park might have on the company:

  1. In an interview with the Journal, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that his company has been growing so far, it hasn’t done enough to “develop the workplace.” The new Apple Park, he said, will ensure his workforce will work the way it should to develop new products and innovation.
  2. Ive told the Journal that the 2.8 million square foot Ring building at the center of the campus isn’t as imposing as one might think—even when people are standing in the center, an area he calls “parkland.”
  3. The Apple Park’s Ring was designed like that to ensure proper light and air flow.
  4. After Jobs’ death, Ive’s role at Apple expanded to include managing the company’s hardware and software experiences. It ultimately led to “exhaustion,” sources told the Journal. Ive is fine now, and has since passed on some of his responsibilities to others.
  5. Apple hasn’t confirmed the price of constructing Apple Park, but the Journal says some estimates peg its cost at $5 billion.
  6. Ive said that Apple began plotting its new headquarters in 2004, when he and Jobs were walking through London’s Hyde Park.
  7. Apple industrial designer Marc Newson told the Journal that Ive wanted to ensure Apple Park was “built like a product, not like a piece of architecture.”
  8. At the height of construction, 6,200 workers on the site each day.
  9. Apple executives will have their offices on the fourth floor. The Mac and iPad divisions will be with software teams on the second and third levels, according to the Journal. The Ring has four levels. There’s no word on where the iPhone division might be.
  10. The Apple Park cafeteria, which has 440,000-pound glass doors, will serve 14,000 lunches each day. And Apple employees will need to pay for their lunches on campus.
  11. Most Apple employees will be subject to open seating rather than offices, and iPhones will be used to communicate, rather than desk phones.
  12. Fun fact: Ive inspired the design of the lightsaber used in Star Wars: The Force Awakens for character Kylo Ren, the film’s director J.J. Abrams told the Journal.
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