The Bizarre & Fascinating Details Behind Apple’s New ‘Spaceship’ Headquarters

The construction of Apple’s new headquarters has been covered with breathless anticipation (reminding all of us just how important Apple is to modern society). But amidst the puff pieces about the company’s newest location and awe-struck observations about the its near-infinite financial supply, some very strange facts have come out about the place.

As Apple’s new ‘spaceship’ inches ever closer to opening, here’s what we know about the tech giant’s new monument to itself:

It Might Be Built Partially Out Of Spite

To start with, the whole thing might be the most expensive spite building in history. In 2010, it was revealed that part of the land for the new construction had been bought from the company’s longtime bitter rival, Hewlett-Packard, which was consolidating in Palo Alto at the time. Sure, it could be a complete coincidence, but remember that Steve Jobs was known to hold grudges.

It Has 11,000 Parking Space. Also, It May Not Have Enough Parking.

Apple has claimed their new headquarters is the greenest building in the world, but getting there? Not so much. Thanks in part to the requirements of the city of Cupertino, Apple’s spaceship has 11,000 parking spots. That might not be enough, either, as Apple expects the facility to be the workplace of more than 14,000 people. Hey, with three people to a car, that only means arranging a thousand carpools a day. There should be an app. Or they could make use of the 2,000 bike spaces Apple also installed.

Apple’s Landscaping Caused A Tree Shortage

Apple has ambitious plans to make their new building net-energy zero — that is: reducing or otherwise offsetting the carbon it creates. That involves, among other things, planting a forest’s worth of trees to go along with the 700,000 solar panels on the building. We’re not kidding about that: The campus is two-thirds the size of the Pentagon and Apple’s goal is to have 80% of that be greenery. In fact, Apple bought so many trees they caused a tree shortage in the San Francisco area as architects and landscapers scrambled to find new sources to meet their project deadlines.

Hey, when you have billions to spend, you can buy a private forest.

It Will Have The Most Advanced, And Secret, Toilets In The World

Apple has spent a lot of money on custom fixtures — everything from door handles to elevator buttons have been custom-designed. And that includes the toilets, which German de la Torre, one of the architects on the project, has compared to an iPhone in its construction. So, if for some reason you’ve ever wondered what the Apple Toilet would be like, all you need to do is walk into their lobby and ask to use the bathroom.

It Won’t Have Air Conditioning Unless You Absolutely Need It

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Apple doesn’t want to pay the HVAC bills that come with running a complex so huge (plus that’s a huge energy output). Instead the company designed the building so it gets natural ventilation instead of running the air conditioning. Hopefully, the Apple dress code allows for tank tops and shorts if there’s a heat wave.

Apple Spent Months Trying To Kill The Threshold

Apple has been working on building this campus since 2011 and it was ambitious right from the start. Since the building is a circle, that means every exterior window is a carefully curved piece of glass.

But that’s not the only fussy detail. According to Reuters, apple didn’t want anything to do with thresholds:

One of the most vexing features was the doorways, which Apple wanted to be perfectly flat, with no threshold. The construction team pushed back, but Apple held firm.

Nor is this the only bizarre detail from the Reuters piece. One fire marshal for the city of Cupertino reportedly spent months arguing with Apple over its minimalist signage, which was apparently so abstract that city authorities were worried it’d be impossible for some people to read.

Is the building worth it? We’ll find out soon enough. And considering how closely the tech media has been following its construction, here’s hoping we get a virtual tour soon.