Peter Burrows at Bloomberg Businessweek has new details on the construction of the building. It may not have been an Apple product like the iPhone or the iPad, but it still got the same treatment from Jobs’ obsessive eye for detail.
Here’s a sample of Jobs’ specifications:
- Burrows says, “Jobs wanted no seam, gap, or paintbrush stroke showing.”
- He wanted everything “polished to a supernatural smoothness.”
- Wood used inside the building is to come from a specific type of maple tree, and it can only be “heartwood,” which is the wood from the center of the tree.
- It will have six-square kilometers of bent glass, which will be bent at a factory in Germany, then shipped to California. The company doing the glass had to develop new machines for making it.
- Apple will pre-build bathrooms and cubicle banks then have them driven to the office and installed. This saves time and allows the construction to be more exact.
- Jobs didn’t want concrete floors, he wanted “a stone-infused alternative such as terrazzo, buffed to a sheen normally reserved for museums and high-end residences,” says Burrows.
- Jobs also wanted the seams where walls met to be 1/32 of an inch across, whereas the standard for construction is 1/8 of inch.
- He wanted the ceiling to be polished concrete instead of sound absorbing material. Apple also has a very specific plan for the concrete ceiling. It wants to pour ceiling molds on the ground, then lift it to the ceiling, an approach that is far more expensive.
- Steve Jobs, 1996 Wired Interview | Creativity & making connections
- Steve Jobs | 1996 interview with Wired.com
On a trip to Japan in the early 1980s, Jobs asked Sony’s chairman Akio Morita why everyone in the company’s factories wore uniforms. He told Jobs that after the war, no one had any clothes, and companies like Sony had to give their workers something to wear each day. Over the years, the uniforms developed their own signatures styles, especially at companies such as Sony, and it became a way of bonding workers to the company. “I decided that I wanted that type of bonding for Apple,” Jobs recalled.
Sony, with its appreciation for style, had gotten the famous designer Issey Miyake to create its uniform. It was a jacket made of rip-stop nylon with sleeves that could unzip to make it a vest. So Jobs called Issey Miyake and asked him to design a vest for Apple, Jobs recalled, “I came back with some samples and told everyone it would great if we would all wear these vests. Oh man, did I get booed off the stage. Everybody hated the idea.”
In the process, however, he became friends with Miyake and would visit him regularly. He also came to like the idea of having a uniform for himself, both because of its daily convenience (the rationale he claimed) and its ability to convey a signature style. “So I asked Issey to make me some of his black turtlenecks that I liked, and he made me like a hundred of them.” Jobs noticed my surprise when he told this story, so he showed them stacked up in the closet. “That’s what I wear,” he said. “I have enough to last for the rest of my life.”
NEVER AIRED: Think Different “Crazy Ones” narrated by Steve Jobs INSTEAD of Richard Dreyfuss (h/t @chrissaad)
- Steve Jobs | ThinkExist.com
SAN FRANCISCO—Following the resignation of Apple founder Steve Jobs, incoming CEO Tim Cook called a meeting of shareholders and members of the press Thursday morning to announce that he envisioned printers as the company’s future. “Laser, ink-jet, double-sided, color, black-and-white—the future of technology is in printers. I am absolutely convinced of that,” Cook explained to a packed auditorium as a montage of printers and people using printers played on a screen behind him. “What is the one thing people will always need? It’s obvious: printers. Printers with fax machines attached, printers that collate and staple, perhaps a printer that makes photocopies. Anything’s possible. It’s called innovation.”