Apple campus 2.0: not your average office building

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Christian Berger , Staff Writer

Have you ever wondered where the idea of your iPhone or iPad was conjured up? The construction of Apple’s new campus in Cupertino is now fully underway, and some have gained an exclusive look into what’s going on behind closed doors.

At first, the fence at the intersection of the town’s Homestead and North Tantau Avenues appears to be just another booming South Bay development project. Little did some people know, however, that this would be one of the most important building projects in technology history.

Apple Campus 2, shaped like a gigantic ring, is said to spread across 2.8 million square feet between its 4 floors and encompass 176 acres in the heart of Cupertino. It will house over 12,000 employees and an environmentally-friendly complex with 7,000 trees. The $5 billion project is scheduled for completion in late 2016.

One person itching to get a sneak peek was Jason McMinn, a San Francisco-based software developer and founder of LocusLabs. McMinn flew his DJI Phantom drone, with a GoPro camera attached, 400 feet straight up into the sky. The result was a full birds-eye view of the massive construction site, which had been separated from the outside world for what seemed like forever.

“I’ve been watching it all unfold since the beginning,” McMinn said, noting that the late Steve Jobs introduced this campus plan in 2006. “I’m a huge Apple fan.”

Of course, there are several regulations that would seem to restrict such an activity. McMinn kept the drone under 400 feet in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration laws, and he avoided airport no-fly zones. Also, any airspace above 83 feet is no longer private property, which means hobbyists are allowed to fly drones almost anywhere, provided they follow the aforementioned FAA regulations.

The fenced-off construction site makes it difficult for anyone to get a ground-level view of Apple Campus 2’s progress. McMinn posted the flyover video on YouTube hoping to satisfy people’s curiosity, and he did just that: it received over 1.3 million views and 500 comments within six days.