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Apple’s New Spaceship HQ Building Has Glass Walls So Clear Employees Are Taking Headers

Apple's new 175-acre campus is billed as somewhat of a feat in architectural design, consisting of a ring-shaped, 2.8-million square-foot main building clad in the world's largest panels of curved glass. It is quite the sight to behold, assuming you can actually see it. And therein lies the problem—Apple employees keep crashing into the fancy glass windows, which calls into the question the safety of the design.

During its opening last year, Apple designer Jony Ive told Wired that the structure is a "statement of openness, of free movement," as opposed to Apple's culture of secrecy. "While it is a technical marvel to make glass at this scale, that's not the achievement. The achievement is to make a building where so many people can connect and collaborate and walk and talk."

What Ives didn't foresee, however, is that distracted employees who are looking down at their smartphones and reports might smack into these glass walls, as has been happening. It's not entirely clear how many such incidents have occurred, though people who are supposedly familiar with the situation told Bloomberg that this is something that has happened repeatedly since the campus opened.

We don't want to make a mountain out of a mole hill, but the situation is concerning enough to employees that some of them opted to stick Post-It notes on glass doors as markers to indicate there is a transparent barrier. Apple apparently was not real keen on that and had them removed, as pieces of yellow paper stuck to beautifully and clear windows negatively affected the aesthetics.


Image Source: Apple

Glass can be found all around at Apple Park. In one part of the campus, there is a 1,000-seat auditorium dubbed Steve Jobs Theater that is a 20-foot tall glass cylinder. It measures 165 feet in diameter and supports a metallic carbon fiber roof. It sits atop a hill at one of the highest points within Apple Park.

"Steve’s vision for Apple stretched far beyond his time with us. He intended Apple Park to be the home of innovation for generations to come," Apple CEO Tim Cook said last year. "The workspaces and parklands are designed to inspire our team as well as benefit the environment. We’ve achieved one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the world and the campus will run entirely on renewable energy."

While employees have been walking into the glass windows at the new campus, it does not appear that anyone has been injured, at least to the extent that it would be reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Thumbnail and Top Image Source: Apple

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