Bloomberg’s Mark Bergen reports on a flaw at Apple’s new headquarters: Distracted employees seem to keep smacking their faces into the perfect glass panes that make up the offices’ interior workspaces, and they’re hurting themselves, “according to people familiar with the incidents.”
Bergen says that some people are now sticking Post-It notes on the glass to avoid walking into the panes. Unfortunately, these papers reportedly disappear because “they detract from the building’s design”–perhaps removed by agents of Apple’s Gestapo wearing invisibility cloaks?
The entire thing seems absolutely ridiculous until you think about the obsessive, almost sick attention to detail that went into this place. Steve Jobs tasked celebrated British architect Norman Foster to design the company’s new headquarters back in 2006 based on his own conception–a giant perfect ring to rule them all, built using giant glass panes, carbon fiber, and ground unicorn carcasses.
Needless to say, when Sauron saw what Saruman had designed for him, he was ecstatic. In his last public appearance, Jobs declared that Apple had “a shot at building the best office building in the world.” He thought “that architecture students will come here to see it.” He probably wasn’t mistaken. Just consider this amazing fact: Each of those giant curved glass panes are a 49 feet by 10.5 feet–the largest in the world–3,000 of them.
Every inch of this $5-billion building was carefully planned, every surface painstakingly manufactured and positioned to perfection. The work was so hard, the obsession for perfection so high, that it lead to multiple delays: It was originally planned to open in 2015 but finally opened in April 2017. The reason, according to a Reuters’ report, were the continuous disagreements between Apple and the contractors about the buildings’ construction specs. Apparently, Apple called for precision levels more akin to iPhone assembly specifications than the 1/8th of an inch deviation that’s standard in the construction industry. The entire process sounded like a nightmare.
And yet, after all that effort, even while Apple Park is undoubtedly an impressive neo-futurist structure, it does have this comical flaw. It shows that we are all human and, sometimes, just pretty damn dumb. Maybe Apple employees, and all of us, should all just stop focusing so much on our phones, stay present in the moment, and walk looking straight ahead.
We reached out to Apple PR for comment. We will update if they ever recover from their glass-induced concussions.