Moving façade elements for the new Apple Park made by seele.

Apple Park Restaurant Doors, Cupertino, USA

apple park - a truly moving façade

Apple’s new company headquarters is an exceptional facility that places maximum demands on design and construction. seele’s brief for this project also required the façade construction specialist to provide two sliding façade elements, each one 16m high and 28m wide. Transparency, design and minimalism are the key features of Apple’s new company headquarters designed by Foster + Partners. The restaurant with its huge, curved, sliding façade elements in steel and glass is the central meeting place at Apple Park, with seating for 4,000 employees. The design and construction of the façade elements was both challenging and remarkable, as each sliding element measures 16 x 28m and weighs 180t.

Motors and a special drive mechanism allow these two gigantic glass “doors” to be opened or closed in 12 minutes – and particularly quietly as well. The façade elements run on rails following the 232m radius of the building with a noise level of less than 40dB. There are two drives per element, and the electric motors and transmission mechanisms are installed in the basement. Besides meeting the specification for moving these façade elements, seele also had to comply with California’s stringent earthquake requirements. Being able to secure the elements in any position at any time called for ingenious drive and locking systems.

  • The design team at seele developed the façade elements as giant sliding door leaves. Each element consists of two steel posts and 11 stainless steel ties joining the steel beams top and bottom. A pretension of 30t was applied to each tie. The steel members form a framework for the panes of glass measuring 2.7 x 14.1m, which are only fixed with structural silicone along their sides. Fixing the panes (laminated safety glass made from two plies of 12 mm heat-strengthened glass) with adhesive only had never been used on this scale before. That called for numerous tests beforehand. The unique features of this project and the high demands placed on design and construction show that seele has once again accomplished pioneering R&D and engineering work on an exceptional level.

16 x 28m per sliding element  180t per moving façade  12 minutes for opening or closing

Client Apple Inc.
General contractor Apple Inc.
Architect Foster + Partners
Date of completion 2017
Scope of seele supply
  • 2 moving façade elements
  • 16 x 28m measures each sliding element
  • 180t weight per sliding element
  • Performance mock-up in full scale

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