Apple has revealed photos and details about its new Campus 2, which features what Apple calls its “Theatre” where new products will be announced. One of the noteworthy elements of the Theatre is its carbon fiber roof, which Apple is saying is the largest freestanding carbon fiber roof ever made. According to Apple Insider, architectural renderings originally seemed to indicate that the roof would be made of the company’s signature aluminum or steel, but Apple opted for composites.
The circular roof weighs 80 tons and is slightly above 140 feet in diameter. It is made up of 44 identical radial panels, each 70 feet long and 11 feet wide. Dubai-based Premier Composite Technologies, which has created some of the largest composite architectural structures in the world, created the roof before shipping it in pieces to the Apple campus in Cupertino, Calif. The whole Theatre itself, a subterranean auditorium, will be 120,000 square feet and will have a capacity of 1,000 seats.
For the new campus, all of the structures required the creation of custom-made machines — which Apple calls “manipulators” — to handle the lifting and placing of nearly 900 curved glass panels, some of which are 46 feet long and 10.5 feet wide. The company is working with design firms, material suppliers and other vendors across 19 countries.
The Theatre will offer 360-degree views of the campus, and will include a pathway to the main building, located northwest of the event space. The curved glass panels that surround the main building’s spaceship-like design is about 33% complete. Apple expects construction on its campus to be finished at the end of 2016, which is on schedule. Tim Cook said in a past interview that employees will begin moving into the building in January of 2017.
The main Campus 2 would not be the company’s first application of carbon fiber for a roof. Back in November 2015, news broke of Apple’s new store in Chicago implementing a carbon fiber roof.
Check out the video below to see an aerial view of the new campus.