We’ve known about the whopping $5 billion financial obligation Apple incurred by developing its sprawling Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino, California — but a bombshell new report out this week is claiming that the iPhone maker’s expense furnishing its “spaceship” campus, which officially opened to the public in December, continues to soar.
According to a Fast Company report, that’s mainly because Apple’s massive, futuristic and high-tech headquarters has been fully stocked with some of the most premium seating arrangements money can buy — approximately 12,000 Vitra Pacific office chairs, which come in at a base-cost of $1,185 apiece, though Apple was likely given a discount of some sort for purchasing so many of them.
As the story goes.. Several years ago, Vitra’s chief designers, U.K.-based Jay Osgerby and Ed Barber, reportedly met with Apple’s distinctively British design boss, Jony Ive, to discuss the Barber Osgerby design studio’s latest project: “a new office chair,” dubbed Pacific, which stood to embody the furniture maker’s first new product in years.
Their discussion mainly centered around the chair’s design: not that it was overly technical or flashy — but, rather, that it was a “quiet” piece, featuring “soothing curves that could blend in anywhere, even a home.”
“That’s interesting,” Ive reportedly said in response to their pitch, raising an eyebrow in confirmation.
Within a matter of just months, and long before Apple Park ultimately opened to employees and the public, Ive, with Apple’s approval, became Vitra’s first major customer for the Pacific chair, ordering enough of the $1,185 a pop thrones to seat all of Apple Park’s 12,000 employees.
A dizzying $14.2 million in office chairs, to put the sum in perspective — although, as we mentioned, Apple likely ponied up less than that considering it bought so many of them.
Ive Knows Best
Ive is known, perhaps best of all, for his role in designing some of Apple’s most successful products over the years, including several generations of iPhone, iPad, Mac and more. He’s often featured in Apple’s new product promotional videos wearing the same style t-shirt and up talking the latest Apple gadget’s “simply beautiful, stunning, magical” design hues.
His penchant for favoring simple, minimal, yet elegant designs, meanwhile, is believed to be one of the main reasons why Apple Park took so much longer to develop than the company had initially planned. If you’ll recall, Apple’s late co-founder, Steve Jobs, was alive and thriving when his company first submitted its plans for Apple Park to the Cupertino City Council back in 2011 — however, due to a number of unforeseeable challenges, the project didn’t break ground until 2014. And the campus didn’t begin accepting employee until just last April, either, which implies that Ive’s masterful attention to detail was present at every twist and turn.
While additional details like these outlining the other major expenditures at Apple Park continue trickling in, be sure to check out BuildZoom’s impressive exposé outlining What it Takes to Build Apple Park to get a better idea of the project’s complete, broken-down cost.