Today in Apple history: Apple moves into Bandley 1, its first custom HQ


Bandley 1 was Apple's first purpose-built HQ.
Bandley 1 was Apple's first purpose-built HQ.
Photo: Dvorak

Jan 28: Today in Apple history: Apple moves into Bandley 1, its first custom HQ January 28, 1978: Apple Computer occupies its first custom-built office, giving the company a bespoke business center to house its growing operations.

A full 15 years before One Infinite Loop, and almost 40 before Apple Park’s stunning “spaceship” landed, 10260 Bandley Drive — aka “Bandley 1” — becomes the first purpose-built, permanent headquarters for the newly founded company.

According to Silicon Valley folklore, Apple’s first headquarters sprang up in Steve Jobs’ parents garage. However, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak says very little work actually occurred at that legendary location.

“We did no designs there, no breadboarding, no prototyping, no planning of products. We did no manufacturing there,” he once said. “The garage didn’t serve much purpose, except it was something for us to feel was our home.”

After outgrowing the garage, and officially forming as a company, Apple moved to 20863 Stevens Creek Boulevard, nicknamed the “Good Earth” building. Finally, in early 1978 — a year after launching the Apple II — the company moved into its first custom-built headquarters on Bandley Drive in Cupertino.

Inside Bandley 1, Apple’s first custom-built HQ

The layout of Apple's Bandley 1 office
The layout of Apple’s Bandley 1 office.
Photo: Chris Espinosa

As you can see in the above image, sketched in January 1978 by Chris Espinosa (now Apple’s longest-serving employee), the building consisted of four quadrants: marketing/admin, engineering, manufacturing and a large, empty space with no official use, at least initially. “Tennis courts?” Espinosa jokingly wrote on the layout. Later, it became Apple’s first warehouse. (The company eventually leased a building across the street, and a second next door, to grow into.)

The “Advent” room shown on the diagram was a demo space. It housed a state-of-the-art $3,000 projection TV to dazzle visitors. Jobs reportedly got his own office because nobody wanted to share one with him. Mike Markkula, a crucial figure in early Apple history, landed his own because he smoked at work.

Spanish architecture influenced the design of Bandley 1. Today the structure mostly resembles a drab 1970s office — which is exactly what it was.

Apple’s Bandley headquarters ultimately grew to include Bandley 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Confusingly, Apple did not name these buildings according to their locations. Instead, the company named them in the order it acquired them. Bandley 2, for example, sat between Bandley 4 and Bandley 5.

According to the website AppleWorld, today the Bandley buildings house a law office, the United Systems Technology computer store, and the Cupertino Driving School.