The Steve Jobs Theater has earned an award for Structural Artistry from The Institute of Structural Engineers.
Located on the Apple Park campus and opened last September, the theater received recognition for being the largest structure in the world solely supported by glass, and for the way in which pipes and other systems have been integrated into its roof.
The Steve Jobs Theater, named after Apple’s co-founder and former CEO, was built specifically for Apple events. It’s where the company introduced us to “the future of smartphone design” with the iPhone X last fall.
The theater’s underground auditorium boasts 1,000 seats, which makes it larger than the venues Apple previously used for its keynotes. But that’s not what impressed judges for the Institute of Structural Engineers.
Steve Jobs Theater picks up its first award
The Steve Jobs Theater earned the Structural Artistry because it avoided the ordinary.
This award goes to projects “in which what could otherwise have been an adequate and worthy solution has been transformed by the vision and skill of the structural engineer into something exceptional,” the institute explains.
“The Steve Jobs Theater Pavilion represents a culmination of the advances in structural glass technology born from the close relationship between Apple and EOC,” it adds.
Apple’s theater, architected by Foster & Partners, is admired for its 80-tonne carbon fiber roof, the largest of its kind, that sits atop giant glass panels without any additional support — despite being in a highly seismic zone.
“The structural systems were designed so that the conduits, sprinkler pipes, data, audio and security systems needed in the roof could be accommodated in the 30mm joints between the glass panels,” the institute adds.
How the award was won
In choosing an award winner, the Institute of Structural Engineers considers five factors: excellence, creativity and innovation, elegance and detailing, sustainability, and value.
It’s obvious why the Steve Jobs Theater excels in many of those categories, but one thing that’s not quite so blatant is its sustainability. Just like the rest of Apple Park, the theater is powered entirely by renewable energy from solar panels and fuel cells.