Inside Apple’s earthquake-ready headquarters

Over the weekend, there was a 7.1 earthquake in California, centered near Ridgecrest, on the edge of the Mojave Desert. There were also preshocks and aftershocks.

Lots of information about the quake on the USGS earthquake site.

Given the location (in California, though closer to LA than Apple Park), this New York Times article from last month got a lot of new attention (H/T Dman and Neal Pann, and Shawn’s original posting here). From the article:

The circular building housing Apple’s headquarters in Silicon Valley is so big, it’s nearly a mile in circumference. So it’s hard to fathom that it is not actually attached to the ground.

The spaceship, as the building is often called, is a mammoth example of a technology that reduces earthquake shaking by as much as 80 percent.


Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, said in an interview that he and Steve Jobs, the Apple co-founder who died in 2011, considered base isolation essential protection for the headquarters — and the brain trust that resides within. (Mr. Ive also spent four years renovating his house in San Francisco to make it more resilient to earthquakes.)

The article goes into great detail on the base-isolation technology, with some terrific pictures and diagrams. Very interesting.