Apple's new "spaceship" campus in Cupertino, Calif. is stocked mainly with one kind of office chair — the Vitra Pacific, personally chosen by lead designer Jonathan Ive at a cost of $1,185 per unit, though the company likely paid less in its bulk order.
The designers of the chair, Barber and Ed Osgerby, met with Ive several years ago over drinks, Fast Company said on Tuesday. The pair explained to him that the Pacific was designed to be "quiet," with curves that let it blend into any environment.
Ive reportedly raised an eyebrow, telling the Osgerbys "That's interesting." Although it took several more months, Apple became the first party to buy the Pacific — ordering enough chairs for every workstation at Apple Park, which can accommodate some 12,000 people.
Ive is known to prefer simple and elegant designs, such that they appear "inevitable" to the end user even if they actually took months or years of testing.
Close attention to detail — by Ive, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, and others — is believed to be one reason why Apple Park took so long to complete. While Jobs presented the project to the Cupertino City Council in 2011, Apple didn't break ground until 2014, a year late and just one year before an intended 2015 opening. Apple employees finally began moving over in early 2017, and some parts of the campus are still under construction.
In total the project may cost Apple $5 billion or more, over the net worth of many fellow corporations.