Image: Duncan Sinfield
During the course of springtime, Jony Ive’s unusual rainbow stage popped up in recent drone video footage. The rainbow arch stage appeared in the center of the Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino, California. Here’s all of the information leaked about the structure that you need to know.
Evidence from Apple Internal website AppleWeb points out that the strange rainbow stage was under construction for a few months already and it was designed by Apple’s Industrial Design Team. It consists of 30 uniquely machined, colorful components to make up the rainbow arches. These parts are repeatedly used so the workers can easily put it up and take it down for internal events. All of the 30 components total up to 25,000 parts of the rainbow stage. That’s the biggest, unbelievable innovation Jony Ive has ever designed!
In light of the design, AppleWeb’s recent article about this stage states,
“Once we had a design, we needed to figure out how to create something that was pristine and curved, that could sit outside, would be easy to put up and take down, and we needed to do all this in eight weeks,” Marissa Parr from Tait, a company that creates custom concert staging and other essentials for live events, told AppleWeb. “To make all that happen, we realized we needed to make everything as uniform as possible, arch to arch.”
On the other side, Tait is also the supplier who created the rainbow arches for the stage. These arches have UV resistant coating to prevent fading and deterioration and special procedures for weather resistance. To keep these fragile parts in good shape, the rainbow arches have to refrain from touching the ground after it’s fabricated, laying flat and be transported in large carts. Parr said to AppleWeb that “It’s exactly like moving glass.”
Finally, AppleWeb posted an interview with Jony Ive about the rainbow stage’s design. Jony Ive explains,
If you’ve been to Apple Park lately, you’ve seen it: a rainbow has appeared in the middle of the ring. It’s the latest of Jony Ive’s team’s creations — this time crafted especially for our Apple family and the May 17 special event at Apple Park. The event is both a celebration of the opening of the new campus and a tribute to Steve. AppleWeb spoke with Jony about the design intent of this extraordinary structure.
It’s good to make things for other people. That is, of course, our preoccupation and our occupation at Apple. But it’s particularly special to be able to make things for the Apple team. That was the motivation and fuel to design and make Apple Park, and in the same way, it’s the motivation and the same sort of joy that we have had making the rainbow.
Our goal was to create a stage that would become immediately recognizable as the Apple Stage. The idea for the rainbow was one of those rare occasions where the earliest thoughts worked on a number of different fronts.
There is the resonance with the rainbow logo that’s been part of our identity for many years. The rainbow is also a positive and joyful expression of some of our inclusion values and I think that one of the primary reasons the idea resonated so immediately and so profoundly with us was the form — the connection from an aesthetic design point of view. A semi-circle relates so beautifully and naturally to the form of the ring.
We developed the idea to be a three-dimensional object so that it could be appreciated in the round — not just the front.
If you look at a plan view of Apple Park, the rainbow occupies an almost insignificant area. But it has relevance and impact that is disproportionate to the area it occupies.
My space in Apple Park is on the external part of the perimeter. But I can see the rainbow reflected in the ceiling all the way through to where I sit. That truly wasn’t planned but one of those lucky accidents.
We had planned the way in which the interplay of the colors between the discrete bands of the rainbow throughout the day making it more vital and fluid. There are some wonderful but subtle combinations and reflections.
Our rainbow is typical of the design team’s multi-year collaboration with the architects Foster + Partners and designers Gainsbury and Whiting.
When we designed and developed Apple Park, one of the reasons that we enjoyed such an effective and close collaboration was our shared commitment to model making and prototype building.
The rainbow’s presence and optimism are keenly felt in many places and at the end of the day — it’s hard to find somebody that doesn’t love a rainbow.”
In brief, the rainbow stage will be used for employee events on May 17. Their arches are meticulously designed to be seamless and maintain their bright color. Cult of Mac also reported that the Apple Park Visitor Center’s roof terrace was closed for an unknown reason on Tuesday, which is the main purpose why Apple is keeping the stage construction private.