Apple Park’s Steve Jobs Theater wins the engineering award for structural artistry

The Steve Jobs Theater pavilion—an underground, 1,000-seat auditorium located on the Apple Park campus and intended for product launches and press meets, has won the prestigious award for Structural Artistry from the Institute of Structural Engineers.

The accolade, according to the institute itself, is awarded 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.”

Located atop a small hill among Apple’s sprawling 175-acre campus, the underground pavilion was named Steve Jobs Theater after the iPhone maker’s legendary co-founder and late CEO.

The Cupertino technology giant has spared no expenses on its in many ways impressive facility. As an example, the pavilion features luxury leather seating with integrated power outlets, costing a whopping $14,000 per chair. They’re made by Poltrona Frau, an Italian company that sees itself as a “leader in top of the range furniture.”

Comfy seating in the pavilion, via Fletcher Previn

The spectacular above-ground lobby is shaped like a cylinder with glass walls and no support columns holding a 73-metric-ton carbon fiber roof, which files as the world’s largest. A pair of custom-made elevators, 42-foot (13 m) high, lead down to the auditorium.

In a typical Apple fashion, the elevator rotates 171 degrees as it ascends and descends from the bottom to the upper lobby so that passengers enter and exit by the same door even as they go in and out from different directions. Made from chemically-tempered glass, this is considered to be the tallest free-standing, glass elevator in the world.

As mentioned, Apple hosts its press meets, product launches and internal meetings there. The pavilion provides the firm with an intimate atmosphere that gives it more control over product releases and unveilings. The first press event held there was the September 2017 announcement of iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple TV 4K.

Apple’s first shareholder meeting was also held in the auditorium, as well as the September 2018 announcement of iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR and Apple Watch Series 4.