Update: Video after the break!

With Apple’s iPhone event only a few days away, speculation is still mounting as to what exactly will be announced. The Flint Center building is of particular interest. Sachin Patel used a drone to get a full aerial shot of the complex, and helps clear up what exactly Apple is building. Apple has constructed a gigantic secondary building in front of the Flint Center, seemingly taller than the theatre itself.

The development has a gap at the front to leave the fountain intact. Unfortunately, as Apple has covered the entire structure in a white veil, the purpose of the site is still unknown. The initial pictures of the construction were a bit misleading, as they seemed to show Apple was merely extending the Flint Center. This aerial photo in combination with a Flyover screenshot (below) clarify that is in fact a distinct, separate building.

Pachin was spooked by security at the campus, but did manage to get a short video of the site. Speculation has run wild about this creation. Some have speculated it is some sort of ‘mock house’ to demo HomeKit integration, or even a popup gym to show off the iWatch’s fitness tracking capabilities.  Apple’s demo rooms of the past are just that, rooms with desks filled with product. This isn’t normal. There’s also the chance it could be something much more mundane, like parking, of course.

It’s also worth remembering how unusual it is for Apple to use the Flint Center as its event venue in the first place, even ignoring the secondary building. Usually, Apple holds iPhone events at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts or at its own on-campus Town Hall theater. Apple famously unveiled the Mac at the Flint Center, leading some people to think that Apple has chosen this event as it will have a similar magnitude of importance. We’ll know for sure on September 9th!

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41 Responses to “Drones-eye-view of Flint Center highlights the mysterious structure Apple is building next to theater venue”

  1. Concert venue for U2 to perform. Simply as that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Because the stage, sound and lighting equipment, and seating in the Flint Center for the Performing Arts aren’t enough for U2? Instead, they need their own, smaller building just across the road.

      That makes literally no logical sense.

      Liked by 4 people

    • acslater017 says:

      1) Every other performance at an Apple event has simply set up on the keynote stage 2) Is Apple really the type of company that needs to wow reporters with a free concert? Especially if it’s a once-every-5-years product launch? 3) Why would they need such an irregular structure just to play rock music for a set? 4) Apple is aware of expectations. Building a mysterious white structure, and allowing the hype to build for 2 weeks, just for a musical performance would be an enormous letdown. PR would have leaked expectation-lowering info by now.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Also remember that Jim Dalrymple was the one who “leaked” the building. Which is basically as good as coming from Apple PR. Seems to me that Apple PR wanted everyone to know that Apple was building this large structure for the event.

        Who knows, maybe its just the hands on area, since this is such a big venue with more invitations being sent, maybe they simply needed more room for the hands on area.


    • chrisl84 says:

      Acoustics would probably be very poor in a building shaped like this. That shape does not scream “concert hall” to me at all. But anything is possible.


  2. rahhbriley says:

    Anyone else as off put by these drone shots? It won’t always be the well intended using them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim Jr. says:

      Totally agree… Drones will be ripe with abuses or worse if someone decides to use them to hurt people.

      I suspect there will be communities that start putting up jammer’s to block remote controls of the more common ones from even working.


    • moofer1972 says:

      Paparazzi are already flying up and down the LA hills looking in celebrity back yards. I think their unchecked reign will be coming to an end soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wassim Jabi says:

    I am guessing Apple will showcase a new Apple Store design that will reflect Angela Aherndts’s vision for Apple’s retail experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. From the top it looks like a watch. Kinda.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow. I’m very excited. Let’s roll on September 9.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. awsomejapan says:

    Um… I think I’m going crazy here but I swear I can see a cow’s head and front legs on the top right hand side of the flint center roof!!!


  7. It will be a home-scenario or a gym.

    With lifestream-demos where frederighi or shiller will be together with some sport legends, showing what the device can do..


  8. jigsaw4life says:

    It’s a long shot but maybe it’s a design based off the touch capacitive feedback screens they have patented xD lets also hope the leaks have been for an iPod refresh and the flagship phone blows everyone away..


  9. Let me preface this by saying that I am probably reading too much into the newest pictures. However, if you zoom in you will see two industrial air conditioners being used. If this was going to be an outside concert, would you need to air condition the inside during construction? Yes, maybe for the workers comfort. If so a classy choice over simple fans. Or would you need to be controlling the interior due to the installation of woods and interior components? To counter my own point. It appears none of the concrete surround was removed. So, how would you install new electrical or plumbing that would be required for any new constructed building? The previous infrastructure (electrical and plumbing) of the two side water fountains would not be enough to support a building’s needs.

    Okay, I am confused now. Anyone able to read these tea leaves the same or differently?

    Tuesday hurry up and arrive!


    • If you say there is no electricity for the building, how are the airconditioning units being powered? If this building is set up for a homekit demo they don’t really need (much) water, and what they need they can get from using pomps and a big container. And where you say there are 2 airconditioning units, I see 3 (the white ones). The blue thing seems to be a generator to power the whole house.


      • I did not say there wasn’t electricity for the building, but rather not enough from the infrastructure from two water fountains. The air conditioning can be run by mobile generators, not arguing that, or said otherwise. I am saying a new building of that size would require new underground electrical lines (infrastructure); more than the two water fountains previously required.

        And if it is a building, it would probably be donated to the college for future use. Thus, requiring sufficient electricity and water.

        So, either think construction for the long term (a permanent building) or short term (a concert, or temporary home), but three stories seems a little much for a home, imho.


    • I think the “AC units” look like generators, its hard to tell but it looks like there are large black cables running out from them as well. That’s all I got.


  10. chrisl84 says:

    Very strange, would be a bad building for a concert, and seems way to large for a home kit demo. Are there really enough home kit products launching to need a mansion to demo? Seems like that could all easily be done much more simply for demo purposes in a two room structure. Apple employees walking people through a building the size of a 15 room house seems over kill at this point. I’m certainly confused by this one, should be an interesting 9/9/14!


  11. I am volunteering someone who lives in the area to just walk down there and ask one of the workers what they are building. Can’t hurt to ask right.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Jim Doring says:

    Top of the highest part of the building kind of resembles the shape of a watch!


  13. I’ve never seen a building with all clean edges – My guess is that it is made of Glass and as one person commented, it could be a concept store to host all the new products apple intends to bring to market. Three spaces for 3 concepts: Center: Main Display. Left Room: Health Kit. Right Room: Training Center and Service or maybe something else. It would make perfect sense for apple to create a mall within a mall for future stores.


  14. mwnorris says:

    I’ll vote that this will be used to demo the new multi-level indoor positioning system they described at WWDC.


  15. herb02135go says:

    Just go to city hall and get the blueprints from Planning. Public record.


  16. Moses Tosaf says:

    I can Clearly see that this huge building is made entirely from GLASS, just like the apple store cube and such.
    Am I the only one who can see that??


  17. paanhalim says:

    Maybe showroom for carplay also?


  18. sirfrancis0 says:

    My vote is a testing ground fro the iwatch featuring your favorite athletes. Tim cook and Kobe playing a game of one on one.


  19. silas681- says:

    REALLY not happy that I will be in the middle of the channel tunnel on Eurostar when the announcement starts!!!!!! Goddam meetings!!!!!!!!


  20. tomtubbs says:

    We’ll see. Apple are pretty practical – there is a reason or two behind the change – they made the building we can guess for purposes the other buildings couldn’t provide. They need space to show off something that’s multilayered. Some feature(s), accessories need the space. Perhaps Indoor location, home kit, and retail (iBeacon plus NFC payment)?

    Apple we know will talk more from WWDC on health kit, home kit. And we’re hearing rumors of payment, bank, NFC involvement.

    Apple needs a chip for 802.11ac and they usually go with Broadcom. The current chip’s successor was the BCM4354. But then Broadcom does a weird press release giving a specific announcement , saying it’ll be in selling products by end of the quarter so end of September.
    It’s a fix of the 4354 about issues with Bluetooth. It stresses location. (No mention of Rezence wireless charging unlike the 4354 which could have been the 4334 replacement).
    Which handset could that be other than iPhone 6? Not Moro X+1. Not Galaxy Note 4.

    Core location has reference to floor levels.

    If this was at least in part about indoor location, home kit – to truly show the tech potential they need to have a place with multiple floors. Similar with sensors and health etc. This would link in nicely with iBeacon as a spec too.

    A table with phones ok if you’re testing just camera, weight, feel etc for first impressions but for some things first impressions need a demo area for that feature.
    They could have other things- a shop mockup, showing NFC transactions – all sorts – they announced enough 3rd party companies and tech at WWDC that I’d imagine they could have some at the Flint centre too as followup to the medical, health sides. How else does Apple show off the newly announced iPhone’s health kit? I’d imagine linked product launches from 3rd parties possible. Eg Wahoo fitness Tickr X.


  21. Rick Colette says:

    My crystal ball says the height of the structure may be to demo additional features supported by iOS 8, such as an altimeter. I would hazard a guess there will be a vertical structure, such as a rock climbing wall. Perhaps Tim just wants to fly his own drone around -inside- the structure.