In December of 2010, it was revealed that Apple Computer purchased a 98-acre campus from Hewlett-Packard in Cupertino, which is adjacent to 50 acres the company purchased in 2006, and which is just a few blocks from its main campus on Infinite Loop. It was reported that acclaimed British architect Norman Foster would be designing the new Apple campus and that environmental issues would be a key aspect of the design.
What that report didn’t say is that the campus would look like a spaceship!
Steve Jobs went to the Cupertino city council to get approval to build the new campus, which will be an addition to the already existing campus and not a replacement. It will be a 4-story building capable of holding 12,000 employees and could be completed by 2015. Jobs said the current campus holds about 2,800 employees, but the company has 12,000 employees in the area. “Apple is growing like a weed,” Jobs told the City Council. “It’s clear we need to build a new campus.” He described the proposed design by comparing it to a spaceship landing as he showed artist renderings.
“Think about that, that’s rather odd, 12,000 people in one building,” Jobs told the council. “We’ve seen these office parks with lots of buildings–and they get pretty boring pretty fast. So we’d like to do something better than that.”
“It’s a bit like a spaceship landed,” Jobs said of the four-story building’s design while showing the council artist renderings.
“There’s not a straight piece of glass in this building; it’s all curved,” he said, citing the company’s experience creating innovative Apple Stores around the world. “We know how to build the biggest pieces of glass for architectural use.”
Apple’s design calls for the campus to be 80% landscape with 6,000 trees, including apricot trees which used to grow in the area. Most of the vehicle parking would be located under the building and landscape. The on-campus energy center using natural gas will be its primary source of power and would use the power grid as a backup. Other features include an auditorium for presentations and an R&D center. Steve Jobs said the site is currently 20% landscape checkered with parking lots and with the new Apple campus would increase landscape by 350%, visible parking would decrease by 90%, and the building footprint would decrease by 30%.
To see Steve Jobs talk about the new Apple campus design and answer questions, watch this 21-minute video.