Apple looking to build massive new campus with “spaceship” style building

Thu, Jun 9, 2011


A real life Mac Mothership looks like it’s headed for Cupertino.

Steve Jobs earlier this week took some time out of his busy schedule to appear before the Cupertino City Council where he relayed Apple’s desire to build a mammoth new campus on the 98 Acre plot of land it acquired from Hewlett Packard late last year.

Jobs explained that Apple is experiencing tremendous growth and is currently forced to rent out buildings adjacent to its 1 Infinite Loop campus in order to house its ever growing number of employees. Jobs anticipates that Apple employees in the Cupertino area will grow from 10,000 today to about 13,000 by 2015 – which is when Apple would hope the project is finished by.

What Apple has in mind is undeniably ambitious.

“It’s a little like a spaceship landed,” Jobs explained. “It’s got this gorgeous courtyard in the middle, but it’s got a lot more.”

Four stories high, the planned structure will be able to accommodate 12,000 employees, and will feature a mammoth auditorium for WWDC-scale presentations and a large cafeteria capable of feeding 3,000 people in one sitting.

And as with all things Apple, there’s a twist.

The structure Apple has in mind will feature one gargantuan piece of curved glass.

“There’s not a single straight piece of glass in this building,” said Jobs. “We’ve used our experience in building retail buildings all over the world. We know how to make the biggest pieces of glass for architectural use. And, we want to make the glass specifically for this building here. We can make it curve all the way around the building… It’s pretty cool.”

Jobs also boasted that the planned structure would be green, with underground parking to maintain the foliage above ground and renewable energy sources like “natural gas and other ways that are cleaner and cheaper.”

Making the hard sell as only he can do, Jobs excitedly explained that Apple has already assembled some of the most talented architects in the world to help make the “best office building in the world” a reality.

Again, Jobs hopes the new campus – which won’t replace 1 Infinite Loop – will be up and ready to go by 2015.

Some nuggets of note include that there will be dedicated R&D buildings along with a plan to double the number of trees in the area. Hey, nothing wrong with playing the environmental card, right?

Jobs even went so far as to say that Apple would be willing to provide free Wi-Fi for the city if Apple is able to avoid paying taxes if possible. Always looking to save a buck, you might remember that the location of Apple’s new Data Center in North Carolina was chosen, in part, because Apple was able to garner generous tax breaks there.

Below, check out Jobs’ appearance before the Cupertino City Counsel:



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