Two days after Apple CEO Steve Jobs takes a break from his medical leave to present at the Apple Worldwide Developer’s Conference in San Francisco to announce iCloud, he appears at the Cupertino City Council meeting to announce revolutionary plans for a new Apple campus. From the architectural rendering he showed at the town council meeting, the proposed building might as well be called ‘iSpaceship’.
It is designed for maximum awe by star British architect Sir Norman Foster shaped in the form of a circle to house over 12,000 employees who are currently located in various rented offices around the Bay Area. There will be no flat glass encircling the building – all will have to be curved to deal with the curvature of the building.
The 4 storey building of 3.1 million sq ft will be self sustaining in terms of energy through Apple’s own on-site alternative power and gas-powered generators with the grid as backup. 90% of existing parking space will be removed and put in 4 floors of underground parking below the building. Above ground, the space will be converted into green park space with over 6,000 trees – and increase of nearly 50%.
The timeline promises to be fast and furious: city officials expect preliminary plans from Apple within days, an environmental-impact study completed by summer’s end, then public hearings in the fall of 2012 followed immediately by final consideration by the city council. Apple hopes to break ground late next year and move into the new headquarters in 2015. Looks like this project is one greased right out of the box.
A major part of the 180 acre space to be taken up by Apple’s new campus is currently occupied by HP, which was sold to Apple in 2010 when the company downsized and consolidated to Palo Alto. HP’s Cupertino campus had been home and headquarters to most of HP’s computing divisions: data terminals, technical workstations, business and personal computers, PA RISC architecture, commercial software, customer support and even an executive briefing center and a bank. The remaining staff there are being transferred to Palo Alto offices over the next two years.
In Silicon Valley, only change is certain.
For more information: read the Silicon Valley’s MercuryNews
Listen to Steve Job’s presentation to the Cupertino City Council: