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Cupertino posts more formal look at Apple 'spaceship' campus

updated 01:10 am EDT, Sat August 13, 2011

Apple ring campus gets public layout details

The city of Cupertino has posted Apple's proposal for its already high-profile "spaceship" offices East of its current building. It clarifies the details and shows that the building will occupy about 2.8 million square feet with offices as well as a 300,000 square foot research and development headquarters. It could be equipped in many ways to be self-sustaining, including a central plant, a fitness center, and a 1,000-person auditorium that could be used for meetings and, possibly, special media events.

An overhead view shows that the ring-shaped, glass-dominated campus would only occupy a relatively small part of the former HP area. Most of the surface would be dominated by green space with the auditorium and other secondary facilities being located away from the main structure. Even a four-storey parking facility would occupy a small part of the larger space.

Eco-friendliness would be a mainstay. A landscape survey shows that HP has let a large part of the landscaping slip and that Apple will have to replace many of the trees. A large, dedicated mass transit terminal will sit on the East side. The Northwest corner will have a large botanical garden and an orchard, although it's not apparent if it will be an apple orchard. Parking will recover some of Apple's energy consumption with solar panels at the roof, Apple said.

The proposals won't come to fruition for some time. Apple's building will only be finished by 2015, by which point the extra room for employees could be virtually necessary given Apple's expansion. It already has to take on smaller offices in and around the Santa Clara Valley area to accommodate its demands.

by MacNN Staff




  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Small Hadron Collider (SHC)

    tucked under the building as a power source. Otherwise, why would it take so long to complete. Four years from now is a long time for a simple building.

  1. chas_m




    There's nothing simple about this building. The glass panels alone are going to push that industry to its limits.

    I do like your idea of a small hadron collider under there, however.

    To me, this illustration reminds me so much of the futuristic paintings from the 50s and 60s of Earth's glorious future, from back when we thought anything was possible.

  1. Lebensmuede

    Joined: Dec 1969



    How are people going to get around in that complex? On Segways?

  1. addisonx

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Mobillity?

    It's sunny california. Any part of the circumference would easily be accessed with a walk across the central courtyard.

  1. macjockey

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I hope they plan to keep the grass cut better than that. Looks like a scene from planet of the apes.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Hercules Rockefeller

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    What an incredibly ugly building, it looks like a giant toilet. What's the point ? By the time it's finished Jobs will have died of aids and Apple will be on their second decline.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Spaceship an apt choice

    The building's 'spaceship' shape is an apt choice. No one but space aliens clueless about our society would be expanding their corporate presence in what's perhaps the worst state to do business. A state with a huge budget deficit on top of a crushing burden of taxation and regulation. A state with some of the worst schools in the country, with high crime rates, and some of the greediest, most destructive government unions around. California clearly appears doomed. The only real issue is whether they'll succeed in sticking the rest of us with the bill for their folly.

    Sadly, Apple's management is living in gaga land. This isn't the Sixties and early Seventies of their youth, with babe-filled beaches and surfing films. California is not 'cool' anymore. It's a hellhole for anyone not sheltered by a high-six-figure income. People are leaving in droves. It has one of the country's worst unemployment rates.

    Nor is it the sensible, invest-in-productive-infrastructure state of the early twentieth century. To give one example, a century ago, Californians developed extensive water supply systems to grow their cities and build one of the world's most productive agricultural economies. Now the state destroys their formerly world-class agriculture region because their coastal elite fakes a concern for an obscure fish that few of them could even recognize.

    And what Apple gets in return for this corporate parochialism isn't good. Yes, having most of your employees working within a five-minute drive does feed a monolithic corporate culture. But the resulting closed-mind-thinking inflexibility will kill a business. Look at what happened when Apple tried to impose a 30% in-app purchasing tax.

    It's also foolish politically for a business the size of Apple to be located in one corner of one state. When federal regulators began to focus on Microsoft, it was an easy target. It had few friends in DC because most of its employees were in suburban Seattle near me. The same is true of Apple. It's too Cupertino-centered. If you want to have friends in Washington, you've got to have several thousand workers in their districts. Apple has all its political apples (workers/voters) in one little suburban San Francisco barrel. That makes them an easy and politically safe target for DOJ lawyers.

  1. SierraDragon

    Joined: Dec 1969



    @ Inkling, who thinks "Apple's management is living in gaga land."

    I am afraid you are the one who does not get it. Apple is now the largest firm in the world based on market cap, and they got there via innovative products and management - - based in California. Despite lots of pains (folks keep overbreeding), northern CA remains a pretty good place to live and work.

  1. addisonx

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No friends in DC?

    @Inkling: Last I knew Al Gore was still on the board of directors. I'm sure he still has one or two friends in Washington.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Inkling spends too much time watching Fox News Channel.

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