Steve Jobs presented plans to the Cupertino City Council on June 7, 2011 to build a new campus for Apple that looks like a spaceship and can hold 12,000 people.
The building will be shaped like a ring or a donut, and will be a three million square feet campus on 150 acres that Apple recently bought from Hewlett-Packard (HP). Jobs plans to break ground in 2012 and have Apple’s employees move in 2015.
“It’s a little like a spaceship landed. It’s got a gorgeous courtyard in the middle, but a lot more. It’s curved all the way around – there isn’t a straight piece of glass in the building,” said Jobs.
The building will be 4 storeys high with four storeys of underground parking. There will also be an green energy centre, which will be its primary source of power, using natural gas for cleaner and cheaper energy. The general power grid will be used as a backup. In addition, the site will also host an auditorium for presentations and an R&D facility.
Apple is “growing like a weed” according to Jobs, who said their current Apple building holds around 2,600-2,800 people while they have a total of 12,000 employees in the area, housed in rented buildings across the city.
“It’s clear that we need to build a new campus. We do need the one we have got, but we need another one to augment it,” said Jobs.
Jobs said they have gotten the “best-in-the-world” architects on board with a design that can contain 12,000 people in one building. He said: “I think we do have a shot at building the best office building in the world and I really do think architecture students will come here to see this. I think it could be that good.”
He said office parks with lots of buildings “get pretty boring pretty fast” and wants to do something better than that.
Some of the statistics he shared included increasing the landscape area by 350%, number of trees by 60% and the overall building carbon footprint would decrease with the new plans by 30%.
The site has emotional significance to Jobs because it once belonged to the founders of HP, who gave him a summer job when he was a teenager.