Steve Jobs, the late CEO of Apple Inc, told the city of Cupertino in June of 2011 that his company is "growing like a weed," and that he and his architecture team came up with a plan to construct a round, all-glass "spaceship" headquarters building that could hold upwards of 12,000 employees.
Well after more than two years of studying the plans, the Cupertino City Council has finally given the estimated $5 billion project the green light. The council on October 15 voted unanimously in favor of the Apple Campus 2 project.
Located in Cupertino, on 175 acres previously occupied by Hewlett-Packard
Company, the project will demolish more than two dozen existing structures and replace them with a single 2.8 million sq-ft round spaceship-like building wrapped in glass. The project was designed by international architecture firm, Foster + Partners, headed by Norman Foster, and is being built by a joint venture of DPR Construction and Skanska USA Building.
This was welcome news to Apple CEO Tim Cook, who shortly after hearing it, tweeted: "Our home for innovation and creativity for decades to come. Cupertino City Council Gives Unanimous Approval for Apple's New Campus."
The relatively short, four-story Main Building is orientated to minimize the visual impact on nearby residential neighborhoods. Amenities of Campus 2 include a restaurant within the Main Building; a separate, 100,000-sq-ft fitness center; a 1,000-seat, 120,000-sq-ft auditorium; and 10,980 parking spaces spread between a below-grade structure and a surface lot.
The Campus will also feature a Central Plant Building that is integrated with the parking structure, as well as 600,000 sq-ft of office and research facilities accommodating up to 2,200 employees, to be built as part of the project’s Phase 2, which is scheduled to start after the Phase 1 Main Building is complete in 2016.
One of Jobs’ wishes for the new campus was that it take the existing site, which was about 80 % asphalt and hardscapes and turn it into a green haven, with 80 % greenscape, highlighted by hundreds of trees and plants, park areas and meadows.
Jobs, who grew up in the area and died in 2011, told the City Council in 2011 that this particular plot of land was special to him because it once belonged to Hewlitt-Packard, and that Mr. Hewlitt himself gave the young Jobs a job at age 13.
According to Apple’s September 2013 Project Description, a primary objective of the development is to create an “innovative and beautiful campus near Apple’s Infinite Loop facility that consolidates Apple’s personnel in a single distinctive office, research and development building…in a secure landscape is to promote shared creativity and collaboration, and spur invention of the next several generations of Apple products.”
The “net-zero” project will boast a climate-responsive design, a comprehensivemulti-modal transportation plan, and a compact land use that reduces building and parking footprints and the heat island effect. It vegetation is designed after the natural California landscape, replete with native and drought-tolerant plants.
Officials say the project’s overall energy needs will come from renewable energy, including 8MWs of on-site photovoltaics and fuel cells on the Main Building and parking structure roofs. More sustainable energy highlights include radiant conditioning systems, LED electric lighting, natural ventilation, green information and communication technologies, and 300 electrical vehicle charging stations.