When Apple CEO Steve Jobs talks, people listen.


Usually, the reclusive Jobs appears to show off yet another new compact i-something technological breakthrough that promises to revolutionize how we work, communicate, and entertain ourselves.


This week, Jobs appeared before the Cupertino, Cal., City Council to talk about construction, namely a proposed 3.1 million sq ft headquarters for the company he co-founded in 1976.


Given Apple’s rich history of game-changing technology development, hardly anyone would expect Jobs to offer a run-of-the-mill glass and steel edifice to shelter and inspire the creative energies of his 12,000 employees, who are currently spread across dozens of Silicon Valley buildings.

And Jobs didn’t disappoint. The design, created by British architect Sir Norman Foster, calls for a a four-story circular structure located on an Apple-owned 180-acre campus currently occupied by Hewlett Packard, which is moving its Cupertino operations to Palo Alto. Along with the building’s landmark profile (including Jobs’ promise that the building will have not a single straight piece of glass), the project also promises to include extensive landscaping, including nearly doubling the number of trees (from 3,700 to 6,000) on the campus.


In keeping with the fast-paced word of technology, Apple’s plans to turn Jobs’ spaceage vision into reality as quickly as possible. According to the San Jose Mercury, Apple hopes to have its environmental impact study, public hearings, and groundbreaking ceremony complete by the end of next year, with the headquarters ready to welcome employees in 2015 (probably about the same time your brand new iPad will be as dated as a rotary-dial telephone).


Given the glowing response to Jobs’ plan by Cupertino officials, Apple will likely receive all the governmental help it needs in meeting this ambitious schedule. As he told Council members, “I think we've found a way to stay in Cupertino…since we're your largest taxpayers, we thought you'd be happy about it.”