More about Foster + Partner’s new Apple Campus in Cupertino

© , , Kier + Wright, Apple

The city of Cupertino has released more details about the new Apple Campus, revealed back in June.

The new documents confirm Foster + Partners as the architects, working with ARUP North America and Kier & Wright, a local civil engineering firm that has worked on Apple’s current campus and buildings for other tech companies (eBay, Nvidia, Cisco, Netflix and Sun, among others).

About the program:

  • An Office, Research and Development Building comprising approximately 2.8 million square feet for up to 13,000 employees
  •  A 1,000 seat Corporate Auditorium
  •  A Corporate Fitness Center
  •  Research Facilities comprising approximately 300,000 square feet
  • A Central Plant
  • Associated Parking

It’s a pretty amazing building. It’s a little like a spaceship landed. It’s got this gorgeous courtyard in the middle… It’s a circle. It’s curved all the way around. If you build things, this is not the cheapest way to build something. There is not a straight piece of glass in this building. It’s all curved. We’ve used our experience making retail buildings all over the world now, and we know how to make the biggest pieces of glass in the world for architectural use. And, we want to make the glass specifically for this building here. We can make it curve all the way around the building… It’s pretty cool.

- Steve Jobs

The round shape has also been cited as an important part of the campus’ security (better perimeter control) and to improve internal circulations.

It’s interesting to see that the objectives of the project are focused on reducing the use of electricity by generating its own energy on an on-site Central Plant, provide open green spaces “for Apple employees’ enjoyment” and to “exceed economic, social, and environmental sustainability goals through integrated design and development”. It seems Jobs choose the right firms for this.

By looking at the drawings it seems that the project is ready to go, and now it’s waiting for city approval. The city has revealed that they are very likely to approve the project, so it seems everything is on route for an opening in 2015.

Drawings and renderings after the break:

Proposed conceptual site plan © Foster + Partners, ARUP, Kier & Wright, Apple
© Foster + Partners, ARUP, Kier + Wright, Apple
© Foster + Partners, ARUP, Kier + Wright, Apple
© Foster + Partners, ARUP, Kier + Wright, Apple
Proposed main building Level 1 plan © Foster + Partners, ARUP, Kier & Wright, Apple
Proposed parking structure section perspective © Foster + Partners, ARUP, Kier & Wright, Apple
Proposed street elevation, East Homestead Road © Foster + Partners, ARUP, Kier & Wright, Apple
Conceptual landscape plan north © Foster + Partners, ARUP, Kier & Wright, Apple
Cite: Basulto, David. "More about Foster + Partner’s new Apple Campus in Cupertino" 16 Aug 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 17 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    The infinite loop finally manifests itself in architectural form, a fitting tribute to all preceding… Presumably the restoration landscape orchard will be ripe with an harvest of a multitude of grafted apples…

    • Thumb up Thumb down +3

      Indeed junior – off to bed. The adults will tell you what you missed when you’re all grown up.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    somehow this project remember me Ledoux’s engravings, may be Enlightenment is back…lol

    • Thumb up Thumb down +1

      Those drawings look like they’re done in Revit. I also understand that F&P use Revit.

      Revit doesn’t work on OSX and I’d be suprised if they where using Apple hardware.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      @Steve It’s a guess, as long as I don’t work or know anyone working at Foster+Partners and I’ve never seen Microstation which could have similar section tags, callout tags, color patches, sheets titles styles…
      But I work every day with Revit and I guess (again) that two major softwares probably won’t have such visual similarities.
      This visual style looks pretty familiar to me, so I’ll go for Revit.
      That also means that it’s drawn in 2D and 3D at once.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    There is a very narrow traffic distribution from ramp inside the underground parking. Imagine 5000 cars arriving within 10 minutes, they all will be stuck. It’s not gonna work.

    • Thumb up Thumb down +1

      I think this was an in-house work. No credits are made specifically for the visuals other then for Foster+Partners… Although that might be due to NDA’s

      I know they work a lot with Vyonyx so if this was send out – it might have been to them.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0


    Handsome design on paper in plan; but-

    Elevations and sections don’t necessarily derive need the plans; almost looks like two buildings from top and flanks…..or two different architects.

    the details (i.e. the Code) here will be the thing that makes or breaks. Hope Arup’s up to it!!!

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I would like to know what role wood will play in this project and whether or not cross laminated timbet was a consideration?

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Can’t help but think that the building would never really turn out as awe inspiring as these renders.

  7. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    Everything looks so white and neutral… boring. Where the good architecture go? This giant donut form is not the best architecture for Foster & Co.
    This is going to be stamped *dated 2010s* forever.

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Actually, this design will be quite timeless, because of it’s simple geometric form.

    The design itself looks really boring however. A simple grid fit in a torus without any concern for space specific architecture. The fact that they need lensflares and hurricane clouds in the images is telling for a lackluster design. It looks like a first year student produced these images who just discovered photoshop filters.

  9. Thumb up Thumb down -1

    Terrible, a one liner that has more to do with the cult of apple than sensible urban design. It’s as if everyone forgot the lessons of the Voisin Plan, or maybe nobody learns about history anymore, just how to create parametric models. It will be obsolete in roughly the same amount of time as the latest tech gadget.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      I kind of agree with you ted, it will be obsolete in no time, but just in matters of scale. If the sectors/projects become to big for the building, what they’ll do? Put a second small/larger donut? Go upwards? …The project looks gorgeous, but seems to perish in this aspect.

  10. Thumb up Thumb down -1

    The architecture seems to go hand in hand with Apple’s “Closed Garden” philosophy… Either Apple directed foster towards it or foster picked up the idea as best fitting for their client.

    Either way the round shape has a long history of being used in ideal city design and it is rather timeless.

    Apple Campus 2 could become the Icon of Apple in the future.

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    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  12. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    Looks like a symbol of power and control – a rigid form – homogeneous – boring!!!

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