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Foster’s Apple Headquarters Exceeds Budget by $2 Billion

The estimated cost of Apple’s Cupertino City headquarters has escalated from an already hefty price of $3 billion to $5 billion (more than $1,500 per square foot), reportedly pushing back the original completion date to 2016. According to Bloomberg, Apple is working with lead architect Foster & Partners to shave $1 billion from the “ballooning budget”. Most of the cost is seemly due to Steve Job’s “sky-high requirements for fit and finish”, as the tech legend called for the 2.8 million square foot, circular monolith to be clad 40-foot panes of German concave glass, along with its four-story office spaces be lined with museum-quality terrazzo floors and capped with polished concrete ceilings.

Although lambasted for his ambitious plans and “doughnut-shaped” design, Steve Jobs wanted to create a masterpiece that looked as good as it functioned, just like his products. During a 2011 presentation to the Cupertino City Council, Jobs stated, “This is not the cheapest way to build something... there is not a straight piece of glass in this building.” He continued, “We have a shot... at building the best office building in the world. I really do think that architecture students will come here to see it.”

More after the break...

© Foster + Partners, ARUP, Kier + Wright, Apple
© Foster + Partners, ARUP, Kier + Wright, Apple

The spaceship-like headquarters, as Jobs would describe, is intended to accommodate more than 12,000 employees. It will be one of six visible structures planed for the 176 acre parcel - which includes the headquarters, a lobby to a 1000-seat underground auditorium, a four-story parking garage near Interstate 280, a corporate fitness center, a research facility and central plant - all of which will be accessed by a network of underground roads and parking lots, hidden by 6,000 trees. 

In addition, Jobs envisioned the campus to achieve “net-zero energy” by offsetting the campus' energy use with 700,000 square feet of rooftop solar panels (enough to generate 8 megawatts of power), along with additional contracts for solar and wind power, climate responsive window dressings, and more (additional project information, including plans and images, can be found here).

© Foster + Partners, ARUP, Kier + Wright, Apple
© Foster + Partners, ARUP, Kier + Wright, Apple

Despite the cost, Bloomberg states, “There’s no indication that Apple is getting cold feet.” Site excavation is planned to commence in June. 

In related news, Facebook’s quarter-mile-long West Campus by Frank Gehry was just awarded approval from city council. All the details here

Reference: Bloomberg 

Cite:Karissa Rosenfield. "Foster’s Apple Headquarters Exceeds Budget by $2 Billion" 05 Apr 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/355912/foster-s-apple-headquarters-exceeds-budget-by-2-billion/>