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…
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 planned for the 176 acre parcel - including 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 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).
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.