It has been a long road for Foster + Partners's team since first taking on the design for Apple's new campus in 2009. Four years later, despite the criticism and budget concerns, plans for Apple’s corporate headquarters have been approved by Cupertino’s planning commission. A recent video from the Cupertino City Council reveals some insight into the design decisions, including statements by Sir Norman Foster. As Foster states in the video, CEO Steve Jobs called him "out of the blue" in 2009 and said, "It's Steve: Hi Norman, I need some help."
The video was released after a planning meeting held on 1 October, at which presenters from both Apple and Foster + Partners discussed the project. Apple's senior director of real estate & facilities, Dan Whisenhunt, stated at the meeting that the building will be "one of the most environmentally sustainable projects on this scale in the world, creating a new home for 13,000 employees." Within Whisenhunt's presentation is Norman Foster's thoughts on the campus and its progress since its conception.
Foster begins by stating that, "One of the most memorable things and perhaps vital to the project was Steve saying, 'Don't think of me as your client. Think of me as one of your team.'" He goes on to talk about what he considers as the point of reference for Jobs: "his home territory [...] the landscape he grew up with, he still remembers it as the fruit bowl of America."
The video reveals many features of the 280 million square-foot building, which should run on 100% renewable energy, including its electric car parking garages and one of the largest photo voltaic solar arrays in the world. The project also aims to have no net increase in greenhouse gas emissions; as Apple's vice president of environmental initiatives Lisa Jackson states, "When Apple Campus 2 is finished 80% of the site will be green space. We're maximising the natural assets of the area; this area has a great climate so 75% of the year we won't need air conditioning or heating, we'll have natural ventilation."
Construction will take approximately 32 months and staff will be able to move into the building in 2016. The project is budgeted around five billion dollars. Check out more coverage about the Cupertino Campus here.