The City of Cupertino has released Apple’s revised campus plans, following the recent news criticizing Steve Job’s “sky-high requirements for fit and finish” that have resulted in a “ballooning budget.”
Abandoning Apple’s classic “white” detailing, architects Foster + Partners have opted to clad the 2.8 million square foot, circular monolith in black – a stylistic remedy that seems to be in line with the overarching campus goal to “provide a serene environment reflecting Apple’s brand values of innovation, ease of use and beauty.”
More details after the break…
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 announcement instigated a flurry of analyses and criticisms over the meaning of the design for the world – the Zen-like significance of the circle, the role of architecture in this technologically-driven age, the legacy and hubris of Jobs – but produced very little discussion over its meaning for the company itself.
Meanwhile, months before news of the “spaceship” landed, another internet giant was searching the California landscape for its own space to call home. Still very much under-wraps, the new Googleplex will be the first time Google builds a workplace completely from scratch. 
These projects will be the Magnum Opuses, the ultimate physical representations, of the two most influential Tech companies in the world, and the two share striking similarities. So let’s clash the plans of these two titans and take another look at Apple 2 – but this time in the light of Google – and see what they can tell us about these companies’ futures.
Apple has released updated plans revealing an ambitions solar installation for their proposed campus in Cupertino. Announced back in June, the campus will include an office, research and development building, research facilities, corporate auditorium, fitness center, a central plant and associated parking. Foster + Partners will collaborate with ARUP North America and local civil engineering firm Kier & Wright for the completion of the project.
Continue reading for more details.
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:
Last week the Internet and architecture blogs went crazy after Steve Jobs presented the new Apple Campus to the city of Cupertino, California.
Rumors about Foster + Partners (an office with a high expertise on work environments) working with Apple on this new campus appeared on December last year on a Spanish newspaper, but there was never an official confirmation (or denial). But given that the actual project fits with the information we received from an anonymous tipster last December, it seems it could be right:
“I recently got a tour of Norman Foster’s office in London and saw some images of the Apple Campus design. I believe the main building will be a large donut shaped building with all the offices and labs surrounding a large garden. It was a very pure form which connects to some of the recent Apple stores, but I was surprised that it didn’t really scream Apple to me. Of course it could have been a very preliminary design that wasn’t fully resolved yet. Anyway, I just thought I would pass on some info.”
During Steve Job’s presentation to the city of Cupertino we could see this round building, and Jobs outlined several facts on how this new campus for 12,000 people will improve the 98-acre site, such as taking parking underground to reduce the footprint, increasing landscaping from 20% to 80%, and planting more trees (3,700 now, 6,000 in the future). It even includes its own natural gas based energy generation plant (as seen on the drawings) with the electrical grid as backup.
As for the 4-story round building, Jobs said:
“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.”
We reached Steve Jobs over the past weekend to get more details about the project and he said that he wasn´t interested in presenting the project on ArchDaily at this time, possibly because the project still needs to be approved by the city. We hope to bring you more details later on, so you can have an informed opinion.
More images from the presentation after the break.
Recently reported in El Economista, Apple has chosen to team up with Norman Foster for its new Apple Campus in Cupertino, California. Steve Jobs and Norman Foster have been working together for months developing the design for the new campus. The future headquarters will seek to utilize Foster’s innovative vision for sustainability, ability to perfect a building for its users down to the finest detail, and ideas to maximize efficiency in the workplace.
Sustainability, is reported to be a large focus of the new campus. A network of submerged transportation tunnels is in the works and the campus will incorporate some of the Foster’s innovations already implemented in Masdar City, designed by Foster + Partners. Masdar City is considered the first city in the world without cars or carbon emissions (capacity 50,000). The R & D buildings will be multifunctional and will incorporate cutting-edge technology in materials and equipment as well as renewable energy resources.
Apple and architects Bohlin Cywinski Jackson had previously teamed up to design Apple Stores worldwide. In August we featured the London Apple Store and in July we featured the Apple Store in Shanghai, China both designed Bohlin Cywinski Jackson.
In true Apple fashion, everything is hush hush, and it is all about the reveal. We will look forward to seeing the result of the collaboration between Jobs and Foster. Stay tuned to ArchDaily for the latest developments.