Amidst the software announcements at WWDC that finally confirmed the existence of5 and iCloud, a new build of Lion and the Design Awards, has been busy releasing new software for its platforms and devices. But this week has turned out to be more than just software for the company, as CEO Steve Jobs explained to the Cupertino City Council earlier this week Apple’s plan to build a new campus in Cupertino: a spaceship-shaped, 4-story building to host 12,000 employees and completely revolutionize the way Apple operates in Cupertino. The proposed project is impressive: not only it really looks like a mothership landed on Cupertino, it’s green and eco-friendly in the way it should be built using curved glass thanks to Apple’s retail experience. Not a single piece of glass in the building would be a straight piece — it’s all curved. Parking would be underneath, the number of trees would increase from the current 3,700 to 6,000 with some “apricot orchards” as well — furthermore, it would be located in the 98-acre campus Apple bought from HP last year.
Apple’s grown like a weed and as you know we’ve always been in Cupertino. Started in a little office park and eventually got the buildings we are in now at the corner of De Anza and 280. And those buildings hold 2600 people, 2800 people but we’ve got almost 12,000 people in the area. So we’re renting buildings, not very good buildings either, at an ever greater radius from our campus, and we’re putting people in those. And it’s clear that we need to build a new campus. So we’re just out of space and that doesn’t mean we don’t need the one we got. We do need it but we need another one to augment it.
So we’ve got a plan that lets us stay in Cupertino. We went out and we bought some land. This land is kinda special to me. When I was 13 i think. I called up Hewlett Packard we’re my idols. I called up Bill Hewlett because he lived in Palo Alto and there were no unlisted phone numbers in the phone book which gives you a clue to my age. And he picked up the phone and I talked to him and I asked him if he would give me some spare parts for something I was building called a Frequency Counter. And he did but in addition to that he gave me something way more important. He gave me a summer job that summer. A summer job at Hewlett Packard right here in Santa Clare off 280. The division that built Frequency Counters. And I was in heaven. Right around that exact moment in time, Hewlett and Packard themselves were walking on some property here in Cupertino in Prunerage and they ended up buying it. And they built their computer systems division there. As Hewlett Packard has been shrinking lately they decided to sell that property and we bought it. We bought that and we bought some adjacent property that all used to apricot trees, apricot orchards, and we’ve got about 150 acres. We would like to put a new campus on that so that we can stay in Cupertino. We’ve hired some great architects to work with, some of the best in the world i think, and we’ve come up with a design that puts 12,000 in one building. Think about that. That’s rather odd. 12,000 people in a building, in one building. We’ve seen these office parks with lots of buildings. They get pretty boring, pretty fast. So we’d like to do something better than that. I’d like to take you through what we’d like to do.
This is supposed to work here. There you go. Can you see this? [Yes we can] Here’s where we are today which is on Infinite drive, again at the intersection of De Anza and 280.
[Mr. Jobs. you can actually draw on the screen. That’s how high tech we are. Use your finger instead of pointing in the air.]
I don’t really need to draw on the screen. You can see it clearly. What we’ve done is we’ve bought this land right. We tried to buy the apartments in the corner but they’re not for sale so we couldn’t buy those but we bought everything else. The campus we’d like to build there is one building that holds 12,000 people. It’s a pretty amazing building. Lemme show it to you. It’s a little like a spaceship landed but there it is. It’s got this gorgeous courtyard in the middle but a lot more. Let’s take a closer look at it. It’s a circle and so its curved all the way around. You know if you build things that this is not the cheapest way to build something. There’s not a straight piece of glass in this building. It’s all curved. We’ve used our experience in making retail buildings all over the world now. We know how to make the biggest pieces of glass in the world for architectural and we want to make the glass specifically for this building here. We can make it curved like this all the way around the building and you can see what it will look like. It’s pretty cool.
Again today about 20% of the space is landscaping most of it is a big asphalt parking lot, several big asphalt parking lots. So 20% of it is landscape. We want to completely change this and we want to make about 80% of it landscape. The way we’re gonna do this is we’re gonna put most of the parking underground so that we can have 80% be landscape. You can see what he have in mind. There’s nothing like this on the property now, it’s pretty bad. Today there are 3700 trees on the property we’d like to just almost double that. We’ve hired one of the senior arborists from Stanford actually who is very good with indigenous trees around this area. So we’d like to plant a lot of trees including some apricot orchards.
Again you can see what it might be like. This is some of the infrastructure. The main building, we have parking underneath the main building. That’s not enough unfortunately. We have a parking structure here as well. The building’s four stories high as is the parking structure. There’s nothing high here at all. We want the whole place human scale. It’s actually about the same as we have in Cupertino right now. An energy center. We deal with computer using, sitting at computers all day writing software and if the power goes out on the grid we get to send everybody home. So we have to have backup power to power the place in the event of brownouts and stuff. And I think what we’re gonna end up doing is making the energy center our primary source of power because we can generate power with Natural Gas and other ways that can be cleaner and cheaper and use the grid as our backup. We think that makes more sense.
We’ve got an auditorium because we put on presentations. Much like we did yesterday but we have to go to San Francisco to do them. Fitness center and some R&D facilities, these are just things that where we do testing and we need some buildings to test in and there’s hardly any people in them. So this is roughly the kind of thing we’re thinking about.
Take a look at the building below!