Circular commercial volume for 13,000 employees planned for Cupertino
CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs gave a presentation to Cupertino City Council yesterday, detailing plans to create a new 3.1million sq ft commercial project in the city. Plans drawn up by ‘some of the best architects in the world’ (rumoured to include Norman Foster) show a circular ring of office units capable of accommodating 13,000 employees. Jobs animatedly explained his initial attraction to the site, as it previously belonged to his childhood idols Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard.
Whilst the firm’s existing central campus holds 2,600 workers, the vast number of Apple employees means that a number of additional premises are currently being rented, radiating away from the core campus. Jobs wishes to combat this issue by forming a major new building which also has positive connotations for Cupertino as a whole.
The initial concept design was referred to as a ‘spaceship’, its circular form encompassing vast amounts of commercial space, with leisure facilities, cafes and R&D spaces for employee use. There will also be a main auditorium volume where many of Apple’s key presentations will take place. The site itself currently has 3,700 trees with native apricot orchards, however Job’s vision – with help from an expert arborist from Stanford University – is to increase this number to 6,000 with additional fruit groves.
At the moment, landscaping takes up only 20% of the 150acre site as large expanses of asphalt have been inserted as parking lots. The new concept looks to push most of the parking space underground, leaving 80% of the site clear for landscaping. The building footprint will also be reduced by 30%.