Altered plans for the Apple HQ designed by Foster + Partners with Arup, OLIN, Kier & Wright and Alta have been released by the City of Cupertino in California following a series of articles reporting on the supposedly ballooning costs of this mammoth project. On 4 April 2013, Bloomberg reported that the cost of the project had risen from $3bn to $5bn however it is thought that the recently published revisions are to bring this figure back down. The scheme is due to complete in 2016.
To construct the new Apple HQ, approximately 2.65 million sq ft of office, research and development buildings will be demolished and 2.8 million sq ft of new buildings constructed in their place. Other additions to the former Hewlett Packard campus site include: a 1,000-seat auditorium, a corporate fitness centre, a central plant, research facilities and underground parking. Designed to be highly sustainable, the campus will be brought to life with the planting of 7,000 new trees across 100 acres of landscaped green space. The site totals 175 acres.
Aside from the obvious transition from a white facade to black, a number of more detailed alterations have been made to the project. In November documents released by the City of Cupertino suggested that 300,000 sq ft of research and development facilities east of North Tantau Avenue would be built in Phase 1 with capacity for up to 1,000 employees. In the project description released in the last few days, this portion of the build has been pushed back to Phase 2, joining an additional 300,000 sq ft of research and development facilities west of North Tantau Avenue for up to 1,200 workers.
The refreshed documents also go into much broader detail as regards bicycle access, including bike lanes, buffered bike lanes, bike boxes, two-stage turn boxes and green bike lanes through conflict areas. These infrastructure additions are demonstrative of Apple’s commitment to sustainable transportation methods and their dedication to promoting a healthy lifestyle for employees. This can also be noted in the inclusion of an onsite corporate fitness centre.
Widescale landscaping is intended to return the site back to the early Santa Clara Valley savannah, with young and mature trees capable of thriving in a hot climate being selected for this purpose. Transforming this site from its existing asphalt and hardscape environment into a flourishing permeable setting is intended to promote natural drainage and improve water quality in Calabazas Creek.