Apple 'spaceship' campus clears council hurdle

The local council of the California city that Apple calls home voted unanimously to approve the project.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor
Rendering courtesy Foster + Partners

Members of the Cupertino City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night in favor of Apple's proposed new campus, a 2.8-million-square-foot ring that some have likened to a spaceship. The decision caps a seven-year campaign by the technology company to completely overhaul its area facilities.

The campus, which will be located near Interstate 280, was one of Steve Jobs' last projects for the company he co-founded. The late chief executive appeared before the council in 2011 to make his case.

"We've seen these office parks with lots of buildings, and they get pretty boring pretty fast," Jobs said at the time. "So we'd like to do something better than that."

Revealing the design by architecture girm Foster + Partners, Jobs added, "It's a bit like a spaceship landed."

The main feature of the company's new campus will be the ring-shaped headquarters, four stories in height and large enough to accommodate 14,000 people. (Apple employs 80,000 worldwide.)

The plan has been equally lauded and criticized. The ring-shaped building's design is unprecedented in scope—"There's not a straight piece of glass in this building," Jobs said in 2011—but its size is enormous, akin to that of the Pentagon, the iconic structure in Virginia that houses the U.S. Department of Defense. Cupertino is a city of just 58,000 people.

"The project will certainly cause traffic issues," one councilmember told the San Jose Mercury News, "but I'm happy to hear Apple's going to work with us on solving these problems."

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