Apple has submitted revised plans for its Apple's next-generation campus -- dubbed the Apple Campus 2 -- last week.
The donut-shaped building that sits in the middle of Cupertino, California. The technology giant will be moving just down the street and will be bulldozing the old HP site to create a brand new building that will house all existing employees, and thousands more.
The donut shaped-campus is so large that it could be seen from space. It is roughly the same size as the UK's O2 Arena (formerly known as the "Millennium Dome" in London). It will be able to house around 14,200 people. Its revolutionary technologies will be built into the very fabric of the building's design.
Another birds-eye view of the campus. "There's no chance that we're saying no. The mothership has really landed here in Cupertino", the city's mayor, Gilbert Wong, said in June 2011, after the late Steve Jobs appeared unexpectedly at the Cupertino City Council to give a presentation on the new building.
"We'd like to do something better", Jobs said to the council people. "I do think we have a shot at building the best office building in the world". The building will include a fitness center, underground parking, a press auditorium that seats 1,000 people, and underground parking. It also has on-site power facilities, so the campus will never go dark -- even when there is a power cut.
The part-'spaceship', part-donut building is designed by London-based Foster and Partners. It has a design similar feel to GCHQ's building, the UK's third intelligence service, which also has an iconic donut-shape built deep in the heart of Gloucester in West England.
The Apple Campus 2 will cover 2.8 million square feet and will stand at four storeys tall. The cost of the building, along with council tax -- which Apple was "happy to keep paying" -- will cost billions. But at over $500 a share, Apple is worth around $465bn, and has over $80 billion in its cash reserves, so it can easily afford it. In January, Apple posted net income of $13.06 billion for the fourth quarter, doubling (and more) its profits from the year before.
Also nicknamed the "mothership", the building will not have a single straight piece of glass. The glass will have to be manufactured specially for the building, and will be curved to accommodate the building's size, shape, and curvy dimensions.
The project objectives show that the designers want to "create an innovate and beautiful campus near Apple's Infinite Loop facility that consolidates Apple's engineers and support personnel in a single distinctive office, research and development building". It aims to "promote shared creativity and collaboration and spur invention of the next several generations of Apple products".
Even with its vast green and spacious areas, the designers of this campus want to "achieve the security and privacy required for the invention of new products by eliminating any public access through the perimeters against trespassers," ruling out any public right to access.
Landscaping the area, which is roughly twenty-times the size of the building itself is one of the key features to the plans. The current campus where HP had offices has "only so many" trees and greenery. Apple's new campus will vastly increase the amount of trees, greenery, and open-grassy spaces when it moves in.
South-east of San Francisco in Cupertino, California in Santa Clara County is where the new Apple Campus 2 will be. In fact, it's only a few city blocks away from Apple's current campus at One Infinite Loop, and resides still on a major interstate. This makes it easy for those who live nearby and those who commute in alike.
With the amount of greenery and trees to be planted and maintained, bearing in mind this campus is in the very heart of Cupertino, and very close to a residential area, the building will be sheltered and hidden mostly by trees. The building itself will be swathed with solar panels, which will act as one of the main power sources to the office.
Apple is keen to promote its green ethics and sustainability model. Currently, the campus is split into two by a road, but will be made into one and the road removed. Members of the general public will not be allowed onto the Apple campus, and this new bicycle route is necessary as per council guidelines.
As members of the general public will not be allowed onto the Apple campus, a new pedestrian route will be necessary to implement, considering the campus will no longer be split into two by a road. Much of the pedestrian route is covered by a cycling route also.
You can see from the building distribution and property ratios that Apple's campus is further away from the road -- and therefore the general public -- giving the company secrecy in what it does, and its employees privacy to work as they will -- but also making the area more attractive and lush with natural elements.
The existing "absorbent landscape" on the left shows the areas of the campus which is currently green and open spaces. Because of the building distribution and that whopping great big road that separates the two HP campuses, the new Apple campus will have far greater spaces and greenery, making this campus one of the most beautiful and environmentally friendly in the world. The permeable area of the old campus is 42.6 acres, while the new campus will have 118 acres.
You can also see the tree distribution. Apple is keen to keep the vast majority of the trees planted exactly where they are. But because it has to bulldoze some to make way for the donut-shaped building, it will plant over a thousand more. HP's campus has 4,200 while Apple wants to bump that number up to 6,000.
Apple's next-generation campus will also have to be secure to prevent protests, intruders, and aliens from landing. The campus will also have a VIP entrance area towards the west of the campus, and include restricted public access. But Apple will probably not be able to escape the fact it will need a great big fence to surround its campus to prevent public access.
The building will have around 300,000 square feet of research facilities. The auditorium, which will be designed for press and analysts to be when Apple announces products and services, will no longer be underground according to the plans. So much for keeping press "in the dark"...
Underneath the vast structure will hold a ring of cars and other vehicles which can be stored out of sight. There are two levels to the basement parking, including ramps and compact parking for the smaller vehicle.
As you can see from the shape of the building and the size of the trees, much of the building will not be visible from the edge of the campus. Most of the campus will be offices, while the light-infused area on the east elevation will be a restaurant. Other features of the campus include many facilities for which could tempt even the most home-loving of employees to stay at work just that little bit longer.