Steve Jobs Pitches Massive Apple Spaceship Cupertino Campus (Video)

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Apple CEO Steve Jobs spent some of Tuesday evening pitching the Cupertino city council on an enormous new campus for his company. In a 20 minute presentation, Mr. Jobs showed the members of the council plans for a massive circular building nestled in the woods of a 150-acre property just down the road from Infinite Loop, a building that looks like science fiction spaceship that will hold between 12,000 and 13,000 employees.

Apple purchased the land in two transactions. In 2006, the company bought 50 acres off Wolfe Road, and in 2010, the company bought 98 adjacent acres from HP, giving Apple not quite 150 acres. Mr. Jobs told the Cupertino city council that his company wanted to take that space, increase the number of trees on the site by 62% from 3,700 to 6,000 (or “almost double,” as Mr. Jobs presented the math), and plunk down one of the most amazing office buildings on the planet where HP used to do its thing.

You can watch the presentation in full, as posted to YouTube by the city council (via TechCrunch), but for those who can’t, we’ve put together highlights, slides, and quick facts for your convenience, which you will find below the video.

Steve Jobs presents Apple’s plans for an office building in Cupertino

The first thing we’ll note is that Mr. Jobs was putting on a show every bit as masterfully as he would a keynote event. His tone was much more folksy than a keynote (at one point he called himself a “simpleton”), but he was playing the room every bit as much as he plays the developers at WWDC or a Macworld crowd back when Apple supported Macworld Conference & Expo.

The second thing we’ll note is that the entire city council appeared to be made up of massive Apple fanboys and fangirls. They did their best to ask a couple of softball questions, but Mr. Jobs was more than their match in every conceivable fashion.

For instance, when one councilwoman asked Mr. Jobs if Apple would provide the city of Cupertino with a free WiFi network, like Google did for the city of Mountain View. Mr. Jobs flat out said no, noting that his company is the largest tax payer in Cupertino.

“I’m a simpleton,” he said, putting on his most folksy moment. “I’ve always had the view that we pay taxes and the city should do those things. That’s why we pay taxes. Now, if we can get out of paying taxes, I’ll be glad to put up a WiFi network.”

It was exactly the right thing to say, and the council members and audience laughed and smiled. More importantly, the point was almost immediately conceded, and it was clear that not only would Apple not be building said network, but that it was not necessary for Apple to do so to get fast track approval for its plans.

Mr. Jobs also made it plain that his company needs this new space. He said that the Infinite Loop campus can hold some 2,600 people, and that Apple has had to lease more and more space outside the main campus as local headcount has exploded to more than 9,500 employees (he actually says 12,000 early in the presentation, but a slide makes it clear that current local headcount is actually 9,500).

In the near future, or “Tomorrow” as all the slides say, Apple will need as many as 13,000 employees. Mr. Jobs said that his company would like to keep Apple in Cupertino where it was founded, but that if they can’t get this new space, it will have to move to Mountain View or some other place where it can build a big enough space for all these people, taking all those taxes and high income earners with it.

It was not stated as a threat, but the threat was still crystal clear. Mr. Jobs is one of the toughest negotiators in business today and he has regularly hammered together deals with all manner of companies used to getting their way (To wit: the record labels and movie studios), and those skills are on display throughout his presentation.

Another thing that was clear is that this building, as envisioned, will be something to behold. Mr. Jobs talked about how Apple has hired some of the best architects and engineers on the planet to work up these plans, and he touted such things as the fact that there are no straight pieces of glass because Apple has learned how to do things like make a bunch of curved glass from all its retail experience.

“I think we do have a shot at building the best office building in the world,” he said, with the passion evident in both his demeanor and voice. “And I really do think architecture students will come here to see this. I think it could be that good.”

Quick Facts:

  • The campus will use underground parking for most of its employee parking, some of which will be under the spaceship itself. There will also be a separate parking structure off to the side.
  • The entire building will be four stories tall. “There’s nothing high here,” Mr. Jobs said. “We want the whole place human scale. It’s about the same as we have in Cupertino right now.”
  • There are cafés in the facility. Mr. Jobs said that there were multiple cafés, but when he showed one of them in a concept drawing he said that it alone would sit up to 3,000 people at one time, “because that’s what you need when you have 12,000 people on campus.”
  • Apple currently has 20 biodiesel powered busses that it runs all over the Bay Area for employee shuttles.
  • The campus will have its own power generator on site and use the grid as its backup. He said that Apple can generate electricity that is both cleaner and cheaper than what it can buy. Take that, PG&E.
  • Apple wants to submit its plans for official approval “rather quickly.” From there, “We want to break ground next year, and we want to move in in 2015.”
  • Apple tried to buy the 15-acre apartment complex at the southwest corner of its land, but was unable to do so.
  • Mr. Jobs made it plain that he is proud of Cupertino and that he really wants Apple to stay in the city where he grew up.
  • The city council wants an Apple Store retail location in Cupertino, but Mr. Jobs said there wasn’t enough traffic to support one. “If we thought it would be successful, we’d love to,” he said.

Some of the slides culled from the presentation:

Map of the space

Infinite Loop is on the left, while the new space is on the right. The proposed building is the circle.

Layout with structures

Another view of the proposed space, but this one includes all of the proposed facilities, including underground structures

Below are several artist’s renditions of the building, including three aerial shots, a closeup of the outside of the building, and the employee café.

Aerial Shot #1

Aerial shot #1

Aerial Shot #2

Aerial shot #2

Aerial Shot #3

Aerial shot #3

Building Closeup

Building closeup

Café

Employee café

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Comments

Lee Dronick

“Mr. Jobs also made it plain that his company needs this new space. He said that the Infinite Loop campus can hold some 2,600 people, and that Apple has had to lease more and more space outside the main campus as local headcount has exploded to more than 9,500 employees (he actually says 12,000 early in the presentation, but a slide makes it clear that current local headcount is actually 9,500).”

Maybe the 1,200 difference would be those not working in Cupertino, but at places such as Apple Stores, warehouses, or data centers.

I wonder what technology, or technologies, they will be using to generate electricity. I better go reread Al Gore’s Our Choice.

Tiger

Well, at least when presenting the spaceship building, he didn’t say “Hallowed be the Ori.”

Seriously though, what a cool concept. If that’s what it looks like above ground, imagine the space below ground!

brett_x

First, I was looking for the link to The Onion story. When I didn’t find it, I had to check my watch (okay, iPhone) to make sure it wasn’t April 1st.
None of those panned out. Now I’m scratching my head. Really? A Space Ship style building? Am I the only one here that thinks this is crazy? I’m not against it, it just seems to be a bit out there.. even for Apple.
Of course, this is just my initial reaction.

Tiger

Brett, it’s not that crazy, considering they already exist at One Infinite Loop.

It’s just a logical next step. And imagine all the headlines and slogans!

Apple Runs Circles Around the Competition
New Apple Campus has a Nice Ring to it.
Apple Embarks on a new Space Odyssey
Setting a New Curve
Steve Jobs Builds new Fortress of Smartitude
Come on ‘Round to Cupertino
Take a look at our new Apple Pie

These are available for rent from me. Just send me a shout out!
grin

John Molloy

A couple of takes on this. How many excellent and outstanding buildings has Apple been responsible for in the last few years? On another point, didn’t Steve Jobs commission the Pixar campus too?

I think taking land which is mostly used for car parking space at the moment and returning it to trees is an excellent idea. Putting the car park under the ground is also excellent.

geoduck

And imagine all the headlines and slogans!

One Ring to Rule Them All
and with iOS Bind Them

Tiger

Hole-y smokes Duck. Good one!

Carlos

About the Apple Store in Cupertino ... no problem, maybe a small souvenir shop on the premises will be sufficient for the occasional visits
from outsiders. They will have small tours on the most advanced office building and number one innovative company of the US if not the world!

Tiger

Imagine the soundtrack playing

Lee Dronick

With a ring shaped building it is easier to sneaker net to an opposite office. Just exit the building walk across the courtyard with out doing a series of grid turns as in a square or rectangular building. The Pentagon building is similar.

Another thing is that most rooms will have windows that let in natural light which saves on electricity during the day.  Going back to old days of pre electricity in that regard.

With parking underground and a “park” around the building I bet that it will be a beautiful place.

I would have built it in the shape of a golden spiral.

cb50dc

...Take a look at our new Apple Pie.

Tiger, thanks for several good chuckles to help loosen up my morning.

rtamesis

They’ve literally designed the Mothership!

cb50dc

Ahh, with ~$60 Billion stacked in the corner room, HERE’s how Apple hopes to spend some?um?well, some fraction of a percent of it.

ibuck

Sir Harry: I would have built it in the shape of a golden spiral.

I was struck by the similarity to the Safari icon, sans needle, in the first photo and Aerial shot #2.

jfbiii

Particle accelerator.

aardman

It’ll most likely be an amazing work of architecture that.  I just worry every time companies start building monuments to themselves.  Pride always comes before the fall.  But that’s just my standard knee jerk reaction.

The other thing is that given plans for a large sprawling office building by a very famous American company, I am immediately reminded of the Pentagon.  But I think our air defenses are a little more vigilant now.  Just paranoid musings I suppose.

aardman

Now if they could make the inner courtyard an endangered species sanctuary staffed by trained biologists .  .  .  So while you’re coding for Lion, you peer out the window and gaze at real lions.  And snow leopards, tigers, jaguars, etc.

Lee Dronick

If that?s what it looks like above ground, imagine the space below ground!

That is where the power generating station is located, probably similar to this one.

Now if they could make the inner courtyard an endangered species sanctuary staffed by trained biologists

A place for Blackberries, Androids, and Dells

Particle accelerator.

I thought that too. The Large Halo Collider, it slams neckbeards into each other.

I was struck by the similarity to the Safari icon, sans needle, in the first photo and Aerial shot #2.

Yes!

aardman

aardman said:

Now if they could make the inner courtyard an endangered species sanctuary staffed by trained biologists

A place for Blackberries, Androids, and Dells

Ah, good one.

RonMacGuy

Particle accelerator.

Steve Jobs 2012: “I am happy to announce another magical device… The iAccelerator!! The power of a particle accelerator but easy to use, and wow, what an interface!!”

grin

geoduck

A place for Blackberries, Androids, and Dells

From thefreedictionary.com
dell n. A small secluded wooded valley

So the small secluded wooded space in the middle of Apple’s new building IS a dell.

Now that’s irony.

aardman

A place for Blackberries, Androids, and Dells

Furthermore, that changes the courtyard from a sanctuary to a quarantine area.  Or a hospice?  Worse, a midden?

John Lockwood

The proposed new Apple campus does indeed look great but I am surprised no-one else has mentioned another similar building. (Well perhaps not as it is not in America.)

GCHQ is the UK Government electronic spy centre (think of it as being the UK equivalent to the US NSA). They have a headquarters that looks much the same see http://www.designbuild-network.com/projects/gchq/

The Apple proposal is however superior in that they hide most of the parking underground whereas GCHQ is surrounded by surface level parking. GCHQ does have a central courtyard as well though.

John Dingler, artist

Impressive is that Apple is becoming an architecture company, moving into innovative green technology in commercial building design, not merely for self-aggrandizement which focuses on form and style and cost-cutting.

Lee Dronick

So the small secluded wooded space in the middle of Apple?s new building IS a dell.

A dell will be performing at the iTunes event in the UK smile

Impressive is that Apple is becoming an architecture company, moving into innovative green technology in commercial building design, not merely for self-aggrandizement which focuses on form and style and cost-cutting.

A delicious mix of art and technology. As one of the people I admire once said:

?In building the city, let us remember that the material things which will endure longest are those that express the spirit of man in art. In the arts of landscape and architecture the spirit of the city can be preserved for ages.? George White Marston, July 16th 1929

akcarver

?Mr. Jobs also made it plain that his company needs this new space. He said that the Infinite Loop campus can hold some 2,600 people, and that Apple has had to lease more and more space outside the main campus as local headcount has exploded to more than 9,500 employees (he actually says 12,000 early in the presentation, but a slide makes it clear that current local headcount is actually 9,500).?

My understanding is that the 9,500 number is the capacity of the buildings that HP is abandoning.

Lee Dronick

My understanding is that the 9,500 number is the capacity of the buildings that HP is abandoning.

That makes sense. The number of people planned for a building could be a factor in getting the permits. Can streets handle the traffic and such.

ibuck

Am I alone in noticing that the demeanor of Jobs, the permit supplicant, is different than he has been when announcing products?

Bryan Chaffin

Am I alone in noticing that the demeanor of Jobs, the permit supplicant, is different than he has been when announcing products?

I, for one, pointed it out in my coverage. smile

iJack

I for one am underwhelmed.  A building with that much surface area is not “Green.”  It’s going to be a beast to heat and cool.  Well, it would if it weren’t in California. 

The other thing I don’t like ? and I learned the from the Dallas Airport Terminal building years ago ? the inhabitants will have no sense of “place” while using the building.  While walking down an infinite corridor, your destination is always just out of sight.  It’s somewhat frustrating not knowing (from visual clues) where you are on even a short journey, and quite frankly, it’s tiring.

A building this large is like a small town, and needs small town “anchors,” like small parks, town squares and piazzas.

So, there.

doneck

Sort of a round pentagon.  The Pentagon, which holds twice as many employees as the proposed Apple building, took only 16 months to cobble together.  Well, there was a war on.  No charm in the Pentagon, but the Circle looks like a winner.

RonMacGuy

The other thing I don?t like ? and I learned the from the Dallas Airport Terminal building years ago ? the inhabitants will have no sense of ?place? while using the building.? While walking down an infinite corridor, your destination is always just out of sight.? It?s somewhat frustrating not knowing (from visual clues) where you are on even a short journey, and quite frankly, it?s tiring.

Well, we really have no idea how the inside will be done.  I am sure there are “tricks” that can be used to offset your concerns.  Easy to add visual clues…

akcarver

Am I alone in noticing that the demeanor of Jobs, the permit supplicant, is different than he has been when announcing products?

It seemed to me that the council was very sycophantic, almost ready to say yes immediately.

akcarver

Sort of a round pentagon.? The Pentagon, which holds twice as many employees as the proposed Apple building, took only 16 months to cobble together.? Well, there was a war on.

Not to mention they almost certainly didn’t have to deal with construction unions and ridiculous municipal regulations to slow them down. Look how fast LA was rebuilt after the Northridge quake when they suspended some of the more egregious laws.

DaveMTL

Please note that people will use nature to figure out where they are… “hey! there’s that old oak tree” or “the caf by the orchard”.

Did everyone notice the grass? It’s the wild kind which grows to a certain height then stops. No watering, no mowing, no feeding. Now that’s being really green! They will probably pollute much less then the old HP site did while maintaining the garden space while absorbing far more pollution with all the trees and shrubs. ALSO, less parking space means far less distortion of the local climate (less of a micro climate due to the heat absorbing dark pavement).

OS11

almost ready to say yes immediately

and what did you expect them to say? cupertino is a small town, apple is over 65% of their tax base… steve presented a great plan… so what were you expecting?

go away! we don’t want our city to prosper?

get a grip…

Lee Dronick

It seemed to me that the council was very sycophantic, almost ready to say yes immediately.

I am sure that Apple had discussed the matter in private with at least some of the Council Members. The public meeting is a formality. Also as OS11 says Apple is very important to Cupertino’s economic health.

geoduck

Also what’s not to like?
150 acres of concrete and empty buildings converted into one architectural beauty surrounded with parkland. The facility will not load the power grid and will keep 9500+ jobs in town. I don’t see why they would vote against this.

ptmmac

Has anyone else noticed that it looks ready to be transformed into an apple?  Minus the bite of course.  All they need is a building to be the stem.

chrstn411

I thought the same. I’d be surprised if it’s a coincidence that two very secretive organisations have chosen circles for their HQ.

I suspect there’s something practical about the shape that enables the secretive practices that go on there.

chrstn411

I was trying to quote from John Lockwood, who commented on the similarity with GCHQ’s HQ. It didn’t seem to copy across.

MackyMoto

Mr. Jobs also made it plain that his company needs this new space. He said that the Infinite Loop campus can hold some 2,600 people, and that Apple has had to lease more and more space outside the main campus as local headcount has exploded to more than 9,500 employees (he actually says 12,000 early in the presentation, but a slide makes it clear that current local headcount is actually 9,500).

The 9,500 refers to the capacity of the current structures. Steve says “we’re up roughly 40% in people over what the site has been used for previously”.

Lee Dronick

I thought the same. I?d be surprised if it?s a coincidence that two very secretive organisations have chosen circles for their HQ.

I suspect there?s something practical about the shape that enables the secretive practices that go on there.

They are like crop circles or Nazca Lines, ways to communicate with extraterrestrials. Steve Jobs will write an encrypted book entitled To Serve Man

My father wanted me to an architect and while it interested me, and still does I had a terrible case of wanderlust. Anyway, I have been taking a little time to research the advantages of a circular or ring shaped building, other than aesthetics. I have a few irons in the fire today and can’t look into it too much, but:

Bertrand Goldberg is talking about circular buildings more so than ring shaped.  http://www.greatbuildings.com/architects/Bertrand_Goldberg.html

See this about old ring shaped buildings in China http://alvinfyp.wordpress.com/2009/07/13/the-hakka-round-house/

Cupertino is in an earthquake zone, the San Andreas Fault is nearby. Perhaps the construction of the ring shaped building is in part for structural integrity.

Lee Dronick

This afternoon I read about an existing building of similar design in Nyon Switzerland.

“...The building is heated and cooled using a hybrid system consisting of a geothermal heat pump (35 downhole heat exchangers each at a depth of 200 metres) and solar thermal energy system, the excess heat from which is transformed by a Yazaki absorption refrigerator into cooling energy to cool the offices in summer…In addition to the 90 vacuum tube collectors, around 200 square metres of photovoltaic panels with an output of 30 kW are also mounted on the building?s flat roof. These provide sufficient power to cover the building?s electrical base load…

akcarver

akcarver said:almost ready to say yes immediately
and what did you expect them to say? cupertino is a small town, apple is over 65% of their tax base? steve presented a great plan? so what were you expecting?

go away! we don?t want our city to prosper?

get a grip?

That’s not what I’m saying. Of course they want their city to prosper, but at the same time, they don’t have to fall all over themselves at a first public presentation to the council.

Garion

Coincidentally, (or maybe not), the eight paths laid out from the center of the court yard in conjunction with the circular building also happen to form a giant dharmachakra, one of the most important religious symbols in buddhism. The symbol is also sometimes referred to simply as “the buddhist wheel symbol”.

Well, Steve Jobs is a buddhist after all, no?

http://www.religionfacts.com/buddhism/symbols/wheel.htm

doneck

The population of Cupertino exceeds 50,000.  It is not a small town, but a small city.  I live in a town with population 2200, and we don’t even consider it to be small for a town.

geoduck

I live in a town with population 2200, and we don?t even consider it to be small for a town.

My town was so small the Entering and Leaving signs were on the same post
My town was so small we had to take turns being the town drunk
My town was so small, mosquitos couldn’t find a square meal.
My town was so small letters to Occupant all went to the same house.
My town was so small the Drive-In was an iPad
My town was so small the McDonald’s sign said “Over 10 Served”.
My town was so small Motel 6 wouldn’t leave the light on for us
My town was so small the playground was in two counties.
My town was so small the police car also delivered pizzas.
My town was so small city hall was a phone booth.
My town was so small….

Well that’s probably enough of that.

RonMacGuy

My favorite - My town was so small the motorcycle gang consisted of a donkey named “Harley”.  They cut off his back legs to make him a low rider…

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