Late last year it was revealed that Apple purchased a 98-acre campus from Hewlett Packard, just up I-280 in Cupertino. Last night, Apple CEO Steve Jobs, in trademark black turtleneck and jeans, explained Apple's plans for the space to the Cupertino City Council. Here's what the new 4-story building holding 12,000 employees will look like when it's completed in 2015:
As Steve describes it:
"It's a pretty amazing building. It's a little like a spaceship landed. It's got this gorgeous courtyard in the middle... It's a circle. It's curved all the way around. If you build things, this is not the cheapest way to build something. There is not a straight piece of glass in this building. It's all curved. We've used our experience making retail buildings all over the world now, and we know how to make the biggest pieces of glass in the world for architectural use. And, we want to make the glass specifically for this building here. We can make it curve all the way around the building... It's pretty cool.
The facility will be 80% landscaping, with most of the parking underground, compared to 20% landscaping with all above ground parking currently. The current campus has 3,700 trees and Apple plans to increase that to more than 6,000 trees, including "some apricot orchards."
Apple also plans to build its own energy generation facility using natural gas, with the electricity grid as a backup.
One of the city councilors asked what the citizens of Cupertino would get from the new campus, and in particular brought up a free Wi-Fi network, like Google offers in Mountain View. Steve responded that Apple was the largest taxpayer in Cupertino and he felt that the tax benefits to having a company like Apple in Cupertino was benefit enough and the city should be providing a service like that.
"If we can get out of paying taxes, we would be glad to provide free Wi-Fi."