The 176-acre, 2.8-million-square-foot campus in Cupertino, California combines the transparency and modernity of floor-to-ceiling glass walls with a return to indigenous plant and animal life in a man-made park.
Aspects of the new Apple campus include extensive dining facilities, an underground road and parking garage beneath the main building, solar panel and foliage covered structures, a transit center, R&D facilities, and an underground auditorium for product unveilings.
The prize of the design is the central ring-shaped building. Designed by Foster and Partners, led by world-renowned architect Sir Norman Foster, the four-story structure will have capacity for 13,000 employees. To facilitate collaboration, walkways will run along the edges of each floor since, as Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said in the San Jose Mercury News,
We found that rectangles or squares or long buildings or buildings with more than four stories would inhibit collaboration…We wanted this to be a walkable building, and that’s why we eventually settled on a circle.
The renderings borrow from the recognizable, simple aesthetic of Apple stores, with the concave glass wall panels only adding to this feel.
In addition to the innovative construction elements, the new campus is also being designed with eco-friendliness in mind. Planned to operate on renewable energy, the campus will have fuel cell plants, photovoltaic setups, natural ventilation, and radiant cooling. The land is also being redeveloped into a park, incorporating tree-heavy landscape design. According to Apple, while currently only 20 percent of the plot is landscape (with 80 percent covered by buildings and lots), the new campus will convert the plot into 80 percent landscape.
Businessweek has reported the project budget to be $5 billion and on the rise. The new campus will certainly be different, but will it pay off?
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Images: Wired (via City of Cupertino)