Apple is always pushing the envelope from new technologies to radical innovations. Their arguably most interesting concoction is their proposed “Spaceship” campus in Cupertino, California. With Apple always expanding, the need for more office and lab space is continually growing. Their new toroid-shaped headquarters could cost upwards of $5 billion once completed and be an architectural marvel, at least in Apple’s eyes. For locals, the prospect of another massive construction isn’t as appealing. Despite a litany of objections, progress continues forward for the iHQ.
The new complex, which will supplement but not replace Apple’s current offices, will be built on the former site of the Hewlett Packard headquarters. Designed by British architect Norman Foster, the “Spaceship” campus will be four stories high, encompass 2.8 million square feet, and provide ample room for 14,000 Apple employees.
As with all major constructions, an environmental impact report was required to determine the building feasibility. On the current site, Apple has plans to raze the current HP buildings and level more than 3,600 trees on building sites. Apple will be required to make environmental concessions to ensure a balance for their actions. They plan to restore 120 acres of the 150-acre plot of land to native grasslands and plants, more than 6,200 trees on the property. Currently, the company is spending time hand-selecting oaks to be planted on the site.
The relocation of thousands of workers to the location will cause additional traffic on the nearby Interstate 280. Traffic simulations predict the exits at Wolfe Road will be subject to considerable increases in traffic during the afternoon rush hour. Apple will attempt to prevent this gridlock by arming a fleet of shuttle buses, hoping to achieve their goal of 34 percent or more trips to the campus from non-single vehicle cars. Apple plans to install three left turn lanes at the nearby exist to better accommodate the increased car traffic.
On October 1, a shared study session was held with Apple builders and the Cupertino planning commission. Amidst a public meeting, the groups discussed the ability of Apple to limit traffic, as well as address a myriad of other concerns. After the consultation, the planning commission opted to approve the project, the second to last step before construction can begin. On October 15, the project will come before the City Council of Cupertino for approval.
The project was first proposed by Steve Jobs in 2011, a few months prior to his passing. Jobs believed the new Apple Campus could “have a shot at building the best office building in the world. I think it could be that good.” While Jobs has passed on, his legacy could soon be seen in the Apple Spaceship.
If approved, completion is expected by the end of 2015.
Sources: Alex Wynick, New Apple ‘spaceship’ HQ approved by California Planning Committee, Mirror.co.uk
George Avalos, Apple’s ‘spaceship’ campus could get Cupertino’s final OK by November, Mercury News.com
Scott Herhold, Apple sweats the details with its new headquarters, Mercury News.com
Shane Cole, Apple’s ‘spaceship’ campus clears another regulatory hurdle on way to breaking ground, Apple Insider.com