Apple News, apple, Architecture, Article, Blogposts, California, Digital media, Jemima Kiss, Media, News, PDA, Technology — June 16, 2011 16:39 — 0 Comments
The Apple has landed: Steve Jobs’ plans for futuristic new campus
Apple boss charms councillors at local planning meeting, but politely turns down a request to provide free wi-fi for town centre!
Steve Jobs gave a masterclass in how to charm your local council planning meeting this week, personally presenting for 20 minutes on its ambitious plans for a new headquarters in Cupertino.
The small Californian town, which is part of the patchwork of cities that make up the sprawl of Silicon Valley, has become synonymous with Apple, which employs 2,800 people at the base on Infinity Loop.
With a very different persona to the one we see at Apple’s product announcements, Jobs was authoritative but humble, and personal enough to give anecdotes about growing up in Cupertino. He was also disturbingly thin and at times seemed breathless, and when one councillor asked on Apple’s no-smoking policy he snapped: “Both my parents died from lung cancer, so i’m a little sensitive on that topic.”
The vision of a vast, circular building is designed to impress. Jobs told the council that through its experience building retail stores, Apple has developed a specialism in building the biggest curved pieces of glass in the world for architectural use. Jobs, who has a summer job as a teenager at Hewlett Packard when it used own the land, said there used to be apricot trees on the site and wants to plant apricot orchards. The 150-acre site will be 80% landscaped, he said.
Ground breaking will start next year and the campus will be finished by 2015.
It will be four storeys high, hold around 12,000 people and have its own auditorium. Perhaps future WWDCs will be held here, instead of the Moscone Centre? “We put on presentations, much like we did yesterday, but we have to go to San Francisco to do them.”
One councillor asked how Cupertino residents will benefit from Apple’s new campus in the city. “Well, as you know we’re the largest tax payer in Cupertino and we’d like to continue to stay here and pay taxes. If we can’t then we have to go somewhere else like Mountain View and we’ll take our current people with us and the city’s largest tax base would go away.” He added that Apple employs a lot of talented people who end up being affluent members of the community.
Couldn’t Apple at least provide free wifi, suggested the councillor? “I’m a simpleton,” said Jobs. “I think we pay taxes and the city should do those things. If we can get out of paying taxes then I’d be glad to put up wifi. I think we bring a lot more than free wifi.”
“I think we do have a shot at building the best office building in the world. I think architecture students will come here to see this.”
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010