On the Horizon: Apple Campus 2 by Foster + Partners

New corporate campus in Cupertino, Calif. set to cover 175 acres and boast a wider diameter than the Pentagon.

by Adam Moore

Apple has built itself into one of the world’s most valuable companies through the creation of bold, groundbreaking designs, so it should come as little surprise that the company’s proposed plan for a new corporate campus in Cupertino, Calif. was conceived by one of the world’s premier architectural firms and looks like nothing we have seen before.

The Foster + Partners-designed campus, if approved by the city, will cover 175 acres and boast a wider diameter than the Pentagon. The campus’ main, ring-shaped building will feature the world’s largest piece of architectural glass (“It’s a little like a spaceship landed,” the late Steve Jobs said of the design upon presenting it to the city council in 2011), and will provide 2.8 million square feet of office, research and development space for up to 13,000 Apple employees—many of whom are currently working at satellite offices throughout the area.

The campus will also include another 300,000-square-foot research facility, a 1,000 seat corporate auditorium and a 45,000-square-foot corporate fitness center.

Planning documents provided to the city indicate that the proposed campus will be environmentally friendly. Facilities have been designed to “minimize energy demand, reduce car travel and increase the use of reclaimed water.” An onsite plant will produce power for the campus, while the roof of the building will be covered in thousands of solar panels, making it one of the largest solar power generators in the United States.

“I think what we’re going to end up doing is making the energy center our primary source of power, because we can generate power with natural gas and other ways that can be cleaner and cheaper, and use the grid as our backup,” Jobs said.

But perhaps the greenest portion of Apple’s plans for the campus can be found in the landscaping itself; the company will move a majority of its parking underground to increase the landscaping onsite from the current 20 percent level to more than 80 percent.

“Today there are 3,700 trees on the property,” Jobs told the council. “We’d like to almost double that.”

The design proposal is currently in the city of Cupertino’s hands, with approval expected in the fall of 2012. Apple hopes to have the new campus completed by 2015. Learn more about the project at www.cupertino.org and www.fosterandpartners.com.