Apple Submits Written Application to City for New Campus Development

Sharon Simonson

Apple Inc. has at long last filed its formal application with the city of Cupertino to build its new headquarters, dubbed “Apple Campus 2” in the official record.

The application contains few surprises and tracks closely the information disclosed by company founder and Chief Executive Steve Jobs when he spoke to the Cupertino City Council on June 7. That session was the first close-up look granted the public by Apple about its intentions for the nearly 176-acre site. That said, as with everything Apple, even the details are interesting.

The documents confirm that London-based Foster + Partners is the architect. Norman Foster, also known as Lord Foster of Thames Bank, ranks among the world’s current “starchitects” and is the creative genius behind such buildings as London’s Gherkin, among many, many others.

The engineers are Arup out of their San Francisco office, and the planning consultant is Kier & Wright Civil Engineers & Surveyors Inc., which has offices in Santa Clara and Livermore.

The application makes clear that Apple has embraced society’s current cultural preoccupations. The campus is expected to “exceed economic, social and environmental sustainability goals.” It minimizes the company’s reliance on the electricity grid by generating nearly all energy needs on site. On June 7, Jobs said Apple would use natural gas for fuel because it would be cheaper and cleaner.

The application also highlights that as beautiful as the campus may be, it is not intended as a public amenity. It will be fully encircled by security fencing and gates. It is intended to “[r]espond to Apple’s current and future business needs,” and to “[p]rovide an expanse of open and green space for Apple employees’ enjoyment,” the application says.

The campus also would have its own “transit center,” located inside the security fencing and onsite cafe large enough to seat 3,000 at one time.

The plan calls for 2.82 million square feet in the main, circular building. An additional 300,000 square feet of research space would be located away from the giant circle. “These buildings will house technical support functions that need to be located adjacent to the main building,” according to the application.

Based on a total of 3.1 million square feet and 13,000 employees, Apple is building to a standard of not quite 240 square feet per worker—a decidedly suburban ratio especially compared to some being reached in downtown San Francisco. The plan also calls for a 100,000 square-foot corporate auditorium and a 25,000 square-foot corporate fitness center.

What the plans also make clear is the suddenly even more superb location of The Hamptons Apartment Homes, an Irvine Co. development that will be embraced on two of four sides by the corporate campus. Jobs told the Cupertino Council in June that the company “tried to buy the apartments… but they are not for sale.”

Apartment dwellers living on upper floors would have perhaps the best view of the headquarters. The Hamptons’ property line is set to be but 240 feet from the great circle, the shortest distance between any Apple building and the Apple property line.

The interior of the giant ring is to be divided by tree-lined walkways that slice the inner circle into a neat, eight-piece pizza pie. Walkways and orchards (apricot trees, to be exact, according to Jobs) also crisscross and dot the campus’ remaining open space outside the big circle.

The company intends to keep its current Infinite Loop property, also in Cupertino, where it has less than a million square feet. Apple hopes to occupy the new campus in 2015.

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