Apple plans new 'spaceship'-like campus

Apple plans to build a new campus with a circular building that looks a spaceship, big enough to house 12,000 employees. The campus, near Apple's existing headquarters in Cupertino, California, will generate its own energy.

The single office building on the new campus will look "a little like a spaceship landed," Apple CEO, Steve Jobs told the Cupertino City Council in a presentation on Tuesday.

The company has 12,000 employees in the Cupertino area, in its headquarters at Infinite Loop and in other buildings, Jobs said. It plans to retain its existing headquarters building, but needs new office space to accommodate employees, he said.

The new office building will be of "human scale" size, about four stories high, Jobs said. About 12,000 employees in one building "sounds rather odd," Jobs said, but said that the campus is necessary to keep up the company's pace of growth.

"Apple's grown like a weed and as you know, Apple's always been in Cupertino," Jobs said. "The campus we'd like to build there is one building that holds 12,000 people."

Apple originally bought the new land from Hewlett-Packard, which sold the property while downsizing. Jobs said the land was of special significance to him as it was purchased by HP founders Dave Packard and Bill Hewlett, who offered him a summer job in 1969.

Apple plans to build an energy center that will generate primary power for the new campus, and the company will rely on the grid for backup power. That will help the company use power from natural gas and other cheaper and cleaner forms of energy.

A lot of the current land on the campus is asphalt parking space, and the new campus will be greener, Jobs said. The company wants to landscape 80% of the new campus, up from 20%, and put most of the parking underground.

There are currently 3,700 trees and Apple wants to increase that to 6,000, Jobs said. The company has hired a senior arborist from Stanford for the job with experience in indigenous trees around the area.

The company also plans to establish a new auditorium so the company does not have to come to San Francisco every time to make presentations, Jobs said.

Cupertino City Council members reacted positively to the plans for the new campus.

"The word spectacular would be an understatement. I think that everybody's going to appreciate what clearly is going to be the most elegant headquarters at least in the U.S. that I've seen," said a council member and former HP employee, Orrin Mahoney, after Jobs' presentation.

A council member, Kristy Wang, asked whether Apple would provide free Wi-Fi to benefit city residents. Jobs declined to comment, saying the free Wi-Fi bandwagon had passed.

"I'm a simpleton. I've always had this view that we pay taxes and the city should do those things. If we can get out of paying taxes, I'd be glad to put up Wi-Fi."

This story, "Apple plans new 'spaceship'-like campus" was originally published by IDG News Service .

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