June 9, 2011

Steve Jobs Unveils Plans For ‘Spaceship’ Office Facility

Chief Executive Jobs said Apple Inc. plans to build a circular "spaceship" building in Cupterino, California that will hold 12,000 employees.

Jobs made his second public appearance in two days on Tuesday to show off plans to the Cupertino city council.

"It's a little like a spaceship landed," said Jobs, showing off a four-story, circular building with a massive interior courtyard on a 150-acre piece of landscaped land.

"There is not a straight piece of glass in the building," he said. "We know how to make the biggest pieces of glass in the world for architectural use."

Jobs said Apple has grown "like a weed" and needs a place to put about 12,000 employees.  The new structure would be in addition to the main campus at 1 Infinite Loop.

"That's rather odd, 12,000 people in a building, in one building. But we've seen these office parks with lots of buildings, and they get pretty boring pretty fast, so we'd like to do something better than that," he said.

"I do think we have a shot at building the best office building in the world," he added, showing off sketches.

Jobs shot down questions from city council members, avoiding a request to give free Wi-Fi to the city and arguing that the increase in workers at the site would not be significant enough to require any traffic mitigation efforts.

Apple bought most of the land from Hewlett Packard Co., where Jobs got one of his first summer jobs after calling up his idol and HP founder Bill Hewlett. 

"Now that we've seen your plans, the word `spectacular' would be an understatement," Councilman Orrin Mahoney said. "And I think everyone is going to appreciate what clearly is going to be the most elegant headquarters "” at least in the U.S. "” that I've seen."

Jobs said he hoped to submit formal plans for the new campus "fairly quickly," with the goal of breaking ground next year and moving into the space by 2015.

Jobs has been on medical leave for the past five moths to deal with an unspecified medical issue.  He is a survivor of pancreatic cancer and has undergone a liver transplant.


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