Opinion Brief

Apple's new 'spaceship' HQ: World's best office building?

Steve Jobs wants to build a futuristic new campus for Apple, mere blocks away from its current headquarters

The video: This week, Steve Jobs "humbly" presented his plans to build a "giant, spaceship-shaped" new Apple campus to the Cupertino City Council. (See the campus at right, and watch Jobs' lengthy, folksy presentation below). Apple is growing "like a weed," says Jobs, and its current headquarters at One Infinite Loop hold only 2,800 of the company's 9,500 Cupertino employees. This new four-story, circular campus, to be built on 98 acres Jobs bought from Hewlett-Packard last year and rumored to be the design of superstar British architect Norman Foster, would hold 12,000 additional staffers. "We do have a shot at building the best office building in the world," Jobs said modestly, adding that there won't be a straight piece of glass in it. "Architecture students will come here to see this.” Apple hopes to break ground next year, with a proposed 2015 completion date.

The reaction: "This is Apple doing exactly the same with its headquarters as it does with its computers, its software, and its retail stores: Ensuring the design is the best, no matter what the cost," says Jeff Labrecqueat at TIME. The design is also meaningful, says Rick Merritt at EE Times. "The circle of the new Apple building symbolizes a kind of wholeness, a corporate soul." "There is no chance that we're saying no" to the new building, says Cupertino Mayor Gilbert Wong, as quoted by TechCrunch. "The Mothership has landed in Cupertino." The city's cooperation is no surprise, says Goncalo Ribeiro at Redmond Pie, because as Jobs "was kind enough to point out, if Apple left, much of the city's tax base would leave, too." Watch Jobs' presentation to the Cupertino City Council:

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