Apple CEO Steve Jobs laid out plans for the next Apple headquarters, hinting that his company will radically expand its headcount in coming years.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs appeared at a Cupertino, Calif., City Council meeting to discuss plans
for a larger headquarters.
Normally, a company executive explaining a need for more
office space isn't exactly a newsworthy event. However, Jobs' celebrity status
and the relative infrequency of his appearances, combined with a general
interest in all things Apple, transformed the June
7 local-government meeting into national tech news.
"We would like to put [in] a new campus on that so we can
stay in Cupertino," Jobs told the council, according
to a video
of the meeting posted on the blog Apple Insider. "We've hired
some great architects to work with, some of the best in the world. We've come
up with a design that puts 12,000 people in one building."
Apple's current Cupertino campus holds fewer than than 3,000 employees. A fourfold
increase for the proposed building hints at Apple's long-term optimism about
its market and prospects. As detailed in the architectural drawings Jobs showed
the council, the new four-story structure will embrace many of the minimalist
design cues that define Apple's retail stores, including heavy use of
"It's a pretty amazing building," he said. "It's a little
like a spaceship landed."
If you want to use a more down-to-earth analogy, the
headquarters will look like a doughnut made out of curved glass, steel, and
other materials. The doughnut's "hole" will be a central courtyard. The
facility will feature underground parking, which will make the overall property
some 80 percent landscape, with a proposed 6,000 trees. Jobs said Apple would
provide its own power via an "energy center" most likely powered by natural gas
and other efficient means, with Cupertino's electric grid "as our backup."
Facilities will include research-and-development areas and a fitness
"We've seen these office parks with lots of office
buildings," Jobs added, "and they get pretty boring pretty fast."
It's been a busy week for Jobs. On June 6, he took the stage
at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference to
introduce the upcoming Mac OS X "Lion" and iOS 5 operating systems, as well as
the iCloud service.
All three platforms highlighted Apple's focus on mobility.
Mac OS X "Lion" includes a baked-in Mac App Store, which offers access to a
wide variety of full-screen apps-a spiritual descendent of the App Store long
available for iOS devices like the iPhone and the iPad. Major tweaks to iOS 5,
the next generation of the operating system that powers the popular iPad and
iPhone, include increased interoperability with Twitter, a refined
notifications screen and the robust "iMessenger" communications platform.
The free iCloud service, due for release this fall alongside
iOS 5, will sync user content and push it to various devices via the cloud.
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