“As founder and chairman of Foster+Partners, Norman Foster has created projects at every scale but may be best known for such innovative tall buildings as the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Headquarters in Hong Kong (1986), the Swiss Re tower in London, a.k.a. “the Gherkin” (2004), and the Hearst Tower in New York (2006),” Cathleen McGuigan reports for Architectural Record. “The firm’s airport projects include Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok (1998) and Terminal 3 in Beijing International Airport (2008), which is one of the largest buildings in the world.”

A few snippets:

McGuigan: The Apple headquarters you’ve designed for Cupertino, California, will have 12,000 employees in one building.
Foster: You could compare that with a typical university of the same size. Traditionally, you’re probably talking at least 16 or 17 buildings. The Apple building will occupy the site much more tightly than what was there. It was the former Hewlett-Packard site, and, just in the last month, we demolished all the buildings that were there. It was a large number of them. [The new Apple construction will cover 13 percent of the site, while the two dozen former HP buildings, in total, covered much more, according to Foster’s office.]

Apple Campus 2 project - Cupertino, CA

Apple Campus 2 project – Cupertino, CA

McGuigan: So what made the form of a ring the logical choice for this building?
Foster: It’s interesting how it evolved. First of all, there was a smaller site. Then, as the project developed, and the Hewlett-Packard site became available, the scale of the project changed. Meanwhile, the reference point for Steve [Jobs] was always the large space on the Stanford campus—the Main Quad—which Steve knew intimately. Also, he would reminisce about the time when he was young, and California was still the fruit bowl of the United States. It was still orchards…

Much more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]