Cupertino mayor: ‘There is no chance we are saying no’ to Apple Mothership (with video)

“The mayor of Cupertino, Gilbert Wong, has issued a public statement acknowledging that the city council is backing Apple’s new headquarters project, sometimes dubbed the Mothership. “There is no chance we are saying no,” according to Wong. The city has in fact held a press conference to disclose its position (see video below), and started up a dedicated news page for the building,” MacNN reports.

The design for the new Apple campus puts 12,000 employees in one building! “It’s a little like a spaceship landed,” said Jobs. It’s a giant 4-story ring; curved all the way around with not a straight piece of glass in the place. Jobs said that Apple’s experience building extreme glass for retail stores contributed to the campus’ design know-how.

The site will go from approximately 3,700 trees to around 6,000. The employee count increases by 40%, space will increase by 20%, landscaping by 350%, the aforementioned trees by 60%, and the surface parking (asphalt) decreases by 90%. Apple plans to generate their own power via natural gas and other means that will be cleaner than using the electrical grid. They will use the grid as a backup, not as the primary power source.

Jobs told the council, “I think we have a shot at building the best office building in the world. I really do think architecture students will come here to see this. I think it could be that good.” Jobs wants to submit detailed plans to the council “fairly quickly,” “break ground next year,” and “move in in 2015.”

Cupertino Mayor Gilbert Wong responds to Steve Jobs’ proposal for a new Apple campus in Cupertino on June 8, 2011:

Apple’s rendering of the Mothership:

Apple's proposed second campus in Cupertino, California
Apple's proposed second campus in Cupertino, California
Apple's proposed second campus' cafe
Apple's proposed second campus' cafe in Cupertino, Califonia
Apple's proposed second campus' features curved glass all around
Apple's proposed second campus' features curved glass all around


  1. Natural gas huh? Too bad they couldn’t cover the roof with solar panels and put some wind generators in the middle. Not that it would be enough for complete energy usage, but it would be a nice supplement I would imagine.

    1. Yep, let’s put a couple of dozen turbines right there in the center of the building and kill every bird in a twenty mile radius that might have the temerity to invade the Apple campus. Clearly, Steve loves creatures of the air enough to sacrifice a few green dreams for their benefit.

      1. So, every bird within a twenty mile radius (which is forty miles in diameter) is going to zone on the mothership to commit suicide? What the hell, is Steve going to fill the whole friggin’ inside of that circle with bird seed? Get real Goober.

          1. tooeasy, laughing my head off.

            But there is a point. It may not kill every bird within 20 miles but, it would only take a few birds for some in the press to jump all over Apple.

    2. Windmills don’t do much. They’re very inefficient. You could cover the entire roof with a bunch of ugly windmills and they’d barely be enough to operate the hand dryers in the restrooms. Liberals need to grow up and stop their neurotic handwringing.

        1. Actually, it was on topic for this thread of conversation; and also–interestingly enough–absolutely true (although, hyperbolic). Your response, however, lacked any reasonable, cogent reasoning or counter-argument. Just pointing it out…

      1. According to the NYS Energy Research & Development Authority
        “A rule-of thumb is that a site’s annual average wind speed should be seven meters per second (15.7 mph) or stronger at the wind turbines’ hub height to be considered at least marginally attractive for project development.” “The land requirements to be addressed encompass all components of a conventional wind power project, including the wind turbines, service roads, crane pads, and the electrical interconnection to the grid.” That is whay.

        Why the silly names?

  2. In almost all things I trust Steve Jobs’ judgement (except the options re-dating and the hockey puck mouse), especially design ideas.

    I guess I’m the only one who doesn’t think this round building is a good idea for this function. It kind of reminds me of a hockey puck with a hole in the middle.

    Form ever follows function — Louis Sullivan, architect

    1. Individual tastes aside… this “hollow puck” design allows every office to have a window view and allows for better ventilation. How many construction projects do you know of that actually end up with MORE trees then it did when it began? From an advertising perspective- forget it- over the top. A true “Mothership” metaphor. Not to mention- power- the complex is going to generate it’s own power and use the city grid for backup. From what Steve said at the meeting- the power source is more environmental friendly than what the city uses. I don’t know in terms of office building efficiency, how this designs stacks up but it’s so Apple-

    2. I doubt that SJ gave two seconds of thought to that whole options thing. He trusted other people to handle the financial stuff properly. If he was greedy, then he could have legally squeezed a whole lot more money out of Apple without a problem. Think about it. The dude has over $4B. Unlike some other bigwigs, money does not drive him. SJ simply wants the respect and recognition that he deserves, and he wants that to be given voluntarily. IF you have to coerce recognition, then it does not mean anything.

    3. The hockey puck mouse was “usable” once they put a dimple on it so you could feel where it began.

      My only suggestion for the round building would be to put a dimple on it so employees would know where the entrance is. 😉

  3. Thing of beauty, the pastoral center is appealing. Would like to see some water. George Lucas put in Lake Ewok at Skywalker Ranch, but he had thousands of acres.

  4. Not only is this building going to be the 8th or 9th wonder of the world, I can’t even imagine how things will look inside, or the technologies Apple will bring inside.

  5. Very cool looking indeed. A few points though:
    • If I’m at the twelve o’clock position in the building, how long will it take me to walk to the meeting scheduled for 10 a.m. at the six o’clock position?

    • Will there be “inner belt” and “outer belt” hallways?

    • What happened to Jobs’ love of “Accidental Meetings” between employees of different divisions? (a la Pixar)

    • I’d bet Apple’s environmental projections are inflated to twice what will actually be accomplished. Even at that rate a major improvement to the city.

    • Is anyone making a movie titled, “The Mayor’s Speech”?

      1. Playing around with Google Earth and some of the images from Jobs’ presentation, the torus is around 520m in diameter.

        People walk at around 5km/h allegedly, so 6 minutes from one side to the other. 10 minutes to walk around the building.

    1. I have a feeling, that the most efficient way to walk to a meeting is thru the middle, and that you are probably no more than 5 or 10 minutes away from any other part of the building. And, I think, accidental meetings will happen in the center, kind of like at Pixar where the central atrium is a meeting place.

    2. I expect Apple to build an internal turbo lift type system ala Star Trek. Yeah goes up and down, left or right, or heck just build that transporter already.

  6. There’s a natural gas glut in USA and it’s gonna get better/worse so prices really coming down- no speculative “if enough people buy solar panels, with scale it’ll….”.

    There are also new proven solutions like Bloom Energy for natural gas that is effective and reliable unlike weather dependent renewable sources. Sure, it’s not the magical carbon neutral whatever but it checks all the boxes for real world use(reliable, reliable, reliable).

  7. I’m wondering about the traffic in and out. Steve skillfully avoided answering that directly, saying there was only a small percentage more employees.

    But the employees are currently scattered about Cupertino in the other buildings they are renting. Here, they’ll all be in the same place. It should be interesting. It’ll probably need its own exit off that freeway there.

  8. “. . . Not a piece of straight glass in it.” Sounds a little like Jonathan Ives had some influence into the design. Looks GREAT!

    Considering all the windows – will that allow for potential off campus Tele-lens corporate espionage?

          1. From your site: “With an accomplished background encompassing Diplomacy…”

            Is your “Go play somewhere else, loser” an example of your Diplomacy in action?

    1. While I do like Cain…
      And I am a conservative…

      Explain to me wtf posting that helped this thread?

      I have noticed a lot of your posts are a tad on the annoying side.

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