Apple’s mothership campus: What’s the message?

“After stringing together record-breaking quarters, bull-rushing the smartphone industry, creating a market-rattling tablet, and earning the title (at least for a little while) as the biggest company in the United States, Apple now has plans to reward itself,” Tom Kaneshige reports for CIO.

“Apple wants to build a futuristic campus in the heart of Silicon Valley. Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs describes the circular building as looking ‘a little like a spaceship landed,'” Kaneshige reports. “Apple is already known for game-changing architecture, shaking up the retailer industry with glass-filled Apple Stores around the world… But the planned Apple campus, dubbed Apple Campus 2, takes architecture to an entirely new level. The four-story campus is expected to hold 12,000 people, span 2.6 million square feet on 150 acres, and be operational by 2015.”

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Kaneshige reports, “On the design front, Apple Campus 2 has a shot at becoming an icon of Silicon Valley. ‘The spaceship concept is clever and indeed a departure from other landmark buildings,’ says Steve Yamaguma, president and creative director of Design2Market, a long-time Silicon Valley design firm serving tech companies… But Yamaguma sees mixed messages with the design.”

Read more in the full article here.


    1. The architect was suitably waffly when it came to explaining “mixed message”; hence comment discard.

      Spoken more like a guy who didn’t get the job designing the campus.

    2. From the original article:

      …At first, the campus drawings reminded him of the old feudal mentality of a castle and a moat—an image that symbolizes Apple’s well-known culture of secrecy and control.

      The spaceship analogy, in its simplistic form, is also “a little scary,” he says. “A spaceship lands and later takes off into space. It has a sense of being temporary.”

      “We really need a landmark building that will not only become an icon of Silicon Valley but will be part of the foundation that will sustain our way of life into the future,” says Yamaguma, who lives within a stone’s throw of the campus.

    3. Like that old Hugh Hefner Saturday Night Live space opera spoof where the male spaceship crashes into the female ship Apple/Pentagon donut shaped with center hole? Only in that instance Apple should be a rocket screwing everything else. 🙂

    1. I’m reminded of the scene in “Close Encounters” where airmen captured decades ago are returned barely aged. “Einstein was right,” says one military man. “Einstein was probably one of them,” says the other. How long until some will be suggesting “Steve Jobs is probably one of them.”

  1. Idiot. Like something that huge, expensive, and obviously very well thought out is gonna be temporary. Spaceship likeness or not. Iconic means “defining” and “different”. That is exactly what this is. And it fits with Apple’s green, eco-friendly mentality. Absolutely incredible that they would think ahead to sustainability and some semblance of self-sufficiency. I’d think these idiots are just panning for a response. The “message” is obviously “we’re as damn good at designing buildings as we are devices – better than anyone else.” This is why the council approved their proposal in short order. Any community should be happy to have such a building that plants more trees than asphalt, that even *attempts* to generate any of their own power. Something that beautifies the landscape instead of hiding it.

    1. By the time the “mothership” is actually completed, Apple will need an even larger building. If not, Cupertino will feel like a ghost town, when “everyone” suddenly moved into the new mega-building and all of the currently rented commercial space becomes vacant. It seems like half of Cupertino’s boring commercial buildings have an Apple logo in front. I guess real estate developers can turn the commercial space in residential condos and “lofts” for Apple employees.

  2. JANUARY 1, 2020 0100 HOURS

    Seismic activity centered at the Cupertino Campus of Apple computer was recorded as far away as Mexico City.

    Thousands reported seeing bright lights in and around the campus flood the skies before it suddenly began to rise into the air. At a certain point the gigantic circular campus hung in the sky and began to glow like a giant HALO. It was shortly after this point that witnesses describe a strange feeling of euphoria and loss of equilibrium as the flying campus suddenly vanished. Some say it was as if it ripped open a hole in the sky and vanished into it.

    All that was left was a note that said, “So long and thanks for all the cash. We finished ahead of schedule and well under budget. You can have the billions left over. Be nice and don’t fight. PS… LMFAO.”

    It wasn’t until days later that the people of earth noticed that many, if not all of their best and brightest had seemingly disappeared as well. The finest mathematicians, astronomers, physicists, biologists, engineers, doctors, artists, musicians, and so on. Left behind were the mediocre, as well as the politicians, lawyers, news media, etc.

    Noted Technology Industry Leech Leo Laporte commented, “See. I told ya to use Android.”

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