The great and glorious Apple mothership in Cupertino, California is set to become an actual mothership. Or is it a space station? In any event, it is round, and vast.
The building, which is already being dubbed "one of the seven wonders of the tech world" by overeager Silicon Valley-ans, is a giant, four-story, ring-shaped thing totaling 2.8 million square feet. The design is by famed British architect Norman Foster, and it's called Apple Campus 2, since the existing Infinite Loop Campus will remain. Once completed, if all goes well, in 2016, it will house up to 12,000 employees, and become a likely tourist attraction. In it will be three restaurants, including one that will total 90,000 square feet, several fitness centers, a 120,000-square-foot corporate auditorium, and includes over 100 acres of landscaped green space, including the giant courtyard in the center of the building. The roof will be equipped with 700,000 square feet of solar panels, thus making it a black donut and not the originally rendered white one. The cost: around $5 billion.
Also, there are four potential locations for public art, and the site plan includes a separate corporate fitness center, another, smaller office campus of 600,000 square feet, tons of parking, and bike paths.
Plans for the building date back to 2011, when Steve Jobs presented them to the Cupertino City Council just four months before his death, and talked about them at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).
Starting tomorrow, the building heads into its final phase of approvals with the City of Cupertino and its planning commission. Apple hopes to have the whole thing approved next month.
If you care to, you can download the whole project description here.