It's like listening to PT Barnum read the J Peterman catalog.
It's quite disappointing. Maybe it's a marvel of architecture, but indeed it's a failure of urbanism (which, I believe, is much more important). It's 2011 and we're still building things while thinking in predefined square lots separated by roads? Such a shame.
Buildings will get so large that they are act as their own cities, creating space that can be returned to ecological use. Such buildings would be so large as to need their own rail systems.
But the problem is living spaces being separate from working spaces. I do hope that buildings like this get closely integrated into mass transportation. Not every couple work at the same place with their kids at the corporate school. If public transportation is not very intelligently integrated, the desolation of the parking lots that this beautiful building replaces will continue in the social dimension. From the presentation it seems as if this will be addressed by buses.
You do realize that what you're positing (giant work buildings, close together, with all needed facilities nearby and lots of intra- and extra- transit access to nearby housing) is what most of us call an "urban downtown area", right?
You don't need to invent this. People already figured it out.
I often wish someone had taken his real dream (a closely knit city of work, living, and play areas that always worked towards the future rather than a lame [by comparison to what it should have been] theme park) and run with it.
Some companies have closely integrated living and working.
Foxconn is one such company.
(some have suggested that Foxconn employee depression problems may be partly due to the employees living away from their friends and families, often at a considerable distance)
Likewise Sunnyvale and Santa Clara are quite anemic, but Los Gatos, Saratoga and even Los Altos aren't bad. MV and PA are great places to dine.
Cupertino is the only town I've worked in that never had a downtown.
Sunnyvale didn't really until they started building a clone of Santana Row that went belly up with the housing crash. Well I guess Historic Murphy Avenue sort of counted.
I can't even remember how many days I got to work when the sun was coming up and left as it was setting, or after it set. It was like a perpetual winter.
Sun (both times, I forget the years).
Various other companies (I forget which, it's been a while). It's like the hubris builds up to the point where the company is in a natural position to say, "Hey, we need a new campus," and the Gods decide that a little humiliation is in order as well . . .
Does Microsoft's 20-year-long campus expansion count?
It's the job of a landscape architect to create an environment that is both inviting for those walking outside, and serene for those looking out the window. Somehow I doubt they'll screw it up. (Even if they did, it's comparatively cheap to fix compared to bad architecture.)
With so many employees, I suspect it will be very well utilised, particularly on warm sunny days.
When you're inside, everyone you encounter will be an Apple employee or contractor and not random people off the street. Which could be a problem for Apple, because there are tons of tourists that come by to have their picture taken. You really don't want these people bugging your employees.
And the cafe is completely open to the courtyard with no badging. You can't have an open campus and have the cafe open to the outside without a controlled outdoor space.
And it adds to the whole idea that this is an exclusive group of people. Which I always felt working there as a contractor. You're in but you're not as in as other people. I'm sure this is a very deliberate thing and it does work on many people.
Anyway, I've always wanted a house where you be in nature but be just as secure as you are in your house. I was in one house where the interior courtyard had trees and all the walls were glass inside. It was awesome. Sleeping outside would be just as safe as sleeping inside, except for the stray ninja attacks, of course.
I, too, worked as a contractor at Apple for a while and it was a little depressing how few people actually used the interior courtyard. Occasionally I would have my coffee out there to enjoy the sunshine, take some notes and people watch, but mostly it was an empty space that collected dead leaves and dust. My impression of the cafes in every building is that they were slightly subsidized to encourage employees to take their coffee break without leaving (which has the added benefit of avoiding potential leaks). Every aspect of life at Apple is highly controlled (to a degree, some areas less than others), so it isn't surprising that this extends to the cafeterias, stores, cafes, parking and even the printers.
Google style - a motley assortment of buildings spread out over a large campus, some of which are better than others.
You know, I wouldn't be entirely surprised, either.
And enjoy my view.
Edit: Disclosure, I have been to Microsoft's campus, but I just couldn't help but ask this question. :)
The campus has grown so much, however, that it has sprawled over several wide/ugly/pedestrian-unfriendly suburban roads in the process; there is substantially less greenery today than even a few years ago.
In case you can't tell, I've been back in Chicago for a year now and the weather is absolutely killing me.
Every conference room has a theme and they allow self-guided tours. My favorite conference room is one where half of the room opens up to a pond that has a wooden walk way around it and a waterfall.
The reason I asked was because I wanted to see Microsoft categorized in such an easy and quick manner as Google/Apple. I must admit that I myself can't do that.
Fuels: Natural Gas, Directed Biogas
Input fuel pressure: 15 psig
Electrical efficiency (LHV net AC): > 50%
If that's the case, then it seems to me that relying on something other than the grid would be a smart move.
Beyond that, the cost comes down to availability. There are parts of the world where every single house has a natural gas line for heating (water and air). I've heard that in Japan, small/clean/quiet (relatively) generators are installed in some apartments and provide electricity.
This article has some information on natural gas usage in California. It seems like most of it come from out of state (or country):
For a fanboy he did a good job.
Proposed Appleplex: 1.4 mil sq ft (?), 12-13k employees
Pentagon: 6.5 mil sq ft (3.7 mil for offices), 26k employees
Empire State Building: 2.8 mil sq ft, 21k (?) employees
One of the things that isn't so nice now is the anti-radiation film that got placed on the windows after 9/11. The film is bright yellow, so everything that sunlight touches has kind of a gross pee colored tinge to it.
The GAO  does something close to auditing - although the Pentagon's financial statements aren't in the kind of shape that they even can be audited (something the GAO and DOD are working on). 
and I applaud your use of bracketed numbers, even if they are not blue. http://xkcd.com/906/
Wikipedia has more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_scale
Maybe it's because I'm from a small country, we don't have skyscrapers here ;-)
Surely we'd be talking about small fractions of a degree per pane.
Can anyone estimate what the building circumference is, and therefore what amount of curve would be called for?
Edit: well somebody didn't like that. Anyway, I can't speak for the math, but my source for the diameter guestimate: The building site shown at , and the same site on Google maps . Notice the scale in the bottom, showing 1000 ft. The building plan appears slightly larger than that, so that's where I got my estimate.
Maybe it's not easily perceptible, but how much do you wanna bet they mocked it up and Steve was like "Yeah, you can tell the difference. It just doesn't feel right."
Read the "economic development" stories on this blog (http://globalmidwest.typepad.com/global-midwest/) if you're ever in the mood to throw up in your mouth.
I'm surprised that Jobs attended - the project must be very important to him personally, and he didn't want the slightest risk of it being derailed.
Sure, 20% is noticeable, but one should analyse the roads and connections to the campus to know how noticeable will those 20% more traffic be.
From 9k to 12k is a 33% increase. If we take the actual figure Jobs gave for comfort - 13k - it is an increase of 44%.
Let's correct the numbers. Today there are 9.5k employees, in the future up to 13k. That is a 37% increase (according to the video at 9:20 its 40% ). Then at 16:37 Jobs claims that they will only be increasing the employment by 20%.
He also speaks at some point (towards the end) about a series of buses used to transport workers. Hence the increase in use of private transportation will probably not be at around 40%, but probably around 20%. (Buses do cause some traffic, but much less that cars).
Because this is a very large project I am pretty sure they have thought about the traffic issues, and wouldn't insist on building there if there would produce too much new traffic. Also the council would object to the idea if it would cause much traffic congestion.
Hence, I said that you are wrong about there being congestion due to the new influx of workers. If the 20% figure is correct and that they have thought about possible traffic issues, then there might not be a significant increase in congestion. However it will probably be noticeable. (Notice the difference between _noticeable_ and _significant_).
I live in Eastern Europe, and have very limited knowledge of the the transportation routes in Cupertino. I would very much enjoy the opinion of someone knowledgeable.
> Also the council would object to the idea if it would cause much traffic congestion
The thing is, they're not up to that stage yet. They haven't even seen the plans. The question that guy asked was objecting to the idea, to the extent possible at this early stage.
BTW: When starting off replies with "You are wrong", it's best to be sure that (a) it is an issue that one can be clearly right or wrong about (e.g. arithmetic); and (b) you are correct. In fact, given (a) and (b), it is better to not even say that, and shorten it to simply present the correct answer: http://ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html
Plus: very sneaky for the council to ask for free wifi, ipads, more apple stores, donations for schools in this presentation...
He also said that it's amazing salesmanship on Steve Jobs' part to have pitched this and basically given nothing to the council. Most councils manage to squeeze all sorts of concessions from even large multinationals (e.g. banks in the UK). Steve gave them, basically, nothing - not even free wifi.
If they'd been more savvy they could probably have had their free wifi and Apple store - it's cheaper to Apple than relocating 10k employees to another city and drawing all the plans again from scratch. Steve may be known for holding grudges, but he's also a relatively rational businessman.
Yes and no. You don't necessarily want to play chicken with Steve Jobs' ego. Cupertino is lucky to have Apple -- Cupertino knows it, and Apple knows it. If they start giving him a hard time getting his building approved then he's not going to knock down Infinite Loop, but he could well start entertaining offers from neighbouring cities which would no doubt fall over themselves to get the second Appleplex.
Property prices just went waaay up there. Cash in and sell/lease to Apple employees, I'd imagine.
The guy on the left at managed to pretended that he knows why he is there.
But I must admit that I have no clue how I would react after having mind blown like that.
Why keep the IL1 campus, instead of just moving everybody into a slightly larger mothership in 2015?
Or, if they really wanted to go green... 
Besides, moving everybody in the entire company into a new building sounds like a major pain and a disruption to operations.
"Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), Cheltenham, United Kingdom"
In the presentation you see casual people walking and playing about.
Also, it will be a challenge to make that underground garage look as beautiful as the building. That is what most visitors will initially see from the building.
Finally, will this be a real click wheel or a modern version without moving parts? :-)
I think Steve and Tim know they'll need it. I think the interesting thing is not whether they'll need it, it's not like Apple is in any danger of collapsing, but that it shows they don't anticipate needing more. This fits with what we know about Apple wanting to stay lean and mean but it also makes those plans concrete (lol?).
I also think it's a bit unfair to judge the new Apple campus on a scale of "worldwide innovations in green facilities". Apple has done what seems to be a very good job of greening up their existing Cupertino presence, and they are probably going to end up spending a large amount of money on an effective model for how to deploy a modern green-er corporate campus. I don't think we need to ding them for not absolutely revolutionizing the integration of corporate office space with environments.
This is a Cupertino City Council meeting, not a presentation at the UN.
Green Metropolis is an interesting read about big cities and sustainability: http://www.amazon.com/Green-Metropolis-Smaller-Driving-Susta...
If you want to call that "bursting at the seams" that's fine, but Apple isn't in a position to reengineer the whole dysfunctional city of San Francisco.
I'm imagining what San Francisco reengineered by Apple would be like. Somewhere on the same continuum as Disneyworld and the Las Vegas strip, but with rounded edges, lots of greenery and a social order similar to Singapore.
I am really glad to see how forward-thinking the concept looks.
Not for economic reasons. Modest houses on modest lots sell in the seven figures there. Whoever owns the land could make huge money by selling to developers, but presumably the city council has made it clear that they won't approve a zoning change. Apparently, the people there already really want there to still be orchards in Cupertino, if only as a memory of what was.
Sounds like Steve Jobs wowed the city council, but after paying some attention to SV local politics, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the community rallied against this.
I imagine a large percentage of Cupertino residents are Apple employees or otherwise directly benefit from Apple being there. I'd think that the majority of the community would be completely happy for the biggest local company to spend a lot of money in their city, and to convert a big chunk of asphalt back in to green space.
I lived in Menlo Park for a year before moving to SF, and was struck by how anti-development the Menlo Park and Palo Alto governments (and ordinary citizens) were. Perhaps Cupertino is different.
And, this proposal is pretty damn cool. Underground parking? That's fabulous.
My perspective is biased -- I live in the Dogpatch/Mission Bay neighborhood where there are lots of new buildings, piles of dirt, and construction cranes.
<i>The City of Cupertino has responded to Apple's stunning new campus proposal. In the statement, Cupertino Mayor Gilbert Wong states "there is no chance we are saying no" to the new Apple campus. Apple proposal will still have to go through an environmental and a public hearing, but Wong says they are willing to bring on more staff to accommodate the process.</i>
Very cool, very futuristic. That is a place I'd like to be.
Importantly, they've said they have a few thousand people at 1IL currently and they're consolidating everyone together. That should benefit the communication and innovation having everyone under one roof able to get together and chat.
In short, I love it. More companies should be so bold.
Begging the question means something completely different: http://begthequestion.info/