Apple Moving To Spaceship Headquarters

Jobs isn't content with being on the cutting edge of technology -- he's determined to conquer architecture as well.

By , Columnist

LA Times

An architect of not only his own fortune but also his own character, digital entrepreneur Steve Jobs has plans to construct a new Apple headquarters that will look like a spaceship.

Just a day after Apple didn't release another iPhone and instead unveiled its new Web-based service iCloud, allowing Mac users to remotely store documents, photos, music, apps and other content, Jobs has announced he will be leaving his mark on yet another industry. Having already conquered computers, digital music, phones and animation; a cross between architecture and flying saucer would seem to be the next logical step.

"It's a little like a spaceship landed," said Jobs, as he presented Cupertino, California city council members with a four-story, circular building concept including an interior courtyard with native plants and apricot orchards, a nostalgic nod to Jobs' childhood memories of the Silicon Valley. Highly acclaimed British architect Norman Foster has been selected to design the new campus.

Jobs has described the plan as, "A shot at building the best office building in the world." Boasting the use of the biggest piece of architectural glass ever made, without any piece being of straight cut, Jobs is likely to seduce a previously untapped demographic of geeks: the architects.

If Jobs knows the people who can build the world's largest piece of glass, perhaps he should chat with them about an iPhone screen that doesn't shatter in a light breeze.

Apple has grown dramatically in recent years and the current headquarters located, at No. 1 Infinite Loop in the Silicon Valley, only accommodates one quarter of its 12,000 employees. The new corporate campus, with the capacity to hold 15,000, will be built on 150 acres of land currently owned by Hewlett-Packard, who are relocating next year.

While the concept photos of Apple's new headquarters are striking, considering Apple's emphasis on technological mobility, it would have been more interesting if Jobs had announced the disbandment of a central headquarter concept and instead declared that all of Apple's future business would occur remotely from forests, mountaintops and poolsides.

Jobs has repeatedly shown that bringing innovation to established resources has the capacity to change everything. Again. Apple's next big thing might take Jobs into orbit, or, considering his ailing health, the monumental headquarters might one day be known as the Tomb of Jobs, leaving future archaeologists to ponder the cultural relevance of a mummified white guy in a black turtleneck.

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Holly is a freelance writer and copy editor with a background in journalism and publishing. Like a grandmother's purse, she is about three decades old, worn around the edges and mostly full of crap.

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