Skip ahead about 2,000 years and think of the ruins of buildings that humans (or otherwise) might experience -- much like travelers see the Acropolis today.
Apple's newly proposed headquarters might spark speculation as to its purpose. A perfect circle, standing four stories tall, that housed 12,000 workers -- and bucked convention by burying the parking lots and doubled the trees. Oasis? Maybe a temple? A killer shopping mall?
Or maybe a landed spaceship, as Steve Jobs described it to the Cupertino City Council on Tuesday night.
Boasting the world's largest piece of architectural glass, the circular structure would be built on some former Hewlett-Packard property that Jobs' team bought.
The entire area to be renovated is about 150 acres, according to Jobs. The campus design would actually increase green space and landscaping by about 350 percent more than at present. Campus parking goes underground to help increase the tree count from 3,700 to 6,000. The senior arborist at Stanford is overseeing that aspect of the project.
Here's Jobs describing the architecture of the building:
When it came to the Q&A part of the evening, Jobs was very clear in the benefits to the city of Cupertino. He said if they don't approve the project he will move his entire company to some place like Mountain View.
This video is from the Cupertino City Channel. It begins with Jobs' presentation. The slides of the building begin at 5:15. The Q&A begins at 11:01.
The transcript of Jobs' opening remarks is below the player. Enjoy the future...
Steve Jobs' Opening Remarks
[TIMESTAMP :50] - ... Apple's grown like a weed, as you know, we've always been in Cupertino. We started in a little office park, and eventually got the buildings we are in now, corner of De Anza and 280, but we've, and those buildings maybe hold 2600 people, 2800 people.
2:25 - But we've got almost 12,000 people in the area - so we're renting buildings, not very good buildings, either (laughing); at an ever-greater radius from our campus. We're putting people in those. And it's clear that we need to build a new campus, so we're just out of space. And that doesn't mean we don't need the one we've got, we do need it, but we need to augment it.
2:58 - And so we've got a plan that lets us stay in Cupertino, and we went out and bought some land, and this land is kind of special to me.
I, When I was 13 i think, I called up Hewlett and Packard, they were my idols, and I called up Bill Hewlett, because he lived in Palo Alto, and there were no unlisted numbers in the phone book, which, gives you a clue to my age.
And he picked up the phone, and I talked to him, and I asked him if he would give me some spare parts for something I was building, called a frequency counter, and he did, but in addition to that, he gave me something way more important, he gave me a job that summer.
A summer job at Hewlett/Packard, right here in Santa Clara, off 280, with the division that built frequency counters.
Right around that exact moment in time, Hewlett and Packard themselves were walking along some property here in Cupertino, on Pruneridge, and they ended up buying it, and they built their computer systems division there, and as Hewlett/Packard has been shrinking lately, they decided to (sell) that property, and we bought it.
We bought that, and we bought some adjacent property, and it all used to be apricot trees, and orchards, and we've got about 150 acres - and we would like to put a new campus on that, so that we can stay in Cupertino.
And we've hired some great architects to work with, some of the best in the world, I think. And we've come up with a design that puts 12,000 people in one building.
When you think about that, that's rather odd -- 12,000 people in one building, but we've seen these, these office parks with lots of buildings and they get pretty boring pretty fast, so we want to do something better than that, and I'd like to take you through what we'd like to do.
So this is supposed to work, here, there we go. Can you see this?
So, here's where we are today - which is, uh, on the intersection at De Anza; and what we've done, we've bought this land right here, we tried to buy the apts in the corner, but they're not for sale. We bought everything else. And the campus we'd like to build there, is one building that holds 12 thousand people and it's a pretty amazing building; it's a little like a spaceship landed, but there it is, and it's got this gorgeous courtyard in the middle, and a lot more.
It's a circle, so it's curved all the way around, and if you've built something, you know it's not the cheapest way to build something. There's not a straight piece of glass on this building, and we've used our experience making retail buildings, and we know how to make the biggest pieces of glass in the world, for architectural use - and we want to make the glass specifically for this building here. We can make it curved all the way around the building. It's pretty cool.
Today, about 20% of the space is landscaping, most of it is big asphalt parking lots. We want to completely change this and make 80% of it landscaping. And the way we're going to do this - we're going to put most of the parking underground. And you can see what we have in mind. Today there are 37-hundred trees on the property, we'd like to almost double that.