Today in Apple history: Apple Park gets the official go-ahead

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Apple Park
Apple's spectacular new campus was officially approved on this day in 2013.
Photo: Matthew Roberts

November 19: Today in Apple history: Apple Park approvedNovember 19, 2013: Apple gets final approval from the Cupertino City Council to proceed with building a massive second campus to house its growing army of workers.

Cupertino Mayor Orrin Mahoney’s simple message regarding Apple Campus 2? “Go for it.”

Steve Jobs’ last project

Apple began tentative work on its new campus nearly a decade earlier in April 2006. At that time, the company began acquiring land to house its second campus (after the famous one at 1 Infinite Loop). Cupertino also set in motion the hiring of architect Norman Foster.

Along with the iPad, the Apple Campus 2 — which later would be renamed Apple Park — became a chief project of Apple CEO Steve Jobs as his health worsened. He was outspoken about a number of details of the project — from the materials used to the philosophy of the building, which was designed to promote serendipitous collaboration between employees.

Jobs presented the designs for the enormous facility to Cupertino City Council in June 2011, just two months before he finished up as CEO (and five months before he died).

However, it took until late 2013 for the plans to gain final approval and for work to begin. This involved Apple agreeing to a tax increase in Cupertino. At the time, Apple thought workers would complete the new HQ by 2016. (We noted that it remained “questionable whether they’ll meet that deadline.”)

Apple’s spaceship campus takes off

Apple Park eventually opened in April 2017. The tech press got its first proper look when the Steve Jobs Theater housed the iPhone X unveiling.

Apple’s new HQ received something of a mixed reaction. On the one hand, the headquarters look spectacular — and every bit as futuristic as any of Apple’s products. At the same time, Wired criticized the new Apple campus for its supposed detrimental impact on its surroundings. Meanwhile, Bloomberg compared the new site to Jobs’ not wholly successful NeXT Computer, calling Apple Campus a hubristic effort.

According to Reuters, the final cost of the facility likely will come in at around $5 billion, with more than $1 billion allocated for the interior of the main circular building alone.

What do you think of Apple Park? Let us know in the comments below.

  • stanhope

    Out of this world!….plebians always resist the visionary! Steve Jobs must be up there smiling while looking at what he thinks could have been done better. Bravo!