06 December 2010
Apple has been working secretly with the world-renowned designer of the Hong Kong International Airport on the design of its new campus in Cupertino, according to a business publication in Spain. El Economista [googletrans] profiles "Apple City," which has been designed by Norman Foster - who also worked on the design of all-solar Masdar City in Abu Dhabi - to be at the cutting edge of energy efficiency and sustainability, and will feature a network of tunnels underground instead of roads connecting the buildings.
The design process has reportedly been going on for months, but Apple just bought a disused 98-acre parcel of land from Hewlett-Packard for the new Apple City, right next to 50 acres the company bought back in 2006. The company is outgrowing its current headquarters at One Infinite Loop, Apple spokesman Steve Dowling told the San Jose Mercury News, saying "we now occupy 57 buildings in Cupertino and our campus is bursting at the seams." The acquisition of the new plot of land will allow the project to go forward.
Apple City reportedly takes a lot of elements from the Foster + Partners design of Masdar City, which is being built from the ground up to be carbon-neutral and zero waste, with no cars allowed inside the city walls and personal rapid transit "pods" to take everyone around. Apple City will also be car-free, with all buildings connected by tunnels. In addition to giving employees an easier way around the 146-acre campus, which is split by Pruneridge Avenue and Interstate 280, the tunnels will also eliminate all roads and parking lots on the surface. "The buildings which will house the engineers and R&D will also be multifunctional and will incorporate cutting-edge technology in materials and equipment as well as renewable energy resources," El Economista's report says.