Inside Apple's Plans for Its Futuristic, $5 Billion Headquarters

Steve Jobs hired architect Norman Foster to build the greatest headquarters known to mankind. As construction nears, the project is behind schedule, a billion over budget, and shaping up as an investor relations nightmare
Stars: ESA/Hubble/NASA; Jobs: Terry Schmitt/UPI/Landov; Foster: Mantel/Sipa USA

At what turned out to be his last public appearance, Steve Jobs stood before the Cupertino City Council on June 7, 2011, to present plans for a new corporate campus for Apple. Scarecrow thin but forceful as ever, Jobs displayed several renderings of a headquarters intended to accommodate more than 12,000 employees in a single, circular building. “It’s a little like a spaceship,” he said of the massive, four-story ring, which, at 2.8 million square feet, would be two-thirds the size of the Pentagon and set among 176 acres of trees where today there are mostly asphalt parking lots. “We have a shot,” he said, “at building the best office building in the world. I really do think that architecture students will come here to see it.”

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