Watch iSpaceship approval press conference vid

iSpaceship (teaser 005)

Apple’s upcoming spaceship-shaped corporate building, called Campus 2 or iSpaceship, has cleared the last hurdle as the City of Cupertino Council approved the project. Encompasses more than 2.8 million square feet, Steve conceived iSpaceship to house office space, various amenities and roughly 12,000 employees (to put that in perspective, the city of Cupertino has a population of just over 60,000).

Cupertino Mayor Orrin Mahoney and Apple’s Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer spoke at a press conference yesterday, officially announcing the approval of the Apple Campus 2. They also filed a bunch of sometimes nonsensical questions, have a look after the jump…

Apple’s finance chief enthusiastically remarked:

We can’t wait to get our people closer together, we’re a very collaborative company. One of the beauties of Apple Campus 2 is that it will be walkable. It will be great for us to innovate in for decades to come.

The project is bound to bring $3 billion to the Cupertino economy and create 9,000 jobs initially, with another 8,000 Apple-related jobs added long-term.

Here, check out the full clip, it runs a little over thirteen minutes long.

In a Q&A session, a reporter asked Oppenheimer about Apple’s exit strategy for the project, who could potentially buy it after the company is done with it and whether it could be “repurposed” or “subdivided” when Apple fails (hint: Oppenheimer didn’t blink and gave great answers).

The reporter seems to have forgotten about the $146 billion cash hoard that could keep Apple going for years to come without generating any revenue (not that investors would approve of this, just saying…).

In light of Apple’s environmental strides, Oppenheimer also stressed that iSpaceship will be the most environmental-friendly building of its size.

We are going to make over 70 percent of the electricity that Apple Campus 2 will use on site with solar and fuel cells. And we will get the remaining energy that we need in California through green sources.

There won’t be one atom of carbon emitted into the environment as a result of operating Apple Campus 2.

He said Apple would return the 175 acre site to its “natural state”.

The massive circular structure is a testament to late Apple CEO Steve Jobs’s grand vision and as such holds a special place in everyone’s heart at the company, he said.

All of us at Apple are putting tremendous energy and love into this, just as he did. We are humbled by the task of completing it and his vision and his legacy for the campus of Apple.

By the way, the project is already $2 billion over budget (approximately a month’s worth of Apple’s profit) and delayed due to Apple’s unapologetic attention to detail.

iSpaceship (Scale model)

And this is the iSpaceship scale model the company recently showed off.

I’m sure you’ll appreciate the excruciating detail depicting what the finished campus buildings and the surrounding area will likely look like when iSpaceship opens.

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Forget about the curved glass, that concrete is polished for walkability.

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A massive parking lot is hidden underground.

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Of course, the building will be powered in part by a massive solar array on the rooftop.

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Dai Sugano

The plan for the structure went up for a final vote before the Cupertino City Council on Monday, October 15, 2013.

Apple’s head of real estate and facilities Dan Whisenhunt said that “we designed it with the same care and attention to detail as we do with all Apple products”.

Oppenheimer added that the concept of the building calls for “collaboration” and “fluidity”, so that “at one point in the day you may be in offices on one side of the circle and find yourself on the other side later that day.”

“This will be a place for the most creative and collaborative teams in the industry to innovate for decades to come,” he remarked.

Apple’s surely been talking a lot about collaboration since CEO Tim Cook fired abrasive iOS chief Scott Forstall and put Jony Ive in charge of all design at the company a year ago.

After the council unanimously gave it a go-ahead, their approval is now subject to a final vote on November 15.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, the final vote should be a formality.

Now that the project has been approved, the council by regulation must meet one more time on Nov. 15 for a final and largely perfunctory vote. The spaceship, for all practical purposes, has now been approved for liftoff.

Apple is shooting to break ground later this month.

Should all go according to the schedule, Campus 2 should open by 2016. By the way, there’s a massive theatrical auditorium inside the structure, specifically designed for hosting lavish product unveilings.

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the below clip with Steve Jobs presenting the project to the Cupertino City Council on June 7, 2011 at the Cupertino Community Hall.

This was his last public appearance, by the way.

Less than three months later, Steve died at his Palo Alto, California home.

Complete information on the project is available at the City of Cupertino website.