The City of Cupertino published more details on Apple’s enormous new circular headquarters Tuesday. And if you’re looking for ‘one last thing,’ that final flourish Apple Chief Steve Jobs was known for, the plans reveal it -- and it's wonderful.
In late February, around the time of Jobs' birthday, the show will begin. Pink and white plum blossoms will appear on stands of trees at the center of Apple's new campus, hinting at more to come.
A few weeks later cherry trees scattered strategically along walkways and at the edges of open glades will start to blossom.
Visitors arriving for new product introductions on Apple's campus will walk down a path lined with cherry trees -- the white blossoms contrasting with the dark green conifers behind them -- a sight that by April should be absolutely staggering.
As summer approaches stands of apricot trees will flower as they prepare to bear fruit for the year.
Hidden from public view inside an enormous donut-shaped main building: more fruit trees. Apple employees will enjoy gardens, a fountain, an open-air amphitheater, and a dining terrace nestled among apple orchards, a grove of apricot trees, and stands of plum trees. Cherry trees, again, will be dotted throughout.
Fruit trees held a great deal of meaning for Apple's co-founder and longtime leader. During his early life Jobs worked on a farm owned by Robert Friedland, where "his job had been to prune the apple trees so that they would stay strong, and that became a metaphor for his pruning at Apple," according to Walter Isaacson's authorized biography.
If you’re an aborist, you might want to submit your employment application now.
While Apple’s new campus is still moving through the city planning process, this thing is getting built. Apple has $81.57 billion in cash and short-term securities: far more money than it will need to build the thing.
Jobs himself pitched Cupertino’s city council on the project in July, just four months before his death in October from pancreatic cancer. “There is no chance we are saying no,” Cupertino Mayor Gilbert Wong said last September.
Nevertheless, city planners are obliged to take a close look at the project -- giving the public a good look at Apple’s plans. It’s a plan that will allow Apple to carefully control who sees what and who goes where.
Apple will be able to invite the press to a corporate auditorium that stands apart from the rest of its campus, complete with a parking area separated from the ones used by its employees. The auditorium can be reached from Apple's main building through an underground tunnel.
Employees will enjoy the use of a 45,000 square foot fitness center, on campus dining, and access to 8,900 above ground and underground parking spots.
Only a few, presumably, will have access to Apple’s 300,000 square foot ‘research facilities.’ Located in a separate building on the edge of Apple’s campus, it’s still unclear whether the buildings will include Apple’s industrial designs shop, or if that work will take place in some undisclosed portion of Apple’s enormous ‘mothership.’
Also unknown: what Apple will do with all that fruit. Jam anyone?