Foster's Apple campus nearly
$2 billion over budget

| 21 comments

Foster's Apple campus $2 billion over budget

News: the estimated cost of Apple's Foster + Partners-designed campus in Cupertino, California, has reportedly spiralled from $3 billion to nearly $5 billion over the last two years.

Apple has been working with British firm Foster + Partners to try to cut $1 billion from the budget before proceeding – an undertaking that has caused expensive delays, according to a report by Bloomberg citing five people close to the project.

Foster's Apple campus $2 billion over budget

Costs have also been pushed up by the unique features specified by Apple's late co-founder Steve Jobs, who insisted on having no visible seams or gaps in the construction, using polished terrazzo rather than cement flooring and harvesting all interior wood from a certain species of maple.

The building's curved glass exterior will reportedly require six square kilometres of glass to be bent and shipped over from Germany by manufacturer Seele GmbH, which has doubled the capacity of its plant to supply the Apple project.

Originally scheduled for completion in 2015, the move-in date for the campus has now been pushed back to 2016.

Foster's Apple campus $2 billion over budget

Many of Apple's rivals are also building new headquarters in California, with Facebook last week given the go-ahead for its Frank Gehry-designed open-plan office and Google revealing plans for a 100,000-square-metre campus in San Francisco Bay.

Last week it was reported that the highly anticipated Apple television, set to launch later this year, will be operated with a digital "iRing" worn on the finger – see all news about Apple.

Foster + Partners recently completed a new airport terminal in Amman, Jordan, inspired by Bedouin tents – see all architecture by Foster + Partners.

Images from Cupertino City Council.

  • Awful

    That building is Steve Job’s middle finger to those surviving him.

  • James

    I want to see the mechanics/machinery of producing and bending a single 6km length of glass if there are no seams. That would be far more interesting than the actual building itself.

    I do realise that it won’t be one single piece, but I wish it was and for that amount of money it should be!

  • Adam

    Overpriced and focused on little more than aesthetics. Well, that does SOUND like Apple.

    • Colonel Pancake

      If you think Apple is focused on "little more than aesthetics," you're clinically insane.

  • Really?

    Meanwhile, at Foster + Partner HQ:

    “Right, team meeting. We need to lose two billion dollars’ worth of stuff. Ideas, anyone?”

  • Josh from OCADu

    I know I am a dreamer, but I think it is exciting that a project of this magnitude, attention to detail and intention is going forward. There is so much money wasted on poor architecture these days and I feel we are witnessing a historic moment in corporate and design history.

    • chinaimport

      Keep dreaming, solar roof, glass facade, concrete structure, stone floors… Where is the genious concept behind this project you are talking of? It’s not even Applewhite!

  • Yo mamma

    With a round building it will be difficult to cut any corners.

  • Kenneth Smythe

    Jobs is dead! May he rest in peace with his untempered thoughts. With a contracting world economy it is time to move on and get real about what makes sense in a more decentralised smaller scale economy. Hubris is out and humility is going forward. This building like his yacht is a monument to his ego.

    • Filip

      I think you confuse ego with ideology. This is meant to solidify his personal ideals within the corporate culture. People who align with these ideals will want to work there, the rest can bugger off and work somewhere else. Also I don’t think you should think small when the economic situation has taken a dip. They are better off investing within themselves than hoarding their pot of cash.

  • smack

    I wonder when they turned the roof black.

  • Nathan

    Twice the price and half the disc space.

  • Davvid

    Its funny how a dead Steve Jobs gets blamed for this debacle while Lord Foster skates on by. Can you imagine the comments on this blog if this was being designed by Gehry and it was $2 billion over budget?

  • Beaunard

    There is so much wasted space concerning the environment and growth of population. Space cannot be wasted but must be well conserved.

  • burnside

    Fabrication, transport and especially materials have risen in cost markedly over the past year. I’d look at the general contractor, suppliers and especially at the client; changed orders – even those initiated as economies – are a major factor in cost overruns.

  • Yo mamma

    With a very gradually sloping floor going round and round, they could cut costs on stairs.

  • TyPod

    I think I saw this building on the Walking Dead. Spoiler alert: the girl in the second rendering gets eaten.

    Oh, and the expression of ‘infinity’ through a circular floor plan is an interesting visual representation of Apple’s projected staying power. (Or maybe they just wanted it to look like a giant iPod volume wheel. Either way, good marketing)

  • Steve

    In an age of attacks on corporate greed and spending – why isn’t Apple receiving the same scrutiny and criticism as other conservative corporations and our love-to-hate Mitt Romney? $5 billion, really? I love Apple products but this seems unconscionable. This “green” design forgot about using earth’s resources responsibly.

  • http://geraldpeake.com Gerald Peake

    Typical architects – always view from above, totally illogical. A circle viewed at ground level will look rather mundane. Need to save some cash? Just chop it in half. Or they could just find the money, then do very expensive designer monorail rides around the circumference. It will be a long walk to see the boss :(

  • B Chiarello

    “The big thing is to just do it” – Kit Carson

  • BoyElroy

    It looks like a pretty loose butthole! I bet there”s a billion or two reasons they’re having the material shipped in from across the ocean.