• 12.06.10

Starchitect Norman Foster Reportedly Designing New Apple Campus

El Economista describes a sprawling eco-utopia.

Starchitect Norman Foster Reportedly Designing New Apple Campus

Sir Norman Foster, the British starchitect behind London’s iconic Gherkin tower and the master plan of Abu Dhabi’s mega-green Masdar City, reportedly has been selected to design Apple’s new campus in Cupertino.


That’s according to El Economista. Citing anonymous sources, the Mexican newspaper reports that Apple and Foster + Partners “have spent months working closely in the design of future U.S. giant city.” Details are murky, but El Economista paints a picture of a sprawling eco-utopia, with renewable-energy resources, green materials, and a tunnel-bound transportation network. They’re calling it “City of Apple.”

The story comes less than a month after news broke that Apple purchased a 98-acre property about a mile from its existing main offices at 1 Infinite Loop. The site is directly across the street from 50 acres the company bought a few years ago and announced as the location of a second campus.

Clearly, Apple is moving at a mad clip to expand, which should surprise precisely no one; in the past year alone, the company has fattened its roster by more than 12,000 employees.

[Masdar City up top; the Gherkin above]


If the latest news is true, Foster is a good match for Apple. Foster built his celebrity by marrying big gestures to technological wizardry. And, unlike some starchitects, he has glommed onto the environmental revolution — something Apple has made a point of embracing, too. The Gherkin consumes half the energy of a comparable building, making it something of a decorous corporate tower with a hippie’s soul. Masdar City goes a a few steps further; the place is designed to be both carbon neutral and car-free. (City of Apple apparently will incorporate features from Masdar.)

Which is a long way of saying that hiring Foster is a smart move. Not only will Apple get sexy, magazine-ready architecture out of it, the company will also create a massive billboard for its green ambitions.

Foster spokeswoman Katy Harris declined to comment; Apple didn’t respond to a request for comment.

[Images via Foster + Partners]

About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D.