Steve Jobs' dream of creating a futuristic circular headquarters for Apple is a step closer to reality.
Last week the Cupertino City Council voted unanimously to approve Apple's plans for the 2.8-million-square-foot, four-story round building, designed with the help of Norman Foster. A final vote, considered a formality, is expected in November and construction may begin by end of the year.
It was Mr. Jobs who first compared the building designed for the 175-acre site as a "spaceship." In typical fashion, he asserted that the building would be like no other office building and feature his legendary attention for detail.
There is not a "straight piece of glass" in the whole structure, the late Mr. Jobs said in 2011.
Apple has been developing the project for seven years. Located across the highway from Apple's current headquarters on land once used by Hewlett-Packard, the building is large enough to accommodate more than 14,000 employees. A 1,000-seat theater is also part of the design.
Most of the parking will be underground, allowing for a wide green belt surrounding the building. Plans call for a natural gas generator to supply power to the complex, using the city's power grid as a backup.
The design also utilizes naturally-ventilated spaces, smart controls and radiant cooling to cut air conditioning costs. Dirt excavated during construction will be recycled into berms on the site, cutting truck traffic.
The project will use 30 percent less energy than a typical building in the Valley, the company says.
"This will be one of the most environmentally sustainable developments on this scale anywhere in the world," Apple's head of real estate and facilities Dan Whisenhunt told the San Jose Mercury News.
From the start it was Mr. Jobs' goal to make the building an icon.
"We have a shot at building the best office building in the world," Mr. Jobs said in 2011. "I really do think that architecture students will come here to see it."