Reactor

(Dark) Lord Norman Foster Builds New Apple Empire

by Kyle Chayka on December 7, 2010

Rendering of Masdar, model for Apple City (image from 9to5mac.com)

The great dynastic rulers of history have always called upon the best architects of their time to design their monuments and capital cities. iMagnate Steve Jobs is no different: Apple will work with British starchitect Norman Foster to design the company’s new campus in Cupertino, California, rumored to be named “Apple City.”

Snapped up from HP for a cool $300 million, the campus that Apple City will be built on is some distance away from the company’s famed original campus, but worry not! The two will be connected by a series of underground tunnels that will play host to environmentally friendly tiny cars, as this amazing rendering shows:

Rendering of Masdar's car system, which will be copied for Apple City (image from 9to5mac.com)

Apple City isn’t just some snappy, corporate name either. The campus will be based on Foster’s design for an actual city, the so-called first carbon-neutral city in the world, Masdar, Abu Dhabi (UAE). Furnished with its own sets of underground tunnels, “research” farms and self-sustaining plantations, the city is unique in its ability to be self-reliant, not to mention its resemblance to a still from Star Wars. Jobs is probably just planning to build the best place to camp out when the iZombie apocalypse hits.

Doesn’t sound megalomaniacal at all, right? I’m kind of wondering what will follow this iCity. Maybe architectural collaborations in the form of prefab iHomes with iWindfarms? Making a wholly sustainable corporate campus is a hugely admirable goal, so mad props to Jobs for having the guts to go through with it, but I don’t think this will do anything to halt the aesthetic fetish of Apple. Soon, everyone will want their own Apple City. Will an iCity division of Apple follow?

From product design, Apple is making inroads into architectural innovation as well. Architect Peter Bohlin won a 2010 gold medal from the American Institute of Architects for his Apple Store designs, glass cubes that have become an iconic visual language that has spread across the world.

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