8 December 2011 - 4:18pm | posted by | 0 comments

Spaceship or doughnut? New pix of Apple HQ crash city website

Revised: The new Apple  HQRevised: The new Apple HQ

So many people wanted to see the design changes in Apple's proposed new HQ in California - designed by British architect Sir Norman Foster - that Cupertino City's planning department website crashed yesterday.

Aside from a few minor changes, what stood out was the quality of the architectural renderings, said the San Jose Mercury News .

They depict a shimmering ring-shaped structure with a darker roof than the original version but "still looking like the ethereal spaceship-that- landed" described by Apple CEO Steve Jobs at a city council meeting in June.

But not everyone is a fan. New Yorker Magazine's architecture critic Paul Goldberger blogged, "Like everything Foster does, it will be sleek and impeccably detailed, but who wants to work in a gigantic doughnut?"

When the new renderings for Apple Campus 2 were posted , the city planning department's website went down under the deluge .

"All of a sudden we got thousands of people downloading at the same time," said Cupertino Planning Director Gary Chao. "That's what did it. It kind of crashed our server."

Thousands are tracking track the project closely, Chao said. You can get it all now by clicking on the City of Cupertino link below.

Chao said the city's IT department will try to accommodate the traffic the Apple campus generates when making future releases.

The new images are sharper and there are modest changes, the biggest a move of the fitness center . The darker roof gives more of a Frisbee-in-the grass look than the white roof of previous images, as the Mercury News put it. There's a jogging path and more parking for the auditorium.

Apple Campus 2 will be a third of a mile in diameter, rising four stories above 108 acres of oak trees and orchards . It will house up to 13,000 Apple employees. Apple hopes to break ground next year and move in 2015.

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