Apple's share price might be in the doldrums right now, but its CEO's other company, Pixar, has just moved into stunning new offices that cost $94 million to create.
Pixar, the animation studio founded by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, is famous for its record-breaking smash-hit movies, 'Toy Story' 1 and 2 and 'A Bug's Life'. Its new 215,000-square-foot headquarters is situated in Emeryville, California.
"Steve Jobs played a very hands-on role. He cared about every detail of the project," Kendra Taylor, a project manager with Peter Walker and Partners, the landscape architecture firm that planned the apple orchard and gardens, told the San Jose Mercury. "It's very much Steve's vision that was built."
"Steve Jobs called all the shots, but it is to his benefit. He got what he was looking for. He should be greatly pleased. I hear he loves the building," said Ron Bennett, vice president of E&S Masonry, the company that laid the bricks that clad the building's steel frame.
Apple orchard Aside from the obligatory screening rooms, the buildings and 16-acre campus include a terraced amphitheatre, basketball and volleyball courts, jogging path and lap pool. And there are plans to add a swimming pool and apple orchard. An article in the San Jose Mercury News claims the building – which features an exposed steel frame - and walkways required 515,000 specially ordered bricks in colours like "mojave" and "coral" – "each and every one laid by hand to replicate an early 20th century warehouse".
"We're pinching ourselves,'' Brandon Neff, an assistant to one of Pixar's directors told the newspaper. "Everyone is just walking around with our mouths agape at how beautiful the building is. It's put a shot in the arm of everyone who works here."
Playboy stuff But not everyone is happy with the new offices.
"Steve Jobs' big thing was to have an apple orchard," said Greg Harper, a former city council member who cast the lone vote against the Pixar project. "This is Playboy stuff. I said, 'We don't need this in Emeryville. What you need is an isolation compound in the valley.'"
Explosions Previously, Pixar had rented offices in Point Richmond. Explosions at a nearby Chevron refinery reportedly put some executives "on edge".
"Steve Jobs didn't like being near Chevron, because every once in a while something over there blows up," said Richmond City Council Member Tom Butt.
Pixar bought the old Del Monte cannery site in May 1997 for nearly $5.8 million, and has spent much more on construction costs and landscaping. Pixar had made capital expenditures of $54.2 million as of January 1, according to its annual report. In it, the company estimated an additional $34.2 million would be spent this year to complete the project.
Pixar's next movie, 'Monsters', is scheduled for a Thanksgiving 2001 release.