Apple releases Campus Two plans, artist's renders

Apple has released highly detailed plans and artistic renderings showing off its proposed 'Campus Two' facility - otherwise known as the Mothership - which it hopes to build in Cupertino.

While the general design of Campus Two - a toroidal ring extending into the ground and featuring glass panels and a solar roof, giving it the UFO-like appearance which has led to its unofficial nickname - has been well known, the latest plans offer an insight into exactly what Apple is hoping to create.

Designed to offer somewhere to store a portion of the company's incredible wealth in the form of people and equipment, the facility is to be built on a 175-acre area of Cupertino's finest land, and includes an office building for the company's research and development arm covering 2.8 million square feet.

The facility also plays host to a 1,000 seat corporate auditorium, a company gym, 300,000 square feet of lab space, a central power plant which aims to make the building as self-sufficient as possible, and a nearby partially-buried parking garage. The area will also be landscaped to include trees covering around 80 per cent of the surface, the company has claimed.

The renders are impressive, although the detailed plans do show portions of the facility extending underground in a way that will appear familiar to fans of the Resident Evil franchise as being indicative of an Umbrella Corporation facility, albeit not nearly as extensive.

Design inspirations from a world-destroying zombie-creating evil corporation aside, it's certainly an impressive facility - but the company doesn't have the go-ahead just yet. Local government officials have yet to decide whether to grant permission for the building work to go ahead, pending the results of an environmental impact assessment, development review, and public hearings for any locals who may have objections to raise.

Initial indications are that Cupertino's planning officials are treating the process as a formality, however, and Apple is expected to break ground on its new facility some time next year with Campus Two opening for business in 2015.

The full plans can be downloaded as PDFs from the Cupertino.org project status site.