TECH
06/13/2011 12:16 pm ET Updated Aug 13, 2011

Steve Jobs' Early Vision For Apple's Campus

Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently took the wraps off of the company's designs for a new, futuristic Apple campus to be built over the next few years in Cupertino, California.

The Cupertion-based circular building, which was likened to a spaceship, wasn't always what Jobs had in mind. In 1983, according to the Mercury News, Jobs worked with Tom McEnergy, at the time, the mayor of San Jose, and Bob Feld, a real estate consultant, to establish an Apple campus in Coyote Valley in San Jose, California. The headquarters were to be designed by architect I.M. Pei, who at the time was allegedly helping Jobs redo an apartment he owned in New York City.

The Mercury News describes the collaboration that took place in the 80s, as well as Jobs' initial vision for Apple's headquarters:

Jobs first saw the Coyote Valley property on a helicopter ride with consultant Feld and Apple executive Eisenstat on a spring day. Feld remembers it well. As they circled the pastoral property, Jobs asked to land on the valley floor, not far from a rolling hillside near Bailey Avenue and across from the 1950s-era IBM campus.
[...] Whether it be a research center or a think tank, Feld said, "he saw incorporating the hillside, not taking the trees out, but somehow making that part of the facility." And leaving most of the property in a natural state.
Feld had worked with scores of executives before, and most wanted something fast, cheap and easy. Not Jobs.
"In my mind, he was very unequivocal about the vision he saw there. He did not come across as 'Let me think about it,' " Feld said. "When we landed there, he was seeing things, he was seeing it right there that minute. There was no hesitancy."

It was never to be: Jobs was ousted from Apple in 1985, Apple eventually sold the San Jose land, and troubles emerged over the nature of the property--the area's "last wide-open space"--that was to be developed.

Read more about the San Jose campus Jobs pursued in the 90s here, then see the plans for Apple's next headquarters here.