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Foster’s Apple Headquarters Exceeds Budget by $2 Billion © Foster + Partners, ARUP, Kier + Wright, Apple The estimated cost of Apple’s Cupertino City headquarters has escalated from an already hefty price of $3 billion to $5 billion (more than $1,500 per square foot), reportedly pushing back the original completion date to 2016. According to Bloomberg, Apple is working with lead architect Foster & Partners to shave $1 billion from the “ballooning budget”. Most of the cost is seemly due to Steve Job’s “sky-high requirements for fit and finish”, as the tech legend called for the 2.8 million square foot, circular monolith to be clad 40-foot panes of German concave glass, along with its four-story office spaces be lined with museum-quality terrazzo floors and capped with polished concrete ceilings. Although lambasted for his ambitious plans and “doughnut-shaped” design, Steve Jobs wanted to create a masterpiece that looked as good as it functioned, just like his products. During a 2011 presentation to the Cupertino City Council, Jobs stated, “This is not the cheapest way to build something… there is not a straight piece of glass in this building.” He continued, “We have a shot… at building the best office building in the world. I really do think that architecture students will come here to see it.” © Foster + Partners, ARUP, Kier + Wright, Apple The spaceship-like headquarters, as Jobs would describe, is intended to accommodate more than 12,000 employees. It will be one of six visible structures planned for the 176 acre parcel - including the headquarters, a lobby to a 1000-seat underground auditorium, a four-story parking garage near Interstate 280, a corporate fitness center, a research facility and central plant - all of which will be accessed by a network of underground roads and parking lots, hidden by 6,000 trees. In addition, Jobs envisioned the campus to achieve “net-zero energy” by offsetting energy use with 700,000 square feet of rooftop solar panels (enough to generate 8 megawatts of power), along with additional contracts for solar and wind power, climate responsive window dressings, and more (additional project information, including plans and images, can be found here). © Foster + Partners, ARUP, Kier + Wright, Apple Despite the cost, Bloomberg states, “There’s no indication that Apple is getting cold feet.” Site excavation is planned to commence in June. In related news, Facebook’s quarter-mile-long West Campus by Frank Gehry was just awarded approval from city council. All the details here. Reference: Bloomberg
January 15, 2009 By PATRICK McGEEHAN The retailing of recorded music will take another step toward extinction in early April, when the Virgin Megastore in Times Square closes to make room for Forever 21, a popular chain that sells moderately priced clothing. The closing, which was announced to the store’s 200 employees this week, will leave the Virgin store on Union Square as the last Manhattan outpost of a large music chain. The future of that store has not been decided, Simon Wright, the chief executive of Virgin Entertainment Group, said on Wednesday. Stores that sell prerecorded CDs and DVDs have been done in by the popularity of digitized music that can be downloaded from the Internet onto iPods and MP3 players. But Mr. Wright said that the Times Square store, which has about 60,000 square feet of selling space, is not simply a victim of technological progress. It has remained “very, very profitable” by shifting its merchandise toward apparel and electronics, including iPods, he said, adding that those two categories accounted for about 25 percent of sales during the holiday shopping season. “Stores that rely completely on recorded music have a difficult future,” he said, “but we’ve been changing our business quite dramatically.” But the chain’s owners, two big New York-based real estate development companies, saw greater potential in leasing the prime space to Forever 21. The Virgin chain, once part of Sir Richard Branson’s business empire, has been owned since 2007 by the Related Companies and Vornado Realty Trust. It comprised 11 stores when it was acquired, but now will be down to just five, two of them in California. Virgin closed other stores late last year. The Times Square space, on the east side of Broadway near 46th Street, will be closed for at least a year before it reopens as Forever 21’s largest location. It will be combined with some adjoining space to create a 90,000-square-foot store that will be triple the size of any of Forever 21’s three current stores in Manhattan, said Lawrence Meyer, a senior vice president of Forever 21. Forever 21 is a Los Angeles-based chain that sells trendy clothing for young women and men. It competes with other moderately priced retailers like H & M and Gap stores. “This is a bigger format,” Mr. Meyer said. “It’s going to be a fashion department store. It’s going to offer a deeper assortment of women’s apparel and men’s apparel.” Mr. Meyer said the recession had not diluted his company’s enthusiasm for making a big splash in an expensive area like Times Square. He declined to specify the rent Forever 21 will pay. “We have been doing O.K. in this environment because we have always given great value to our customers,” Mr. Meyer said. “Our stores are exciting and we want to create an exciting environment in Times Square.” http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/15/nyregion/15virgin.html?_r=1&scp=3&sq=virgin&st=cse
Quebec monk declared saint for his 'boundless charity' Sun. Oct. 17 2010 5:19 PM ET The humble Quebec monk who founded Montreal's St. Joseph's Oratory was named a saint by Pope Benedict in a ceremony at the Vatican Sunday. The former Brother Andre, who was credited with miracle healings before his death in 1937, is now known as St. Andre. The Pope told the thousands of faithful gathered for the ceremony, including hundreds of Canadians, that although St. Andre was poorly educated and working at a menial job, he was an inspiration to many faithful. "(As) doorman at the Notre Dame College in Montreal, he showed boundless charity and did everything possible to soothe the despair of those who confided in him," Benedict said. Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon led the official Canadian delegation to the ceremony. "Here is a person who throughout his life had a dream, and he was able to pursue that dream, he was able to build the St. Joseph Oratory in Montreal," Cannon told CTV News Channel on Sunday in a telephone interview from Rome. "So I think that when one looks at him, and what he was able to do throughout his life, he will be an inspiration for generations of Canadians to come." Francoise Bessette, whose grandfather was Brother Andre's first cousin, was among the thousands of Canadians in attendance. "I didn't think this would happen while I was alive," said Bessette, whose brother was named after the saint. "So to be here today is very special for me." In Montreal, the faithful crowded around a big-screen television in the Oratory's church to watch the ceremony broadcast live from St. Peter's Square. His elevation to sainthood will carry some worldly benefits for St. Andre's hometown, according to Kevin Wright, the president of the U.S.-based world religious travel association. "When an individual is declared a saint, their shrines attract significant numbers of visitors," Wright told CTV News Channel. "And we're going to see that in Montreal." He said that while the oratory that St. Andre founded is not as big a draw as sites like the French shrine at Lourdes, it already attracts an estimated one million pilgrims a year. And Wright said that St. Andre's sanctification will only boost those numbers. "Over the next couple of years we could see that double and get up to three, four or even five million people. And that's incredible." All the attention and ceremony would likely have embarrassed St. Andre, who was known for his humility and his faith, which has been described by Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte as strong enough "to move mountains." St. Andre was born Alfred Bessette in St-Gregoire-d'Iberville on Aug. 9, 1845, and was orphaned at the age of 12. In 1904, the Holy Cross brother founded Montreal's St. Joseph's Oratory, a landmark church on the northern slope of Mount Royal that receives about 2 million visitors every year. He became known for comforting the sick, and is credited with more than 100,000 miraculous healings before his death in 1937 at age 91. Two of those healings met the Vatican standard for a miracle, reported the Globe and Mail's Eric Reguly from Rome. The drive for the canonization goes back to 1940, when it was started by the Archdiocese of Montreal and the Congregation of Holy Cross and St. Joseph's Oratory. He was declared "venerable" by Pope Paul VI in 1978, and beatified -- declared "blessed" -- by Pope John Paul II in 1982. Benedict announced his canonization in February after officially recognizing a second miracle attributed to him. Brother Andre died at age 91 on Jan. 6, 1937. During the six days and nights before his funeral, more than one million people filed past his coffin. His heart still rests in a small shrine in the Oratory, where he was ultimately laid to rest. The heart, which is on public view as an object of contemplation for pilgrims, is protected by security systems after it was stolen in 1973. Police recovered it almost two years later from the basement of a home near Montreal. Brother Andre follows in the footsteps of Marguerite d'Youville, who was born in 1701 and was the first saint born on what is now Canadian territory. Canada's other saints are Marguerite Bourgeoys, who was born in France in 1620 and is considered the co-founder of Montreal, and eight French-born Jesuit martyrs who were killed during the 1640s. Benedict gave Australia its first saint, canonizing 19th-century nun Mary MacKillop. Also canonized Sunday were Stanislaus Soltys of Poland, Italians Giulia Salzano and Battista Camilla da Varano, and Candida Maria de Jesus Cipitria y Barriola of Spain. http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/TopStories/20101017/brother-andre-canonized-101017/