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Watch the video that helped Apple land its 'spaceship' HQ

In this rarely seen video, the people bringing Apple's new Cupertino headquarters to life give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at its inception.

Richard Nieva Former senior reporter
Richard Nieva was a senior reporter for CNET News, focusing on Google and Yahoo. He previously worked for PandoDaily and Fortune Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, on CNNMoney.com and on CJR.org.
Richard Nieva
2 min read
Lead architect Norman Foster and Apple design chief Jonathan Ive look over a model of Apple's new headquarters. City of Cupertino video/Screenshot by CNET
Last week, Apple all but got the green light from the Cupertino City Council to build its lavish new corporate home in Cupertino, Calif., dubbed the "spaceship" because of its circular shape. A final vote -- considered to be a formality -- takes place on November 15.

But in a video (below) Apple showed to city officials promoting plans for its new headquarters, famed UK-based architect Norman Foster said the now-notorious ring shape wasn't the original idea.

"It really grew into that," said Foster, who led the building design, in the video. "The idea of one building with a great park was really born out of a very intensive process."

He also revealed that the project took shape in 2009 after Steve Jobs called him personally to enlist his services. Three weeks after that call, Foster came to Cupertino.

"Don't think of me as your client," Foster recalled Jobs telling him. "Think of me as one of your team."

Foster also said a major reference point for the design was Stanford University's campus, with its wooded Californian landscape.

The under 4-minute film was shown publicly by Apple just a few times before, during a two-day period earlier this month when Apple was trying to make its final push to convince the city's planning commission to approve its plans. City officials said it was also shown before the city council vote last week.

At the planning commission meeting, the video was introduced by Dan Whisenhunt, Apple's senior director of real estate and facilities. It's classic Apple showmanship: inspirational music and choice quotes from Steve Jobs that pull at the heartstrings.

Skip to 3:30 for Apple's film: