the architecture of Apple

Posted in opinion, projects by DS26 on 12.06.2010

Remember this?

People lined up for days… hours… it was a craze.

The opening of Apple in 5th Ave, NYC.

The novelty that was the clean, transparent, glass box. The steel details. The floating crisp, white apple logo.

Wow. What a beauty.

Well… it does not end there. And, as I learned recently, there are many more impressive Apple stores out there, and this post will give you a bit of a gist.

It all started in Soho (or so I am told). The restoration of the interiors of the Soho store was taken on.

The facade and structure remain, restored, and the interiors have taken a modern life, like Apple alone can do it.

Truth is the company has created an architecture to expand and highlight their branding.


NO doubt you have arrived to an Apple store, without even catching a logo, as soon as you see it. Certain materials and certain details announce it loud and clear.

The company has taken steps toward a more sustainable architecture including daylighting, green roofs, aluminum (highly recyclable and potentially already recycled).

Also, sustainable because they have learned (or chosen) to respect historic features and structures. You can see it at their Soho store, and others.

Something I did not know, as you probably don’t, are certain record-breaking facts.

For example, the store at NYC upper west side has a record-breaking span glass roof.

Also, the new Shanghai store. It has an impressive glass span vertically (seems like 3 stories).

I looked at this image quite closely, to make sure it was a continuous piece. It surely is.

The cylinder is an homage to the original 5th ave cube… right?!

A new underground playground for all the Apple fanatics, users, lovers in the world.

One store that impressed me was the Louvre. Did you know the Louvre had an Apple?

At first I thought it could not be real… it was so… pre-meditated.

But there it was.

A Louvre Apple!

Now… I wonder what IM Pei thinks about this new glass pyramid.

Does it (potentially) pay respect and admiration to his architecture?

I think maybe so. At least, I hope so… he is to be very well respected, and one of my faves.

The latest store I visited was really enjoyable. It is the place where, as of yet, I have found the most natural light… it was quite a refreshing space to experience.

It is the newest Chicago store, at Lincoln Park.

In this store, longitudinally arranged, the two ends are main entries, one which faces and welcomes people from the CTA red line “clybourn” stop.

Also, there is a long span skylight that runs most of the entire length of the building, plus a green roof.

I have heard many rumors about this particular store, and some are tied to some facts.

One for example is that they want to rename the red line stop to “Apple”, or the apple logo.

I cannot corroborate or deny this as a fact, but I can attest to the significant improvement to the red line entry by the creation of the plaza.

A genius here told me that, due to a union strike, the opening of this store was delayed.

I was there for it’s final stages, and visited in the recent weeks, in it’s first weeks.

Extra cool facts are, for example, that Apple’s revenues are approximately $7,000 per every single square foot of retail built space (staggering!).

Also, that Apple recently launched AutoCAD for Mac. I waited almost a decade for this… being a personal user for almost that long. I have used CAD since it was Release 14… in the early 90’s.

I am not that old, but I did listen to my dad when I was 17 and took my 1st pro class in college.

NOW  I simply hope that, after the CAD release, Jobs considers the next (newest) best thing, and that is to develop a Mac Revit series (architecture, structures, mep)…

Truthfully that could have been it… they could have skipped CAD… but then again, vectors had to happen before hand I guess.

It is obvious I LOVE APPLE, and I am not the only one… there is a whole culture out there.

My twitter friend @npann for example, keeps me informed often. He has an area (category) in his site dedicated to his Apple posts.

Also, my friend @liraluis calls herself (proudly) Miss MacGruber.

There’s Miss MacGruber, wearing electric blue, at Copenhagen’s meat packing district… friends bonding with Apple at Soho’s Architect of Record : Ronnette Riley.

( thanks for the pic lira! )

And, self, hugging “my apple” the first time I visited Chicago’s Apple store on Michigan back in 2007… First time I visited Chicago when we came for USGBC Greenbuild.

I have always been called by friends… the Mac Baby.

Maybe you should consider joining us?!

Hey, Apple… need another Senior Design Manager?! ~ sounds like whole lot of mac fun…  :)


2 Responses

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  1. David Mathias said, on 12.06.2010 at 10:15

    Just a few days ago I read that the 5th Avenue store is one of the most photographed buildings in NY. That’s impressive.

    I enjoyed your post. Thanks.


    • 26at41 said, on 12.06.2010 at 10:55

      Yes… one more impressive fact I was not aware of.

      I have not been there yet, to NY, but it is truly an innovative structure (my thing is the details). Stunning at night.

      Thank you for your comment! :)

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