Apple reinvents the cube with refurbished NYC store
Apple's "cube" Fifth Avenue New York City store must rate as one of the firm's most recognizable and has now reopened after a substantial renovation. Still sporting the same defining glass box entrance that was installed when Steve Jobs opened it in 2006, the building now features more space and natural light inside.
The Fifth Avenue Apple Store is another collaboration between Foster + Partners and Apple – or, more specifically, the architecture firm and Apple's design team, headed by Sir Jonathan Ive.
"The Fifth Avenue store was and is a continuation of Steve's [Jobs] vision for Apple, with its iconic transparent cube, which is one of the most visited places in the city," says Ive. "The new design seeks to build on the original idea and create a public plaza that celebrates the vibrant nature of New York City. It gifts Manhattan its greatest new urban room, a celebration of city life, diversity and creativity."
The project involved a lot more than a lick of paint and has actually doubled the size of the original subterranean building, while also increasing the height of its ceiling. There are now two new entrances as well as an eye-catching spiral staircase, and the natural light inside was boosted significantly too, with a total of 62 skylights installed into a curved fabric ceiling section.
Focus lighting integrated into the skylights illuminates the Apple products on display tables and an efficient ventilation system built into the stone floor monitors levels of occupancy and outdoor weather to reduce energy usage.
The plaza above the store has also been significantly improved, with new trees and nine "Skylenses." These offer additional light inside, as well as somewhere comfortable to sit.
"Nine beautiful innovative mirrored 'Skylenses' are arranged in a grid either side of the glass cube," explains Foster + Partners. "These public sculptures allow visitors to interact with the famous New York City skyline in a completely new way. Their seamless curved surfaces create a place to sit while providing a reflected perspective of the city’s architecture. The Skylenses feature an innovative circulatory cooling system beneath the top surface, designed to absorb solar energy and offer frost protection, allowing people to use them throughout the year."