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Apple reveals plans for new Fifth Avenue cube [U]

updated 10:50 am EDT, Tue August 9, 2011

New look to use fewer panes, no reason given

[Update: added official rendering of new look] Apple has finally revealed what it intends to do with the glass cube over its Fifth Avenue store in New York City. A photo shows a new sign plastered on the barrier around the store, which is in place while the cube is being replaced. "We're simplifying the Fifth Avenue cube," the message reads. "By using larger, seamless pieces of glass, we're using just 15 panes instead of 90." A diagram shows that each side of the cube will have three vertically-aligned panes.

Still unclear is why Apple has decided to replace the cube. The original structure was only completed in 2006, and cost about $7 million at the time. The current renovations are expected to cost in excess of $6.6 million, almost doubling the money spent so far. Apple may have needed to overhaul the cube for maintenance purposes; perhaps more likely, however, is that the company wants to reinvigorate the store's image, since it is one of the most photographed places in Manhattan and a focal point for the media during Apple product launches.

2011 moreover marks the 10th anniversary of the Apple Store chain, for which the company may want a conspicuous symbol. Apple is in fact renovating or expanding a number of other outlets, and should have 26 more locations by the end of September.

Update: Apple has released an official rendered image of how the new cube will look.








by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -6

    Is it just me...

    ... or is the "justification" for this make-over just plain stupid? "We're using just 15 panes instead of 90" - so what? It's still the same amount of glass, just cut less often. A few questions come to mind:

    - Does this make it more economically friendly? (Hardly)

    - Does it look nicer? (Depends on your taste. My guess is: no)

    - Will it burn millions of dollars for no apparent reason at all? (You bet)

    - Is Apple slowly losing its marbles? (Seems like it)

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Less is more...

    Steve Jobs touch at work again. Apple may be able to recycle the old glass for some other stores. I like the idea of a simplified cube design. Those glass slabs must be huge and heavy.

  1. byRyan

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +8

    2016

    I can't wait for the 2016 renovation of the store when they use just 5 panes of giant solid glass. Tall skinny panels are sooooo 2011!

    by 2021 they should be able to fuse all that glass together into one solid piece, which will provide a pleasant contrast from the giant glass dodecahedron in front of the Microsoft store.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: Is it just me...

    ... or is the "justification" for this make-over just plain stupid? "We're using just 15 panes instead of 90" - so what? It's still the same amount of glass, just cut less often. A few questions come to mind:

    Actually, it also means it
    - costs a lot more
    - costs a lot more to replace due to some issue

    - Does this make it more economically friendly? (Hardly)

    You're not looking at the big picture. It now makes it easier for people to see in or out of the cube. The savings to the consumer is enormous!

    - Does it look nicer? (Depends on your taste. My guess is: no)

    I'm sure the apple store fanboys will undoubtedly say it will look better.

    - Will it burn millions of dollars for no apparent reason at all? (You bet)

    Apple's got the money to burn... This is what 40% gross revenues gets you!

    - Is Apple slowly losing its marbles? (Seems like it)

    That happened years ago. Back when they decided style was the most important, followed by profit, followed by new over old.

    In the good ol' days, Apple actually cared about its user-base. Now it's just about the best way to monetize their tech. Nothing wrong with that, since it's why people get in business. Just realize they're just a company out to make a buck, no different than thousands of others.

  1. TheSnarkmeister

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Really?

    If there really are only 15 pieces of glass it would appear to indicate there are no doors in the new cube. Perhaps that hint as to what is really motivating what would otherwise be viewed as a fiscally nutty overall.

  1. chas_m

    Moderator

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Yes

    All your criticisms are valid because nobody has ever remodeled a store or home before. Particularly not to improve its appearance or "just freshen up the look."

    Nobody has ever done that before. Only Apple does that. Riiiiiight.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    @chas_m

    We're not against remodelling per se. We just wonder why they chose to make such a small (but potentially costly) change that doesn't serve much of a purpose. You can "freshen up the look" all you like, but I wonder if just making a big bunch of glass a bit more seamless will do the trick.

  1. johncarync

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Why they remodeled

    This is their figurehead store. A photograph of this store is often used by the media for stories on Apple. It is one of the most-visited attractions in New Your City and the most photographed landmark in NYC! I'm not making that up, the Apple store is photographed more than Time Square and Rockefeller Center (google "Apple Store NYC most photographed"). This store is probably the most-important store to Apple. The redesign won't specifically sell extra iPhones or Macs but it will continue to improve public perception of Apple and that's a good thing. If I recall correctly, Steve Jobs paid an extra $2-3 million of his own money for the original glass panes because it was what he wanted. It turns out it was a great idea because the store has become iconic.

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