updated 07:27 pm EST, Wed December 4, 2013
Apple logo taken off glass front, new plaza planned, other changes made
A new Apple Store planned for the Union Square area of San Francisco has been in the planning stages for some time, but a new revision to the company's plans that specifically addresses some prior concerns may finally win approval. The iPhone maker submitted new renderings and a new 3D architectural model redesigning a planned plaza with a new water feature, preserving but moving (slightly) an existing fountain, and breaking up an originally monolithic steel wall along Stockton Street.
Architectural model of revised store design
The revised plan also moves the iconic Apple logo from the two-story, all-glass front façade to the steel Stockton side. The 20-foot-high wall also now has a small incursion in it and more detailed plans for lining that side with trees, benches and other beautification efforts. The area is currently occupied by a disused Levi's clothing store that will be demolished once Apple gets final approval, as well as a Grand Hyatt hotel.
A rear plaza intended for the back of the store will now add a waterfall feature in addition to a pre-existing fountain originally designed by San Fransisco artist Ruth Asawa (who died earlier this year). The fountain and its placement inadvertently became a major sticking point in negotiations with the city, as Apple had originally intended to remove it entirely (Asawa's fountain designs are found throughout the city), but the government and residents objected to the idea.
The fountain will now be near the entrance of the rear plaza, requiring that it be moved a few feet from its current location. It was originally built in 1973 by Asawa as a commission from the Union Square Hyatt (seen in the gallery, below).
Renderings of the plaza (seen below) envision a cafe-like seating area that would mostly be in shade, and decorated with trees and other flora alongside the water features. The revisions signal that Apple is moving closer to approval on the store, and 9to5Mac reports that a press conference with the city is being planned, presumably to announce acceptance of Apple's latest design.
The Union Square store, once approved, will become the new home of the flagship downtown location, replacing the current store further down on Stockton street. Apple has presumably already obtained permission and approval from the Hyatt owners for the rear-area redevelopment, since at least a portion of the plaza area and the fountain itself belongs to the hotel.