New York, NY
Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and Ronnette Riley Architect, New York, NY; Apple Graphic Design, Cupertino, CA
Apple Graphic Design Apple Visual Merchandising
Apple Computer, Inc.
Dub Rogers Photography, Peter Aaron/Esto
During this building's former life as a U.S. Post Office, it was designated as Station A – which now presents a clever branding opportunity. Today the A is for Apple.
The palette of materials in a standard Apple store is minimal yet sophisticated, enhanced at the Soho store with stone flooring, bead-blasted stainless steel panels, custom-crafted woodwork fixtures, and low-iron laminate glass elements. Most distinctive is the transparent glass ensemble of a fifteen-foot-high staircase, fourteen-foot-long bridge, and seventy-foot-long custom skylight system. The skylight consists of clear, laminated, fritted, and diamond-plated glass from several different countries.
The functional aspects (utilities, acoustics, etc.) are seamlessly integrated into the design of the ceiling system and the perforated panels that line the balcony and skylight.
Graphics on stainless steel panels suspended from the ceiling identify different areas of the store. Throughout the space, special attention was given to the way in which photographs, videos, and graphics work together to provide visitors with a uniquely Apple experience.
"Everyone was impressed by the expression of the lifestyle-branding image into this high-tech temple of all things Apple. The uncompromised minimalist approach is extended very skillfully into clear but sparse signage components. Of particular note is the lack of any exterior signage other than the retention of the highly serendipitous "Station A" over the entry, which was the original designation of this building when it was a Post Office. Other graphics are restricted to an elegant museum-like display of retail posters, seen on the end and side walls, and more permanent thematic photo panels, such as those in the "genius" bar, although this aspect drew some discussion from jury members who thought this a missed opportunity to do something of more substance."