“It has always struck me as odd that in Palo Alto, Apple’s heartland and Steve Jobs’ adopted hometown, Apple had only a modestly-sized, unremarkable venue on University Avenue, and an even smaller store in the Stanford Shopping Center,” Jean-Louis Gassée writes for Monday Note. “All of that changed on October 27th when the black veil that shrouded an unmarked project was removed, and the newest Apple Store — what some are calling a ‘prototype’ for future venues, a ‘flagship’ store — was revealed.”

“The new store is big, bold, elegant, even more so at night when the very bright lights and large Apple logo on its front dominate the street scene. The store is impressive… but its also unpleasantly, almost unbearably noisy,” Gassée writes. “And mine isn’t a voice in the wilderness. The wife of a friend walked in, spent a few minutes, and vowed to never return for fear of hearing loss. She’d rather go to the cramped but much more hospitable Stanford store.”

Apple Store Palo Alto is an acoustical nightmare

Apple Store Palo Alto is an acoustical nightmare

Gassée writes, “The sound problem stems from a combination of the elongated ‘Great Hall,’ parallel walls, and reflective building materials. The visually striking glass roof becomes a veritable parabolic sound mirror. There isn’t a square inch of sound-absorbing material in the entire place. A week later, I returned to the store armed with the SPL [Sound Pressure Level] Meter iPhone app… Then I saw it: An SPL recorder — a professional one — perched on a tripod inside the store.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Architorture.

Instead of T-shirts at the Palo Alto grand reopening, Apple should’ve handed out free earplugs.