“The tightly controlled Apple publicity machine isn’t making much of the fact that the company’s new store in Chicago’s Clybourn corridor (left) looks an awful lot like another Apple store in, of all places, an outdoor shopping center in Scottsdale, Arizona,” Blair Kamin writes for The Chicago Tribune.
“On the face of it, importing a cookie-cutter design from that architectural nowhere to Chicago, the first city of American architecture, is an insult, particularly because Apple last year opened a custom-designed store, complete with an elegant glass roof, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side,” Kamin writes. “But some prototype designs are better than others, and while this one, which made its debut Saturday, has minuses, it is hard to argue with the outcome: a sleek, minimalist object, bracingly transparent, that also delivers a major upgrade to the cityscape.”
Kamin writes, “The changes, which cost Apple nearly $4 million, do more than compensate for the store’s lack of aesthetic originality… Designed by Wilkes Barre, Pa.-based Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, whose credits include the famous glass cube atop Apple’s underground Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan (above) and the luminous, two-level Apple outlet at 679 N. Michigan Ave., the new model occupies a more modest rung in the Apple hierarchy — not quite a flagship, but more architecturally ambitious than a typical mall store… Its long sides consist of monolithic walls sheathed in stainless steel panels (left), while the short sides are wrapped in enormous panes of frameless, floor-to-ceiling glass. But to their credit, the architects tweaked the prototype, most notably by giving the Chicago store three entrances instead of Scottsdale’s one.”
Kamin writes, “The result is an attractively austere, though not off-putting, temple of computing, a modernist pavilion whose openness simultaneously extends an invitation to the passerby and advertises the entire contents of the one-level store. It’s a simple, strong form, more architecturally coherent than its limestone-faced Michigan Avenue counterpart, though it is by no means perfect.”
Much more, including photos of the Chicago and Scottsdale building, in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: We’ve always loved Apple Store, Scottsdale Quarter. It looks just as impressive in Chicago.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Joe Architect” for the heads up.]