Apple must modify Union Square store plans in order to save fountain

“Apple may be required to rework its design for a new Union Square flagship store, as San Francisco’s Planning Department has reviewed the Cupertino company’s plans and found the preliminary proposal wanting,” Kevin Bostic reports for AppleInsider.

“The planning board’s recommendations advise Apple to ‘[c]onsider the retention or relocation of the Ruth Asawa fountain as a part of the new reconfigured plaza, perhaps connecting it to, and integrating it with, another water theme within the plaza,'” Bostic reports. “Barring that, the assessment calls for Apple to work with the Department ‘to find an alternative location for its display within the City.'”

Ruth Asawa fountain in San Francisco (photo via AppleInsider)
Ruth Asawa fountain in San Francisco (photo via AppleInsider)

Bostic reports, “Another point of concern for the Planning Department is ensuring that the design of Apple’s new store fits in well with the overall look of the area… The Assessment makes a nod to the transparent facade and nontransparent rear wall, but notes that ‘there are ways of achieving the desired design concept while still responding to the fine-grain scale found within the District.’ To that end, it calls for the plan to incorporate ‘increased modulation and definition’ in the form of ‘vertical elements to break the contiguous plane of the glass wall, and/or adding color, pattern or texture to the glass wall.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: That thing looks like The Jolly Green Giant yakked on those steps or took a dump or something. The big guy ate some baaad beans.

Seriously, there are prettier fountains in German scheisse videos.

Why doesn’t San Fran just string up this Apple Store’s project architect and force him to look at slides of McMansions until he loses consciousness?

It’d be a far more humane form of architorture.


    1. I’m a SF native and that fountain has NO historical significance, or otherwise. Just a bunch of conservative “oh no someone’s trying to change something” whiners.

      They should treat it like Steve Jobs’ house and pick it up and move it away. Maybe to one of these whiners front yard!

      1. Sculpted by a Japanese-American internment camp ‘detainee’, and California native, Ruth Asawa.

        This 1973 work depicts a snapshot of life in San Francisco of that period.

        Yep, not historically significant.. (Maroon)

          1. In some of the older Bugs Bunny cartoons, Bugs calls Elmer Fudd a ‘maroon’. In the context of the cartoon, perhaps it’s an ironic statement. Bugs clearly means ‘moron’ but says ‘maroon’, making him actually moronic. Or perhaps he’s simply exaggerating the word. Who knows? It’s Bugs Bunny, the ultimate cool wabbit!

  1. I live in SF and I have to say that thing is hella ugly.
    I saw it in person and man is it ghastly!

    Why cant they move it? Dammit you can’t do anything nice for people.

  2. Wait! What? That’s a fountain? Looks like something my cat sneezed up.

    And those steps match perfectly—not! Meanwhile, the Italians are pissing themselves laughing…


  3. The fountain’s exterior is a raised relief map of the city, oriented to show which direction to go to visit various city locations, so moving it is not a practical option. That said, Apple’s drawings for the site do not overlay the fountain. The new store’s rear wall would come close to the fountain, but not displace it. It should be easy to give a bit more room to walk around the fountain. The steps also provide access to the adjacent hotel.

  4. Apparently it is a rather important historical artifact. Or at least represents something very important. Fine. But this is more about John King than a new Apple store. He is after all a critic. And certainly wants to be heard/attention. And if the planning council wants a store to blend in with the neighborhood that is certainly within their sphere of responsibility. That is their job and if Apple doesn’t meet their design requirements then Apple can build a store somewhere else. I wouldn’t expect any city to change their standards for a new store to be built in an existing neighborhood. If the glass cube doesn’t fit in then Apple should adjust accordingly. Or build a store somewhere else. But let’s face it, once we read about the fountain did anyone really think that this would be resolved amicably? Nah. Having been to San Francisco many, many times this is exactly what I expected to unfold. So Tim, bring that new store down to Burbank. We don’t have any fancy fountains down here. Would love to have your new store. The media capital of the world would love to have that big glass cube. After all, Macs are all we know!

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