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Apple shrouds Fifth Ave glass cube inside another cube as renovations begin

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Apple has constructed a second, temporary cube made of tarps to cover its iconic glass cube at its Fifth Avenue store, as construction to replace the structure has begun.

AppleInsider reader Ryan passed along photos that show the latest look at Apple's flagship store in New York City (included below). Last month, Apple began preparations for major renovations at the store which is open 24 hours a day.

The $6.7 million project will replace and improve the giant 32-foot glass cube that serves as the entrance to the Fifth Avenue retail store. Workers are completely removing the structure and reinstalling it, and the project is expected to be finished by November.

For those who visit the store now, a makeshift hallway has been built, complete with overhead lights, to access the stairs that lead to the underground store. Inside, the ongoing construction is blocked from the view of customers with white tarps.

The impressive structure has been a New York City destination since it opened in May of 2006. A recent study found that it is one of the most photographed locations in the entire city.

Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs personally designed and even paid for the hollow glass structure that serves as the store's entrance. The latest renovations are not the first time the structure has been tweaked: Shortly before its unveiling in 2006, Jobs was said to have been unhappy with some of the materials used to construct the cube, and last-minute changes were made.

The all-glass design has even inspired other projects from Apple, including its megastore in Shanghai that opened last summer. Like the Fifth Avenue store, its entrance is a staircase enclosed in glass, though the one in China is a cylinder.







post #2 of 42
Can someone who lives in NY enlighten me: What was wrong with the old cube? Was it falling apart?
post #3 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtm135 View Post

Can someone who lives in NY enlighten me: What was wrong with the old cube? Was it falling apart?

What's wrong with the IPhone 4? Yet Apple keeps working on newer and better things, right?
post #4 of 42
I like this new white cube. Its timing coincides neatly with the recent release of the white iPhone. Another brilliant stroke of concomitant marketing by Apple. RIM can learn.

In other news, Samsung is reportedly constructing a rectangular edifice outside its HQ. It is currently white but rumors have it they have a glass one ready, pending how the 5th Ave renovations go. When asked about the inspiration of the structure, the thin, bespectacled Samsung spokesman in the black mock-turtleneck, blue jeans and black runners replied, "We are competing."
post #5 of 42
Damn and I just arrived to NYC....
post #6 of 42
This is New York CIty. The new design therefore will be a Chinese take-out box.
post #7 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtm135 View Post

Can someone who lives in NY enlighten me: What was wrong with the old cube? Was it falling apart?

Good question.

I had the impression from an earlier article that for all we know, they may simply put the old cube back nearly as it was; but that they may have needed to remove it for the sake of sourrounding rennovations to the plaza. Maybe the surface the cube rests on/near at the bottom edge is being re-done or something?

Id be surprised if the same glass didnt return to use even if some elements are improved.
post #8 of 42
there is nothing wrong with the old cube, i was there yesterday and the construction preparation is impressive
they first used a metal structure to surround the cube then painted white plywood,
there is a bit of space lost at the entrance, but over all its not hindering foot flow
another aspect is the lights used in the makeshift cube, they mimic a sin light. when you are on the stairs its hard to tell than there is no real sun light, hence why i think its pretty impressive

the old cube was hard to clean and new york is not a clean air city, the store is on 5th ave that means 24/7 365 of taxi/car exhaust, i imagine the redesign will attempt to answer this problem
post #9 of 42
They can take this opportunity to fumigate for bedbugs.
post #10 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by vachi View Post

there is nothing wrong with the old cube, i was there yesterday and the construction preparation is impressive
they first used a metal structure to surround the cube then painted white plywood,
there is a bit of space lost at the entrance, but over all its not hindering foot flow
another aspect is the lights used in the makeshift cube, they mimic a sin light. when you are on the stairs its hard to tell than there is no real sun light, hence why i think its pretty impressive

the old cube was hard to clean and new york is not a clean air city, the store is on 5th ave that means 24/7 365 of taxi/car exhaust, i imagine the redesign will attempt to answer this problem

The new design will have a team of ten homeless guys with newspapers and squeegees constantly cleaning the exterior of the store.

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post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

The new design will have a team of ten homeless guys with newspapers and squeegees constantly cleaning the exterior of the store.

AKA the bum app
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #12 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtm135 View Post


Can someone who lives in NY enlighten me: What was wrong with the old cube? Was it falling apart?

The old cube is fine... the glass panels have nothing wrong with them.

But there are problems with the earth surrounding the cube... drainage issues and such.

They removed the glass panels so they wouldn't get damaged in the construction. I think they're gonna dig up the ground and pour new concrete, etc.

But the glass panels should return...
post #13 of 42
Looks like the Chernobyl sarcophagus
post #14 of 42
Thanks for the pathetic photos.
post #15 of 42
I"m guessing they are going "round".

Then Steve will get a round office and tell visitors to wait in the corner until he finishes a phone call.

===============================
The company's Pudong store in Shanghai, China uses an elaborate glass cylinder, something it might want to emulate in New York City. Round glass is in fact an emerging theme with Apple buildings, as the company's new headquarters will be a giant ring, with curved windows wrapping all the way around.
post #16 of 42
It is a tesseract (hypercube, n-cube). Apple is going in to the 4th dimension with the new renovations.
post #17 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post

The old cube is fine... the glass panels have nothing wrong with them.

But there are problems with the earth surrounding the cube... drainage issues and such.

They removed the glass panels so they wouldn't get damaged in the construction. I think they're gonna dig up the ground and pour new concrete, etc.

But the glass panels should return...

good info, cheers
post #18 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightstriker View Post

It is a tesseract (hypercube, n-cube). Apple is going in to the 4th dimension with the new renovations.

Apple's replacing it with a Menger Sponge.

There's no way to get inside (because there isn't an inside) and the required window-washing has saved the economy because it has created infinity new jobs.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #19 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by resnyc View Post

Thanks for the pathetic photos.

I don't suppose there's all that much to photograph when it comes to covered up construction work.

Even under the tarp, it's likely just going to be the same glass cube that was there before.
post #20 of 42
My prediction - they are removing the cube and replace it with a cylinder structure like they did in the Shanghai store. Makes sense. Their future headquarters is circular, Mr. Jobs seems to like curves and anti-angles, Shanghai is a jewel of design. Would not surprise me that's what they're going to do.
post #21 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

My prediction - they are removing the cube and replace it with a cylinder structure like they did in the Shanghai store. Makes sense. Their future headquarters is circular, Mr. Jobs seems to like curves and anti-angles, Shanghai is a jewel of design. Would not surprise me that's what they're going to do.

I figure cube again. Have a different shape for every continent.

North America: Cube
Asia: Cylinder
Europe: Tetrahedron
South America: Octahedron
Africa: Dodecahedron
Australia: Icosahedron
Antarctica: Penguin

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #22 of 42
They are replacing the entrances to all major Apple stores with travel portals so that Steve can visit his empire more quickly...
na na na na na...
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na na na na na...
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post #23 of 42
Hasn't Apple pioneered the ability to get large pieces of curved glass made? What if the new structure is literally a giant glass Apple?
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post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

My prediction - they are removing the cube and replace it with a cylinder structure like they did in the Shanghai store. Makes sense. Their future headquarters is circular, Mr. Jobs seems to like curves and anti-angles, Shanghai is a jewel of design. Would not surprise me that's what they're going to do.

He does seem to like curves in some instances. But look at recent products - the iMac, the iPhones, the iPod Touches, Apple TV, Time Capsule ... They are all variations of rounded rectangular slabs. This is because he is a minimalist. A rectangular block is really the most efficient shape when it comes to design of objects where aerodynamics is not important.
post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Hasn't Apple pioneered the ability to get large pieces of curved glass made? What if the new structure is literally a giant glass Apple?

Google would then have to close its doors...
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post #26 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

He does seem to like curves in some instances. But look at recent products - the iMac, the iPhones, the iPod Touches, Apple TV, Time Capsule ... They are all variations of rounded rectangular slabs. This is because he is a minimalist. A rectangular block is really the most efficient shape when it comes to design of objects where aerodynamics is not important.

Apple has said they are 'fixing the cube' too, not replacing it.

For that reason though and because of what you said and because of the perfect curved glass they are into lately ... I predict the same cube but with curved (rounded) corners.

You heard it here first.
post #27 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtm135 View Post

Can someone who lives in NY enlighten me: What was wrong with the old cube? Was it falling apart?

Nothing. According to my sources the city wants to do some construction work on the pavement in the area and Apple doesn't want to risk the glass cube being broken so they are removing it during that time for safety and a full cleaning. Then they are going to put it back.

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(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #28 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

He does seem to like curves in some instances. But look at recent products - the iMac, the iPhones, the iPod Touches, Apple TV, Time Capsule ... They are all variations of rounded rectangular slabs. This is because he is a minimalist. A rectangular block is really the most efficient shape when it comes to design of objects where aerodynamics is not important.

Corners are weak points and are liable to get chipped, they also scratch other things. The old iPod first and second gen had an edge so sharp you could practically cut with it, and it was kinda nice - but it got chipped very easily.
post #29 of 42
Won't people be surprised and amazed by the unveiling of the giant glass swastika!
post #30 of 42
A cube within a cube... Tesseraception!

Steve: "We need to go deeper..."
post #31 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs personally designed and even paid for the hollow glass structure that serves as the store's entrance.

From the wording, it sounds like Steve paid for the cube with his own money!
post #32 of 42
And what photos were you expecting to see? Steve Jobs dancing a jig for your entertainment?

Quote:
Originally Posted by resnyc View Post

Thanks for the pathetic photos.
post #33 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

And what photos were you expecting to see? Steve Jobs dancing a jig for your entertainment?

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #34 of 42
I will never be able to watch a keynote the same way again.
post #35 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


Whoever made this has too much time on his hands. Wonder if he is even gainfully employed.
post #36 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs personally designed and even paid for the hollow glass structure that serves as the store's entrance.

To say Jobs personally designed the cube might be an exaggeration. I have no doubt he conceptualized or even sketched the shape. But there's a hell of a lot of details and steps such as CAD, simulation and testing that go into structural design. As much as Jobs is amazing as a visionary, let's not forget he is not an engineer or architect. Likely, he designed the cube as much as many homeowners like to say they designed their own home or renovation.
post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Nothing. According to my sources the city wants to do some construction work on the pavement in the area and Apple doesn't want to risk the glass cube being broken so they are removing it during that time for safety and a full cleaning. Then they are going to put it back.

That doesn't sound correct to me. The city has nothing to do with the pavement in the plaza, which is part of the GM building and is privately held. Furthermore, the city is not responsible for the sidewalks adjoining buildings - the building's owners are (unless the city itself is digging them up for infrastructure issues.)

And if the sidewalk pavement needs to be dug up for any reason, that's far enough away from the cube that it shouldn't cause any problems, even if they're using jack hammers. There's already enough vibration from traffic and a nearby subway that all this must have been taken into consideration when the cube was first built.

Another poster suggested that there are drainage problems on the plaza and in order to fix this, the cube must be removed. But I find that doubtful as well. If that was the case, it would seem to me that worst case, they would only have to temporarily remove the bottom level of glass and I doubt even that. If there's seepage in the plaza, they would dig up the concrete in the plaza. What does that have to do with the cube, except perhaps at the edges?

Others have suggested that the cube is too difficult to clean, but the outside can be easily cleaned with a scissor lift (and assuming that acid rain hasn't damaged the glass' surface). It's cleaning the inside that I would think is more difficult.

I would find it hard to believe that Apple is changing the cube to a round (or other) shape because the Board apparently forced Steve to pay for the cube himself. If that was the case, why would they now be willing to fund a new one just to change the aesthetics?

Because the store gets so much traffic and there's only one the one entrance and staircase, I'm wondering whether the buildings department or fire department has determined that the entrance/exit isn't enough, even if they apparently approved them when the store was first opened. There's always someone at the door who controls how many people can enter - not so much because the floor of the store is reaching capacity, but to limit the number of the people walking on the staircase at any one time, to prevent people from getting pushed down by anxious crowds.

In any event, time will tell...
post #38 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

Whoever made this has too much time on his hands. Wonder if he is even gainfully employed.

It's an iTunes visualizer! Dance to your music!

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #39 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post


That doesn't sound correct to me. The city has nothing to do with the pavement in the plaza, which is part of the GM building and is privately held. Furthermore, the city is not responsible for the sidewalks adjoining buildings - the building's owners are (unless the city itself is digging them up for infrastructure issues.)

And if the sidewalk pavement needs to be dug up for any reason, that's far enough away from the cube that it shouldn't cause any problems, even if they're using jack hammers. There's already enough vibration from traffic and a nearby subway that all this must have been taken into consideration when the cube was first built.

Another poster suggested that there are drainage problems on the plaza and in order to fix this, the cube must be removed. But I find that doubtful as well. If that was the case, it would seem to me that worst case, they would only have to temporarily remove the bottom level of glass and I doubt even that. If there's seepage in the plaza, they would dig up the concrete in the plaza. What does that have to do with the cube, except perhaps at the edges?

I found this:

ifoAppleStore reports that permits issued by New Yorks Department of Buildings shows that Apple will spend $6,661,050 to install sophisticated connection hardware, upgrade the plaza structure surrounding the cube and then reinstall the it once it has been completed. Building permits issued on June 13th state the work will also include removing protective bollards, installing new pavers around the cubes perimeter, and removing and reinstalling surrounding water drains. According to the permits, the work could be finished by early November.

post #40 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post

I found this:

ifoAppleStore reports that permits issued by New York’s Department of Buildings shows that Apple will spend $6,661,050 to install sophisticated connection hardware, upgrade the plaza structure surrounding the cube and then reinstall the it once it has been completed. Building permits issued on June 13th state the work will also include removing protective bollards, installing new pavers around the cube’s perimeter, and removing and reinstalling surrounding water drains. According to the permits, the work could be finished by early November.


$6.66 million? It's the favorite Apple Store of the Anti-Christ.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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