February 6, 2014

Apple's Flagship Store With 45-Foot Doors Up For Approval

As we first reported and revealed last week, the façade for Apple’s proposed flagship store on Union Square has been redesigned by Foster + Partners to incorporate a pair of full-height sliding glass doors, each measuring 23 feet wide and 44.5 feet tall and allowing the store to be opened to the street (click renderings to enlarge).

This afternoon, the revised designs for the store and an all new plaza behind will go before San Francisco’s Planning Commission to be approved.

First Published: February 6, 2014 9:00 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

How do you say: cold & windy? Great for testing wind sheer strength of new mini medium sized Ipads....

Posted by: 4oceans at February 6, 2014 9:27 AM

The monolithic hunk of stone on the west side of this design is starting to grate on me.

Posted by: 1965 at February 6, 2014 9:54 AM

As bad and non functional and arrogant as their proposed space ship world headquarters down in Silicon Valley.

I never have and never will own any Apple products.

Posted by: Futurist at February 6, 2014 10:04 AM

What happens when it rains, like today? Is everyone inside the store going to get soaked? As well as the merchandise?

This design is really not working for me.

Posted by: Lori at February 6, 2014 10:22 AM

I believe Chicago required their Michigan Avenue store to have a green roof that is open to the public. A landscaped public accessible rooftop plaza would have been great at this location as well.

Posted by: Anon94123 at February 6, 2014 10:36 AM

I remember the morning we woke up to find a family of scrub jays had moved into our living room overnight.

They like shiny things too.

Posted by: redseca2 at February 6, 2014 11:03 AM

@1965 - agree, horrible for this pedestrian-heavy location.

@anon94123 - great idea, which would have potentially justified the *loss* in height as compared to the existing building.

Posted by: Sierrajeff at February 6, 2014 11:10 AM

Wow, some of you are dense.

If it's cold, windy and rainy, then they..

wait for it..


close the doors.

Minds blown.

Posted by: sf at February 6, 2014 11:12 AM

It's OK, Futurist. For people like you there's a Microsoft Store in the Westfield center and service is amazingly quick. Definitely no lines, ever.

Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at February 6, 2014 11:37 AM

Yes, windy cold San Francisco. It doesn't seem likely that they will really want to have these doors open very much. Also, that is a very busy and noisy corner from the point of view of automobile and bus traffic. It really seems impractical from that standpoint. But it is one of those grand kinetic gestures so many architects depict knowing full well that in the end it will get watered down or deleted by end of construction due to practicality and cost.

Posted by: John at February 6, 2014 1:03 PM

I am curious. Is the roof going to hold up? There is no column or wall to support it.

Posted by: Wai Yip Tung at February 6, 2014 1:11 PM

No. The roof will certainly collapse. That's why you hire Foster + Partners as your architects. To ensure disaster. Clearly, that's Apple's goal here.

This building is beautiful, and I am glad the people who prefer Android will keep out.

Posted by: amused at February 6, 2014 2:10 PM

Please tell me that comment about the roof was meant in jest.

Posted by: emanon at February 6, 2014 2:12 PM

To clarify, my reference was to the roof comment submitted by Wai. (And thank you amused!)

Posted by: emanon at February 6, 2014 2:18 PM

It was a causal comment. I appreciate people for enlighten my engineering knowledge.

Posted by: Wai Yip Tung at February 6, 2014 2:27 PM


or Casual?

Posted by: Futurist at February 6, 2014 2:30 PM

The city should require store frontage replace that blank wall along Stockton. It would only require reallocating the rightmost sliver of the building, barely a loss of retail floorspace on the main Apple store.

Erecting a huge blank wall in a busy area like Union Square is a travesty.

Otherwise I like the rest of this project.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at February 6, 2014 5:28 PM

Given the big Levi's building this is replacing, I don't see how anyone could fail to appreciate the improvement.

Posted by: ciparis at February 6, 2014 8:09 PM

As others noted before, when the big doors are closed, there are two doors in the non-moving panels on the left and right sides. If you look closely, you can see them illustrated.

How about calling the giant doors, iOpeners?

When they are open, however, it might turn into an iRoost for pigeons.

Posted by: Jlasf at February 7, 2014 1:20 AM

I think the "monolithic hunk of stone" is cladding over the Hyatt's delivery entrance and other functional spaces. Not much Apple can do about that. SFGate says "The hotel's ballroom and conference rooms will remain under the new store."

Posted by: pie-eater at February 7, 2014 9:08 AM

Posted by: SocketSite at February 7, 2014 9:59 AM

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