New York Apple Store Design Patent Credits Steve Jobs

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The striking design of Apple’s Upper West Side store in New York was granted a patent, and company co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs was credited as one of the people responsible for the location’s appearance. The store sports an all-glass front and suspended glass roof, making the location look like a single open-air room.

Apple's Upper West Side storeApple’s Upper West Side store in Manhattan

Along with Mr. Jobs, the patent also lists Karl Backus, Peter Bohlin, George Bradley Robert Bridger, Benjamin Fay and Ronald Bruce.

Patent rendering of Apple StoreStore rendering from Apple’s patent filing

The multi-level Upper store is located at Broadway and 67th Street, and opened on November 14, 2009, as Apple’s fourth Manhattan location. The Upper West Side store is hard to miss thanks to its all glass roof, glass front wall, suspended glowing Apple logo, and 45-foot Genius Bar.

[Thanks to Patently Apple for the heads up.]

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Comments

ibuck

I’m curious about heating and cooling that big space, especially in winter.
I wonder what heating system they used, possibly radiant floor heating? And air recirculation?

How will that glass roof handle a big snowfall or freezing rain & snow, and will the engineering be up to snuff?

spudgeek

what are the chances they didn’t think of that ibuck, really? ....REALLY?

Lee Dronick

I am surprised that the design was granted a patent, but I can understand that they would want to protect it.

Yesterday on the TV news was a segment about Walmart opening a .com store at Horton Plaza (downtown San Diego). This is a place that has little physical goods for sale, but instead has staffers help customers choose items and then order them online. The thing is that the reporter doing the store said “It looks like an Apple Store.”

sflocal

I am surprised that the design was granted a patent, but I can understand that they would want to protect it.

Because time-and-time again, It’s becoming very apparent that several very-well-known companies prefer to let Apple take care of all the design and R&D aspects while and they simply do a photo-copy of it.

It’s sad.  While I am certainly not a fan of the patent system and how it’s being abused, I don’t think its right that people that do hard work to design something (even if its a store design), make it unique and dramatic only to have that design ripped-off down the road by some schmuck that doesn’t want to make the effort to do their own thing.

Just my 2-cents.

mhikl

what are the chances they didn?t think of that ibuck

These are honest questions, spudgeek. I am as curious as ibuck. Goes without saying that ?they? did think about such.

Lee Dronick

Because time-and-time again, It?s becoming very apparent that several very-well-known companies prefer to let Apple take care of all the design and R&D aspects while and they simply do a photo-copy of it.

The look of a store can be akin to a trademark such as the Golden Arches of McDonalds

How will that glass roof handle a big snowfall or freezing rain & snow, and will the engineering be up to snuff?

In part that is why we have to get building permits before beginning construction or renovation.

mhikl

Too late for addendum in my previous post?

Architecture as an art form, sflocal, lends itself to imitation and imitation is open to inspiration (to others) but whole sale copy may be the point in question or maybe the patent is just the exclamation point to the design?s statement. Where is our trusty lawyer on this?

All this comes down to a Shakespearean tragedy.

To copy, or not to copy, that is the court?s dilemma:
Whether ?tis expedient by craft to suffer
The grabs and runs of these litigious times
Or prepare by writ against a sea of fortuity
And oppose its arrogation.

BurmaYank

“I?m curious about heating and cooling that big space, especially in winter.”

I’d expect that a geothermal heat pump, using a direct exchange vertical closed loop field (i.e., within a 50 to 100 feet deep sub-floor well or two) should easily give this building more than ample almost free and 100% green/renewably-powered heating & cooling, no matter how hot the greenhouse effect or how cold the evening winter radiant heat losses might try to make it inside. 

And to make the powering of the pumps and fans actually free (e.g., using solarpanel, etc. electrical auto-generation) there would need to be enough voltage storage capacity in the basement, etc. to provide a constant source of electricity.
Radiant floor +/- wall heating/cooling should work very well with this system, but I’d expect this system would also need a central AC/recirculation component, as you suggest.

ibuck

@spudgeek

Do architects and engineers consider all contingencies and risks? Don’t building roofs sometimes collapse under the weight of snow? Even bridges occasionally collapse, and usually those are engineered to withstand the myriad forces that might bring them down, even earthquakes. Lots of genius architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s buildings leak when it rains. There could be construction flaws in addition to design or engineering flaws.

I’m sure they thought about it, and made tradeoffs and choices, weighing risks. Will those choices stand up?

Last May Apple’s Upper West Side store’s glass wall was vandalized and several months elapsed before it was fixed / restored. Did Apple and the architects weigh that risk, despite a history of Apple stores being burglarized, and decide to endure such delays in case of such damage?

ibuck

@ Lee D and others

The Architects Newsletter says James O?Callaghan (from London) engineered the all-glass roof, mounting “fritted, insulating- glass panels on thin metal purlins that incorporate lighting, and (invisibly) sprinklers and security systems. Elegant trusses cross under, with tension cables picked out in machined stainless steel.” Such incorporation and the mullion-free glass walls seem the basis for the patent.

This site goes on to say “Stone floor panels are perforated to supply air.” Is that just ventilation? No mention of heat source.

@BurmaYank, thanks for the geothermal heat info. Could that work in Manhattan where the water table is so high? News reports revealed that the subways were closed during last August’s hurricane in New York because the water pumps that normally keep them dry from river / harbor water couldn’t handle that downpour.

Lee Dronick

Thanks iBuck

cb50dc

How will that glass roof handle a big snowfall or freezing rain & snow?


There’s an app for that.

Lee Dronick

There?s an app for that.

Indeed there is smile

I think that linked app is not so much for structural loads as it is for other engineering tasks, but it wouldn’t surprise me that is something available.

ClaytonK

While I think this building looks spectacular, I really dislike the way it feels inside.  I think it’s that the roof is so high and the walls so harsh: maybe like a train station.  In any case, cozying up to an iDevice wasn’t really appealing when I went there.  I honestly think if the ceiling were 10 feet lower it would be my favorite Apple Store.

BurmaYank

”... thanks for the geothermal heat info. Could that work in Manhattan where the water table is so high?”

I would think the only effect a very high water table might have on the installational & operational considerations for such a direct exchange vertical closed loop field geothermal heat pump would be:
1. if the high water table is consistent and doesn’t fluctuate very drastically, you might not need to dig such a deep well to get excellent heat exchange with the earth, and
2. how susceptible is the place to disastrous flooding?

Lee Dronick

2. how susceptible is the place to disastrous flooding?

I tried to find the elevation at that address, but couldn’t get any info. What I am thinking is how deep they would have to drill to reach sea level, it isn’t like the store is down on Battery Park. Perhaps one of of the readers here who live in the City can give us more info.

iJack

I?d expect that a geothermal heat pump, using a direct exchange vertical closed loop field (i.e., within a 50 to 100 feet deep sub-floor well or two)

In Manhattan?  Nu-uh.  Manhattan is made of granite, which may be great for geo-thermal rigs, but is a bitch to excavate, not to mention the co$t.

But the real killer is that underground Manhattan is riddled with storm sewers, sanitary sewers, subway tunnels and a host of gas, water, electric and communications conduits and tunnels.  I doubt there was even a thought about digging down 100 or even 50 feet for such a relatively small building.

Do architects and engineers consider all contingencies and risks?

Yes, they do.  And as an architect who works a fair bit on Manhattan buildings, I can say with confidence, that the designs for such a landmark building were well beyond Code minimums.

BurmaYank

“I?d expect that a geothermal heat pump, using a direct exchange vertical closed loop field (i.e., within a 50 to 100 feet deep sub-floor well or two) should easily give this building more than ample almost free and 100% green/renewably-powered heating & cooling, no matter how hot the greenhouse effect or how cold the evening winter radiant heat losses might try to make it inside.”?

“In Manhattan?? Nu-uh.? Manhattan is made of granite, which may be great for geo-thermal rigs, but is a bitch to excavate, not to mention the co$t.
But the real killer is that underground Manhattan is riddled with storm sewers, sanitary sewers, subway tunnels and a host of gas, water, electric and communications conduits and tunnels.  I doubt there was even a thought about digging down 100 or even 50 feet for such a relatively small building.”

So, as you point out, my suggestion about digging down 50+ feet in Manhattan seems to be really not even a moot point (i.e., an issue that is subject to, or open for discussion or debate) anymore.  But I still wonder how feasible an equivalent direct exchange horizontal closed loop field 10 feet below the building would have been.

I also still wonder how really difficult it would be to drill a 8 or 12 inch diameter well-shaft down through 50 feet of granite, if doing so would give you basically free heating/AC year-round.

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