Friday, May 19, 2006

"Almost Nothing" mates "Insanely Great" - gives birth to Cellophane Cube

Apple Computer's new 59th street store in Manhattan, across the street from the historic Plaza Hotel, opens Friday, and judging just from the photographs, it's a triumph of both marketing and architecture. Designed by the firm's architects, Bohlin, Cywinski, Jackson, which also did Apple's Michigan Avenue Chicago flagship, the 32-foot-square glass cube that marks the entrance of the store does Mies van der Rohe's desire for an architecture of "almost nothing" proud., creating one of the more distinctive retail spaces of the new century. Its fabric of individual, super-transparent glass panels are set in thin posts and beams that also appear to be made of glass. The structure holding the thing together seems to have disappeared - the cube is so light it almost looks like it was made out of cellophane. There's a floating glass staircase leading down to the actual retail space below street level, wrapping around a single-piston glass elevator. Here's some photos on Gearlog, and a detailed article on the store from the New York Sun. The store was wrapped in black during construction, and here's photos of its "unpeeling" from ifostore. The photo reproduced here is from boingboing and was taken by literary agent John Brockman.

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