A leading US architecture magazine is carrying a detailed study of Apple's new San Francisco store, discussing the connection between Apple’s corporate design philosophy and its store design philosophy.
The article includes an interview with Apple’s senior vice president of retail Ron Johnson, who says the San Francisco store’s design was a result of a consistent "internal logic" that seeks "to get everything out of the way and create the most pure thing possible."
"There’s no design aesthetic for our stores. We tried to just make them what we love," Johnson explains.
Leading architect Karl Backus adds that the store's facade of stainless steel, which looks like the exterior of the PowerBook laptop, is "strictly functional".
He told Metropolis Magazine: "These stores work better as closed-in boxes. The glowing white logo then becomes an inevitability – the most minimal symbol of what’s inside. The store blurs the lines between brand, architecture, and industrial design; it is simultaneously building, box, and billboard."
According to the report, the engineering-and-fabrication team that worked on the Louvre pyramid and the Rose Planetarium developed the glass staircase at the centre of the store.
Here the little details are significant: the securing hardware was redesigned to have three indentations instead of two. "The result looks just like the pin that attaches the iMac’s screen to its stainless-steel neck", says Metropolis.
Apple insists the design similarities derive from "metabranding". Johnson says: “A common vision leads to complementary solutions."