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A set of new renderings of the proposed Union Square Apple retail location was presented to the San Francisco Planning Department this week that show an updated design for the store’s entrance. The new renders depict the store with massive 23-foot wide sliding glass doors (which measure nearly 45 feet tall each) that a large section of the storefront to open to the street.

Regular-sized doors on either side of the larger ones will allow customers to come and go if the main doors are closed.

The two-floor Union Square store is set to replace the existing Stockton Street location in San Fransisco. Apple and city authorities have been working together since the middle of last year to perfect the plans. According to Apple, the new store will add an additional 50 employees to the roster of around 300 currently working at the Stockton Street store.

Apple has not yet announced an opening date for the store.

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31 Responses to “New renderings show proposed Union Square Apple Store with 23-foot sliding glass doors”

  1. The question that I have, and I suspect is often asked, what about the thermal efficiency of glass? I do understand that glass structure can be made a specification of a R 10, but not aware of any higher values?

    • Greg Zx says:

      “The question that I have, and I suspect is often asked, what about the thermal efficiency of glass?”

      This is San Francisco. Why do we care about the thermal efficiency of glass? They will probably have AC installed, but they’ll almost never have to use it. They may have to heat it occasionally, but even then probably not often and not much.

      • I certainly agree about location issues and your comments, but Apple has developed such creative “green”(I hate that word used this way) that it would surprise me if there wasn’t more to it. Look at their huge solar power generation at network data facilities. By the way, how much energy could be saved by eliminating duplicate emails? Another interesting “green” issue.

  2. OMG How dumb. What a waste of money. I am sure the 12-year olds making the iPhones will be sooo happy.

    It reminds me of the gates to a medieval city-castle, like something out of Lord of the rings. Except in this case, you are entering a new Twilight Zone of twisted imagination: the Applesphere.

    The arrogance of wealth is on full display.

    • eldernorm says:

      “The arrogance of wealth is on full display.” WTF, Are you mad at just Apple or the entire world.

      Were you aware that we put men on the moon and robots on Mars…”The arrogance of wealth is on full display”

      We build 150 story skyscrapers…. “The arrogance of wealth is on full display”

      We have built and service an international space station.. “The arrogance of wealth is on full display”,

      I guess you are mad that we did not give the money to you to waste. ??????

      Just saying.

      • No, I am not mad at the world, but pride is a common folly.
        Practical actions have practical consequences. Land on the Moon, build a space station, build a bridge. Build a museum to your ego, not so much.

        You need a 40 foot ego to need to pass through a 40 foot door.

        Proverbs 16:18
        Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

        btw, rebuilding the twin towers and all those other banking/insurance pyramids that tower over the landscape ARE the arrogance of wealth on full display. Modern pyramids filled with small-minded men who think they are gods.

        Funny how you defend a 40 foot door as not a waste of money, while suggesting I would be wasteful. Ring the bell. Orwell wins again. Doublethink reigns. ….All the more ironic given Apple’s Think Different campaign.

        You might want to invest in a mirror, or join Neo and take the red pill.

      • People with no vision. No creativity and no sense of functionality with that which is fun. engaging, and thought provoking are horrible bores at best. The reality of the grey people is they exist at all. The greys live live in little grey houses with shabby and tattered grey clothing. They are those people who tear down those who dear to dream, because they want everyone to be like them. They are the walking dead with no soul and really never were alive to begin with. Not in the honest sense of life,

    • Tallest Skil says:

      Shut up and go away, you worthless imbecile.

      • I left my Mao-ist suit in the basement I’m going to run and get it so I’m in touch with this new utopia you are planning. Sounds grand and very exciting not to have to deal with all of that money wasting. Humm, if I remember didn’t China strip the countryside of nearly all wood product so small amounts of metal could be produced. That is good use of money at its best. Life is art, art is often wasteful, but useful for the soul. I agree there are a lot of things too I consider a complete waste of resources, but I’m not going to dictate that for someone else. The economic of life does that for us, not everyone sees the same thing the same way. Do I think there should be better use of resources to provide housing, absolutely. Have I done something about it and give homeless and under employed an opportunity, absolutely. Does excess disturb me at times, yes. I have the sense though to not try to dictate or demonize according to one view. Life is dynamic. Sometimes we actually learn very useful things from stupid excess, but the market dictates that more than people do and it always will. No need to attack rather than be courteous and thoughtful, otherwise who cares what you say because it’s just blow off as another rant.

      • Tallest Skil says:

        Not a single word of this has anything to do with Apple in any respect. Get off the drugs and keep your nonsense to yourself.

      • My recent post regard art and opulence of excess, is that Apple exhibits a style, that is both minimalist and elegant. While I have no way to really judge the entire environment reasonableness of the new Apple store, I would be surprised if it were simply the expression of excess. It could be. Having gone to undergraduate school in Minnesota, I was surprised at the thermal performance of an all glass building with triple incredible glazing technique with other dynamic characteristics. This was in the 70’s when I was there and performance was remarkable. It did not include such sliding glass doors I admit, but -35 was a good test. Again, the invective and rants are not helpful. I appreciate the poster’s comment that my post neglected to particularly note Apple. My intent was that we simply need to know more specifications and predicted performance to make any real judgement, otherwise it is just not fully informed talk. I will say this, an engineer’s hell is when you hear, “I didn’t expect that.” It trust that will not be the case with the new building. I for one appreciate new design concepts that are artful, and in this case, show the surrounding buildings through contrast in a very interesting way. I would like to see the specs on the building and predicted performance under various conditions typical for that location. We don’t have those, at least I don’t. I can say, I have wondered about other glass “cubes” that Apple has built with respect to environmental performance. I agree that we need to be aware of the environmental issues, but I have no idea of how those 23 foot doors or any other part of the structure will perform. Artful excess is often where we learn, but I restate, I would be rather surprised if the building wasn’t designed to perform better than it’s appearance. Let’s hope an engineer involved with the building design isn’t saying, “I didn’t expect that.”

      • Tallest Skil says:

        NOW you’re dead on.

    • Tallest Skil says:

      >>rebuilding the twin towers and all those other banking/insurance pyramids that tower over the landscape ARE the arrogance of wealth on full display.

      You’re a disgusting waste of sapience. Stay out of civilization.

      • What does any of this discussion about what a build represents politically have to do with the article? Sure must be a nice blog somewhere you can discuss your political views. Really, it would be best if this political discussion went elsewhere so it can be appreciated.

      • Tallest Skil says:

        Hear hear. Buzz off, whoever it was that initially posted this dreck whose username I can’t see because I’m posting from the top bar.

  3. rottenbittenfruit says:

    That’s a pretty inefficient concept. Every time those doors open they’ll let in a whole amount of outside air in which would be a waste of energy. Apple is simply throwing away money that they could be doing better things with even if it’s in the form of charitable contributions. I simply can’t believe Apple would make such huge doors for a store with constant traffic.

    • The question about all of these issues has to be answered by Apple. I could see how even with this design there could actually be a very passive system that is energy conscious, but they need to give an idea of how things function so there isn’t wasted energy. I can’t imagine Apple taking a waste fully approach, but who knows?

    • eldernorm says:

      Sorry rotten…. but since we do not have access to the plans, I am pretty sure we have no idea how the doors will operate. Just saying.

    • The large glass wall is south facing, suggesting a ton of sunlight will be heating the space. Looking at an SF climate chart it seems they have access to free ‘AC’ nearly year round by merely opening the doors. I suspect they’ll be responsible about when to leave it open, rather than trying to heat or cool the whole city. It looks to me like it could be a very practical passive solution.

      • That was my suspicion about the design. Elegant. This type if concept has been used in a couple of restaurants around the country on the doors , but not to this extent.

    • The whole point of the doors is to open the building up to outside air. On a nice summer day in San Francisco it might be… 72-75 degrees outside. They would open the doors to deliberately let the outside air in so it feels like a giant open air market.

      There is no ‘wasted energy’ because they aren’t running air conditioning or heating when the doors are open. It’s a side-effect of having a store in a location where there is great weather for big parts of the year.

  4. These are design questions, not political statements about “arrogance of wealth”….that said, I would hope that this glass. “Castle” shows us some interesting passive design technology. There are some examples of glass houses that use remarkable passive design. I’ve looked at some of these ideas and design out of curiosity.

    • Yea, it is an interesting design question, isn’t it? Maybe all the glass heats up the place too much, so they need to open the glass to let the heat out. It’s like a layering of bad ideas on top of bad design, but as long as it looks ‘cool’ who cares? After all, Apple can do no wrong. The have money, and all the toadies will fall in line singing their praise.

      The great irony, given that this is Superbowl Sunday, and the anniversary of the Mac ad, is that they have built the glass walls behind which the automatons must labor. It’s just begging for a David to show up with a slingshot and destroy the conventional thinking, because 2014 has become too much like 1984.

      • You don’t seem to have a clue about life and listen to one drumbeat as it drones on day and night. You seem also disconnected with intelligent passive design that happens to be elegant. I’m truly sorry the beauty and wonder of life passes you by without your notice. Design like this often leads to innovative homes for many. I have preliminarily designed a modular component home and apartment/ condo manufacturing facility with preliminarily home plans that can be modified to meet needs. The goal is to have this manufacturing facility be an employment and training ground for homeless and underemployed who want new lives . To grow and set free to reach for the next new adventure. Beauty lives here. People set free to have a home that is not just a grey box like every other grey box. Do don’t judge that which you neither understand or appreciate.

      • Personally, I could care less about which company is involved and produced thoughtful design. Apple or not. It is not the point not have I ever focused on Apple, only design. Do you live in an ultra efficient home? One you designed and built? One that uses good design and economy which makes it possible to provide elegant housing for those who are poor? Those who look to a future? I didn’t think so!

      • The point about Super Bowl Sunday means what? Mass audience and give them a different vision. Stand out from the beer commercial. Mass marketing with a broader purpose.

    • frostie4flakes, I don’t see how creating a two story drop from the missing wall on one side of the building is an attribute of passive design.

      Even assuming the best way to ventilate a building is to remove a wall, then why have it be two stories tall and in the center? It would make more sense to have individual sliders on each floor, and on multiple sides of the building.

      I stand by my first statement that this is a dumb idea and reflects the arrogance of wealth. Only somebody rich and dumb would execute an idea like this, because they are surrounded by toadies that offer no critical thinking to pull them back from the abyss. It’s the equivalent of Lindsay Lohan or Justin Bieber in design. The drug is an inflated ego.

      The glass entries are by themselves a bit ridiculous, not that I don’t value the aesthetics of good architecture. It’s a store, not a church, although I realize the religious fervency is present.

      One of the problems with Apple is that even The Crazy Ones need to be careful of what they ask for.

      While the crazy ones push the human race forward, the same people also can push it backwards, when style becomes more important than substance. It becomes a corrupted shell, where there is beauty on the outside and nothing on the inside.

      The fact that millions of products are sold at high margins made in miserable conditions reflects that. Apple is no longer two geeks making macs in a garage or even in the US. It is the epitome of the villain that was once scorned for the lack of vision and compassion. Boards of Directors/VP’s feather their own nests for millions of dollars. It has adopted all the bad habits of power. This is the modern equivalent of building the gardens of Versailles while the peasant are starving. The monarch spared no expense on glorifying itself.

      The spaceship campus is another dumb idea, imo. There is nothing efficient about a circular layout either, although they seem to already taking steps to mitigate that original bad design.

      It’s so ironic that commonsense is still regarded as crazy. What made “The Crazy Ones” crazy was that they were logical, compassionate and humble. It’s the only way to build something that really endures.

      San Francisco is having a housing crisis, btw. Everything has become too inflated for people to survive there. Hence the protests about the Google shuttle, etc. The arrogance of Silicon Valley is not a myth, and it is encapsulated in projects like this.

  5. aeronperyton says:

    Leave it to Apple to make lemonade out of lemons, I’m very curious about this design and how it works.What if this is Apple’s snarky get-back at the city of San Francisco? They announce that doors automatically shut when there’s too much pollution in the city… so the doors are almost always closed.

    Also note how none of the new renders let you see the area with that fountain…