Apple is planning to build a new Palo Alto store to serve as a “prototype” for future Apple Stores, featuring a completely transparent front and an indoor atrium “feel.” The revised, more open design will serve as a “commons for [Apple’s] community to gather,” according to documents filed with the City of Palo Alto’s Architectural Review Board.
Though Apple is not named in the filing, uncovered by Silicon Valley Mercury News, the architect for the project is Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, who also designed the 5th Avenue Apple Store in New York. That store is well known for its large glass cube entryway for the underground retail area, open 24/7. Palo Alto planning manager Amy French told the Mercury News that it is her understanding that the location will be a new Apple Store.
“Apple is pretty secretive about that kind of stuff,” ARB chair Alexander Lew told the Mercury News. “But at the same time, when you look at it, the design is pretty unique—I think a lot of people have kind of guessed [that it’s an Apple Store],” he said.
The filing notes that the project will replace the fa�ade of the current unoccupied retail structure at 340 University Avenue with a glass front that will make the street “part of the store’s interior” so that “the energy of the store is shared directly with the street and the larger community.”
In addition to the open glass fa�ade in front, the roof will be modified to include large, open skylights. The natural light coming in will help three large trees, planted near the rear of the store, to grow inside. These features, along with materials choices and other energy efficiency design cues, will qualify the remodeled building for LEED certification.
The renovated location will occupy 10,700 square feet. The existing Palo Alto Apple Store, located just a block away, is about 6,500 square feet. The added space will include plenty of room to offer training for businesses and individual consumers.
The ARB recommended that the city approve Apple’s proposed renovations in a unanimous vote.