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  • Officials in San Francisco Suggest Several Changes are needed for Apple's New Store


    Apple submitted plans to relocate its flagship San Francisco retail store three blocks north, placing the new store directly on Union Square, which is the heart of the city’s high-end shopping district. Despite the initial praise for the project from city officials, Apple’s proposal ended up quickly drawing criticism for a number of its features, including an 80-foot long blank wall along Stockton Street and the apparent removal of a sculptural fountain which is directly located at the entrance stairway to a public plaza.

    According to The San Francisco Chronicle, the city’s Planning Department has issued its preliminary project assessment (PDF) on Apple’s proposal, indicating that it would like to see a number of changes to the project. The following was mentioned regarding the topic:

    There's too much glass on Post Street and too much metal on Stockton. The plaza that would accompany it needs a friendlier entrance. Planners also want the project to include a circular bronze fountain by Ruth Asawa that is the centerpiece of the plaza now on the block.

    Despite all this, the city's top planner said Thursday that he sees no reason Apple can't build a modernistic metal-and-glass box within the historic setting of the Union Square retail district.
    As of right now, the city’s planners object to the uniform wall of glass along the store’s main frontage on Post Street, which suggests that Apple should do more to break up the wall by including colors, textures, or vertical design elements. Possibilities for improving the blank Stockton Street frontage were also suggested, including adding windows or pulling back the storefront to allow for landscaping and perhaps public seating areas. When it came to Apple’s controversial proposed changes to the public plaza behind the store, planning officials asked Apple to find a way to widen the entrance stairway to help draw in visitors. Apple was also being asked to incorporate the existing fountain sculpture by San Francisco artist Ruth Asawa into the new plaza design and if it wasn’t feasible to assist with finding a new location for the fountain.

    Apple hasn’t disclosed any timeline for building the new store and relocating its operations from its existing store as of yet. The timeline is definitely dependent on how long negotiations with city officials take to achieve a design satisfactory to all parties. The project isn’t about to be finished anytime in the near future though as there is a lot of work to be done.

    Source: The San Francisco Chronicle
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Officials in San Francisco Suggest Several Changes are needed for Apple's New Store started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. exNavy's Avatar
      exNavy -
      I'm not defending Apple at all. However it sounds like the city's planning department would feel better if they designed what businesses should look like if they expect to operate in THEIR city. Ah bureaucracy. Because it really matters what another business really looks like in a business square. They seem to think the average joe is an art or design major and really worries about what the aesthetics of a square looks like while his/her face is buried in his cell phone while shopping. Do they think people will stop leaving their green behind in the square because of a narrow uninviting entrance? Have you looked around the rest of San Fran much because I've lived there.
    1. meatholes's Avatar
      meatholes -
      Quote Originally Posted by exNavy View Post
      I'm not defending Apple at all. However it sounds like the city's planning department would feel better if they designed what businesses should look like if they expect to operate in THEIR city. Ah bureaucracy. Because it really matters what another business really looks like in a business square. They seem to think the average joe is an art or design major and really worries about what the aesthetics of a square looks like while his/her face is buried in his cell phone while shopping. Do they think people will stop leaving their green behind in the square because of a narrow uninviting entrance? Have you looked around the rest of San Fran much because I've lived there.
      Couldn't agree more.
    1. *T*'s Avatar
      *T* -
      I kinda agree with exNavy. I think Apple's design is pretty cool, but I also see some of the viewpoints of the city officials. The long metal wall isn't very attractive, but I like the glass wall. I don't know what the city thought Apple was supposed to do about the fountain though. Are they ****ing kidding? Apple has to build around the fountain? Now that's ridiculous.
    1. hemptation's Avatar
      hemptation -
      They can turn it into an iFountain? Lol.
    1. LittleGod's Avatar
      LittleGod -
      Apple should absolutely accommodate the currently existing sculpture into their designs or build somewhere else. The sculpture is unique and apple stores are the electronic equivalent of McDonalds. They make great visuals and lots of press when a new iPhone is launched but are a waste of space. Who shops there? Always cheaper online or 2 stores down. Their only reason for existing is all good cults must have a place of worship that makes them feel insignifigant.
    1. i113's Avatar
      i113 -
      Actually it is exactly the city planner's job to decide what new buildings should look like in any given district, investigate impact, and protect the heritage of the city.

      The Asawa fountain has been there since 1973, Apple wasn't even founded until 1976. If it can't 'build around it' then it is apple's duty pay to have it moved to a more suitable location. Otherwise they can stay in their current location that has already passed the approval process.

      I agree that SF is a real dump already, but most everyone that lives there is really proud of that dump.
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      The city is asking too much, let Apple do what they do best…
    1. Mr. B's Avatar
      Mr. B -
      The building that's there now looks pretty nice... too bad they can't just move in instead of demolishing it.