Apple’s Fifth Avenue flagship reopens with famed glass cube and new public plaza

September 20, 2019

Photo by Aaron Hargreaves for Foster + Partners

Apple’s famous Fifth Avenue flagship reopens Friday after more than two years of renovations. The glass cube has returned as an entrance to the store, set above the newly updated and locust tree-lined public plaza. As 6sqft previously reported, it cost $2 million to remove the cube in 2017 during the Midtown Manhattan store’s expansion.

Photo courtesy of Apple

Photo courtesy of Apple

Designed by Foster + Partners in collaboration with Apple, the new store is nearly double as large as the original version and features higher ceilings and tons of natural light. Around the right and left exterior of the cube are 18 mirror-glass “skylenses” which are circular seats with windows looking down into the store.

“Inspired by the original vision of the sunken open-air plaza, we wanted to completely dematerialize the roof of the store and flood the interior space with daylight,” Stefan Behling, head of studio at Foster + Partners, said in a press release.

“The Skylenses literally bring the skies underground and the innovative tunable white ceiling allows us to match the exact wavelengths of sunlight at different times of day, blurring the boundary between inside and outside.”

A stainless steel spiral staircase brings visitors from above ground in the cube to the store below, and an elevator is available as well. The new store also boasts two new entrances placed on the north and south side of the store, providing additional ways to enter the store beside the crowded staircase.

“Our customers are at the center of everything we do, and Apple Fifth Avenue is for them, to inspire them, and to provide the very best place to discover our newest products,” Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said in a press release. On Friday, the company also plans to launch the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone Pro Max, and the Apple Watch Series 5.

According to the company, Apple Fifth Avenue will staff 900 employees who speak more than 30 languages. And the store’s Genius Bar now spans the entire length of the store. It remains the only Apple store open 24 hours a day every day of the year.


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