First Grand Central, now Union Square.
Jony Ive calls the effect he was going for in the Apple Store that opened Saturday on San Francisco’s Union Square “taking transparency to a whole new level—where the building blends the inside and the outside.”
It’s done in San Francisco with a pair of 42-foot glass doors that open like an airplane hanger, making the store feel like a continuation of the 2.6-acre public plaza—and the plaza feel like part of the store.
It was done in New York City four years earlier by occupying a balcony overlooking Grand Central Terminal.
“The first thing you notice when you enter the Apple Store in Grand Central Station is that you haven’t entered the store or left the station,” wrote Avi Greengart for SlashGear, in 2011. “There are no walls. There is no discrete ceiling, either—just the arching roof of the enormous main hall, which is so high that it might as well not exist. The lack of a separation between the station and the store area highlights unique aspects of Apple’s retail approach.”
It’s an effect only a company with patience, deep pockets and good taste can pull off.
Apple has done it twice.
The company commemorated the Grand Central store’s opening with the 1:40-minute commercial below. Want to bet it screens a Union Square movie next month at WWDC?