Apple’s second Manhattan retail store opened May 19th in New York City. Located at 767 Fifth Avenue between 58th and 59th Streets, the prominent site near FAO Schwarz and Bergdorf Goodman provides views of Central Park.
“We opened our first New York store in SoHo in 2002, and it has been successful beyond our dreams. Now we’re thrilled to open our second New York store on Fifth Avenue,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “With outstanding service and an amazing location open 24 hours a day, we think the Apple Store Fifth Avenue is going to be a favorite destination for New Yorkers and people around the world.”
The store occupies the underground retail concourse of the General Motors Building, with entry from the plaza level above. “The new plaza in front of the General Motors building on Fifth Avenue at 59th Street is a triumph of urban design.” said James Gardner in the New York Sun. “Suddenly, as if out of nowhere, New York has a new public space that will prove to be a source of civic pride and aesthetic delight.”
Designers Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and structural engineers Eckerlsey O’Callaghan (glass elements) in collaboration with Apple used Apple Stores’ signature structural glass vertical circulation to entice plaza level passersby down to the store’s underground main level. The 32-foot structural glass cube marking the store’s entrance makes a bold architectural statement. Housing a transparent glass elevator wrapped by a circular glass stair, the transparent cube beckons potential customers down to the retail level below. By day it is a skylight bringing natural light underground, while at night the lighted cube is a sign. “It was in Apple’s DNA to try to make something that no one else had the vision to create,” said Ron Johnson, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Retail.
Visitors descend the glass stair or travel in the all-glass elevator, entering a carefully tailored stainless steel and stone environment where Apple’s products take center stage. Custom-designed wooden store fixtures, stainless steel ceiling and wall panels and an Italian stone floor make an elegant, yet restrained backdrop.