Apple’s Flagship Chicago Retail Store, With its MacBook-Shaped Roof, Wasn’t Designed to Handle Snow


Apple has been busy changing the look of its retail spaces all across the globe for a little while now, with the hope that they become more open spaces, where it’s not just about buying things, but also enjoying the area itself, and the shops and events Apple hosts there, too.

Part of that comes with redesigning stores, and launching new venues that really stand out with their design. One way to do that is to create a store that has a roof that resembles a MacBook Air from the top, which is what Apple did with the flagship retail store in Chicago, Illinois, in the United States. Unfortunately for Apple, that design may have been great on paper, and maybe it would be a hit in Phoenix, Arizona, but in Chicago, it’s not going over so well, as first reported by Matt Maldre.

The MacBook-style roof, with the slope and everything, is apparently not built to accommodate Chicago’s inclement weather. Or, as it’s known in the Midwest, just a regular Tuesday snow. The design of the roof now means there are dangerous icicles hanging over the edge, adding a bit of potential danger to anyone who might walk underneath them. So, to avoid any accidents or maiming, the stairs that were meant to let visitors walk right up next to the store have been closed off entirely.

As Maldre points out, the design of the new retail space, while meant to embrace the town square ideal, is not well designed for the actual city the building is in. As Maldre puts it:

“Y’know, basic things like in Chicago, the weather gets cold. It snows. The snow falls off the roof. Don’t design a slopping roof where the snow can’t be caught or guttered off somewhere.”

Our Take

All things considered, and hoping for no accidents where pedestrians are injured by the icicles, this is a hilarious oversight on Apple’s part. It’s almost perfect for the conversation running around Apple’s current design philosophy for its products right now, too. Should the push for an aesthetic outrank the need for function? Apple obviously wanted its flagship retail location in Chicago to stand out, which it does! But it ignored the actual store’s location in that effort, and now people have to avoid dangerous falling ice.

[via Daring Fireball; Matt Maldre]

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