Apple Had to ‘Reprogram’ the MacBook Air-Shaped Roof on Chicago Store to Fix Snow Problem


To close out a rather tumultuous 2017, Apple had to watch as news reports took notice of a growing snow and icicle problem on the specially-designed roof of its flagship retail store in Chicago, Illinois.

At the time, it was reported that the style of the roof, which is meant to look like a closed MacBook Air, wasn’t designed to handle snow, thanks to the inherent slope in the design. As a result, there was a bit of a “moat” forming around the store, and there were also dangerous icicles hanging over the edge, which eventually led to the area around the glass-walled store being roped off.

Well, apparently it’s not the design of the roof that has caused such an issue, but a software issue. To be specific, an Apple spokesperson told The Chicago Tribune (by way of Business Insider) that the roof actually has a heating system built into it, to make sure that snow doesn’t accumulate and build up, and, eventually, form icicles.

Apparently it needed some fine-tuning, or to be reprogrammed. Now that it has, the situation should be fixed, and the spokesperson said the icicle problem should be a “temporary problem.”

“The roof has a warming system that’s built into it. It needed some fine-tuning and it got re-programmed today. It’s hopefully a temporary problem.”

There aren’t any gutters, which was called out at the time this story initially cropped up, but the system is designed to handle water runoff, thanks to a system of four internal support columns. Now that the roof should be working as it was originally designed, the melting snow should run down those support columns, and not form dangerous icicles.

Our Take

If there is any one thing that could possibly be such an “Apple problem,” it’s this. It’s not hard to see why the design of the roof, with its slope and missing gutters, would be called out when a dangerous situation appears to form because of that design. But honestly, the fact that the roof is actually “technically advanced” and needed to be reprogrammed to work correctly is pretty funny, and definitely an Apple-level problem.

In the end, as long as it gets fixed and the building doesn’t pose a potential hazard for passersby, that’s a good thing.

[via Business Insider; The Chicago Tribune]

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