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What Happens When Light Starts to Create Brand Experiences?

Global companies often exploit architectural icons to transform physical form into their desired brand reputations. To help achieve this goal, after twilight, the natural qualities of buildings have often been supplemented by architectural lighting, as the facades call unmistakeably for attention with their colorful and dynamic illumination. Representation has become the leading motivation for upgrading the lighting at headquarters and retail outlets. But when the illumination evolves into spectacular gestures, the brand identity and architecture itself starts to fade. Hence, the struggle for individuality has revived the discussion about ornament – though ornament appears now as light.

Louis Vuitton Matsuya Ginza Facade Renewal / Jun Aoki & Associates. Image © Daici Ano © Diego Opazo Allianz Arena Munich by Herzog & de Meuron, Munich, Germany. Image © Allianz Arena/B. Ducke Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi by Asymptote, Abu Dhabi. Image © Viceroy Hotel Group

Jony Ive-Designed Apple Store Opens Its Doors

Jony Ive, Apple's Chief Design Officer, has celebrated the opening of his first store in Brussels, Belgium. Like The Verge reports, at first glance the store's design seems somewhat predictable - large panes of glass, a simplistic and open feel. However, under Ive's guidance, the new store (and future stores) now feature a grove of potted trees and a heightened focus on natural materials, in particular wood. Read on to take a closer look. 

4 Reasons the iPad Pro is a Game Changer for Architects

Introducing: Apple Pencil

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Posted by BuzzFeed Tech on Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Announced at their fall event today, Apple has unveiled “the biggest news for the iPad since the iPad”: the iPad Pro, the company’s largest ever tablet device with a 12.9” screen. As ever, technology websites were alight with live updates about the new iPad, sharing everything from the device specifications and capabilities to the price.

But what does the iPad Pro mean for architects? Here’s 4 ways the new device could change the way you work.

VIDEO: Apple Campus 2 Begins to Take Shape

Overlapped with commentary by the late Steve Jobs, a new video update by drone pilot Duncan Sinfield has captured Apple Campus 2 taking shape. According to the report on MacRumors, work is still being done on the main building's multi-level underground parking structure, while the west campus parking structure is nearly complete. The auditorium now has interior walls and progress is being made on the Tantau development housing research facilities. 

Video: A Drone's-Eye View of Apple's New Campus Under Construction

At the moment it may be little more than a colossal, doughnut-shaped hole in the ground, but this video is in fact the first glimpse of Apple's new Norman Foster-designed Campus in Cupertino. The video, shot using a GoPro camera mounted on a drone, shows that construction of the building's huge underground parking garage has begun, with concrete poured in a section of the trench. And, as we've come to expect from Apple, the fact that it's a construction site is no excuse for messiness, meaning that elements of the design are already starting to be legible, such as a wider trench marking the main entrance close to the drone's position. Watch the video above to see the huge campus under construction, and read on after the break for more information about the building's design.

Apple Awarded Patent for Flagship Store Design

The US Patent and Trademark Office have awarded a patent to Apple for the design of their flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New Yorkreports MacRumors. The patent, applied for by Apple in 2012, applies to the above-ground glass cube, which was originally designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and - after a renovation in 2011 - is made of just 15 glass panels with minimal steel fixings. More on the patent after the break.

Apple Taps Bohlin Cywinski Jackson to Revamp Historic NYC Building

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and Eckersley O'Callagha, both longstanding collaborators of Apple’s flagship stores, has been commissioned to transform a 93-year-old former United States Mortgage and Trust Company building on Madison Avenue into the chain’s next New York City store. Though little has been released about the design, the store’s grand opening is planned for 2015. More information can be found here

New Video (and Images) Reveal Original Intent Behind Apple Campus 2

UPDATE: Did you know that Apple Campus 2 will be solely powered by renewable energy? Also, 80 percent of its 176-acre campus will be entirely dedicated to green space. Watch the newly released Norman Foster interview (above) to learn more about the project's sustainable features, as well as details about Steve Job's original inspiration. The following news was originally published as "New Images Released of Apple’s Recently Approved Cupertino Campus" on November 13, 2013. 

Shortly after the approval of Apple’s new corporate headquarters in Cupertino, never-before-seen images have emerged to reveal a glimpse into the campus’ massive, 2.8 million square foot “mothership” and its surrounding facilities. 

Provided by the City of Cupertino and released by Wired, the images depict just what Steve Job’s hoped for: a world-class, state-of-the-art office campus that promotes innovation through vibrant communal spaces and healthy employee amenities. From the net-positive main building to a private, subterranean auditorium placed within a forested, California-native landscape by OLIN, the Foster + Partners-designed Apple Campus 2 has the potential to be, as Job’s believed, “the best office building in the world.”

A collection of the newly released renderings, after the break...

San Francisco Apple Store Passes "Avian Risk" Analysis

Apple's signature glass design has come with its fair share of mishaps - from errant snowblowers to, of course, dying birds. To determine the risk posed by Apple's latest approved store to San Francisco's protected bird population, Apple hired avian collision risk consultants (really) who determined that the risk is "acceptable" (for non-avian species at least). Read the full bird analysis here.

Apple’s Revised San Francisco Store Approved

Third time’s the charm, at least in the case of Apple’s Foster + Partners-designed flagship store planned for San Francisco’s historic Union Square. After being sent back to the drawings boards on multiple occasions, the signature glass box’s third proposal (which was claimed to be “more iconic” than the company’s famous Five Avenue glass cube in New York City) has been awarded approval from the city. 

Why Workspaces are Obsessed with the Open Plan

In a brilliant article for Der Spiegel, "The New Monuments to Digital Domination," writer Thomas Schulz not only rounds up our reigning tech giants' oddly-shaped offices - from Apple's "spaceship" to Amazon's "biodomes" - but also pinpoints what they have in common: horizontality. And why? Because an "open creative playground" without boundaries (like floors or walls) is "the perfect ideas factory: the ideal spatial environment for optimally productive digital workers who continuously churn out world-changing innovations." And while this means that privacy has gone out these workspaces' proverbial windows, Schulz isn't too surprised - after all, "people have no right to a private life in the digital age." Check out this must-read article here.

VIDEO: Norman Foster on Apple's Cupertino Campus

It has been a long road for Foster + Partners's team since first taking on the design for Apple's new campus in 2009. Four years later, despite the criticism and budget concerns, plans for Apple’s corporate headquarters have been approved by Cupertino’s planning commission. A recent video from the Cupertino City Council reveals some insight into the design decisions, including statements by Sir Norman Foster. As Foster states in the video, CEO Steve Jobs called him "out of the blue" in 2009 and said, "It's Steve: Hi Norman, I need some help."

Unanimous Approval for Apple's Cupertino Campus

UPDATE: Although having already cleared a preliminary vote, the Apple HQ was given unanimous approval from the Cupertino council yesterday. One "largely perfunctory" vote remains for November 15th. Detailed images, after the break.

Apple Patents Glass Cylinder Design

Apple has successfully secured a patent for the cylindrical, glass entrance to its Shanghai store. After trademarking the design and layout of its retail stores last January, this is one more battle Apple has won for copyrighting its signature look.

More on the patented design after the break.

If Skyscrapers Predict Crises, What Do "Donuts" Tell Us?

In a recent article for the Financial Times, Edwin Heathcote explores the 'Skyscraper Index', an informal term that suggests a correlation between the construction of a big company's ambitious headquarters and subsequent financial crisis: "Think of the Empire State Building opening into the Wall Street crash of 1929, the Twin Towers being completed as New York City was flirting with bankruptcy or the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur taking the mantle of the world’s tallest building and presaging the Asian financial crisis." Heathcote goes on to describe the latest generation of headquarters being constructed for our current, tech-oriented goliaths - like Apple's monolithic "donut", by Foster + Partners, and Facebook's Gehry-designed Menlo Park campus - and wonders: "if skyscrapers can tell us something about the temperature of an overheating economy, what do these groundscraping new HQs say?" Read the full article here.

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson's Latest Apple Store Opens

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, the architectural firm behind Apple's iconic 5th Avenue store, has returned to the tech brand to design their latest store in Palo Alto, California.

Although the new store maintains the glass storefront typical of Apple, the new store - which will be the prototype for stores opening next year in Portland, Oregon and Aix-en-Provence, France - distinctively features a "floating" roof design as well as a stone wall that hides half the store. 

The store's opening may be in preparation for the increase in sales that will follow the unveiling of two new iphone models (today, purportedly). 

More info on the new Apple store design, after the break...

Apple Redesigns San Francisco Store to Preserve Historic Fountain

Earlier this summer we reviewed plans for a new Foster + Partners-designed Apple Store in the heart of San Francisco which received a considerable amount of backlash for its accused ubiquitous design that disregarded the city's historic Ruth Asawa Fountain. Since, Apple has decided to respond to the complaints and Foster + Partners have just released images of the revised design that preserves the fountain. 

What Does the New Apple Store in San Francisco Say About Commercial Architecture?

This past May, Apple filed plans to close its existing flagship retail store at 1 Stockton Street in San Francisco and move it three blocks north to one of the city's most popular spots: Union Square. This plan was met with enthusiasm from city officials until they realized that Apple and the store's architects at Foster + Partners were disregarding a beloved bronze folk art fountain by San Francisco sculptor Ruth Asawa that currently occupies the site. Many have also criticized the store's design for being a characterless box of metal and glass that contributes nothing unique to the local landscape, raising awareness of a commercial architecture defined more and more by trademark and less and less by its surroundings.

More on Apple's proposal in San Francisco and the problems of trademarked design after the break.