Apple’s iconic “Glass Cube” at its Fifth Avenue flagship store in New York City is down for the moment. While it is expected to make a comeback—in one form or another—we may not know for sure anytime soon.
The 32-foot-tall structure at the flagship store’s entrance was recently dismantled by Englewood, N.J.-based Waldorf Exteriors LLC, as the below-ground store is undergoing a major renovation. The facility will be expanded from 32,000 square feet to 77,000 square feet, according to multiple reports.
Such a massive overhaul comes with a lengthy timeline. As MacMagazine reported earlier this month, a “Work in Progress” sign at the construction site lists the anticipated completion date as September 31, 2018.
Apple representatives did not respond to USGNN.com™’s request for comment regarding whether the glass cube would be reinstalled to its previous form or if it would be replaced with a different structure. The popular belief among online media that cover the tech giant is that the glass cube will return, or an upgrade involving glass will be made to the new structure.
This isn’t the first time the structural glass assembly temporarily disappeared from the site. In 2011, Apple replaced the original 90-lite glass cube structure, built in 2006, with a more streamlined one consisting of just 15 lites. The company was awarded a patent for the design in 2014.
Meanwhile, Apple continues to construct glass-heavy stores throughout the world. It has 497 locations worldwide, according to macrumors.com, with its major locations featuring massive expanses of glass. The recently opened San Francisco flagship boasts 42-foot-high glass doors, and an under-construction Apple store in Chicago will feature glass walls as tall as 32 feet.
Apple holds many architectural patents for structures worldwide, including for its glass cylinder store entrance design at its Shanghai flagship and its “Glass Lantern” store design in Istanbul. It also has patents for glassy store designs in Zhongjie Joy City, China, and West Lake, China, and has accumulated architectural glass patents for its various glass staircase designs.