Sorry, architects: Apple’s patented its glass cube store design

Put down your protractor and step away from the drafting table. Yep, it’s bad news for future architects yearning to copy pay homage to the distinctive glass cube design of Apple’s flagship store in New York: the company has patented it.

According to Apple Insider, the patent was filed in October 2012 and granted last week. It names the late Steve Jobs as one of the inventors, alongside Ron Johnson, Karl Backus, Peter Bohlin, Robert Bridger, Benjamin L. Fay, and James O’Callaghan.

When the 32-foot Fifth Avenue structure was built in 2006, it was made from 90 panes of glass, but following a $6.7 million (around £4 million) redesign in 2011, it now only uses 15, accentuating its sleek look. The company clearly (ha) didn’t invent glass buildings, but the cube is an original design, initially sketched out and paid for by Jobs. The patent will last for 14 years, and is only the latest attempt by Apple to make its retail experience unique.

Last year, the company patented its interior shop design and even the ‘spiral staircase wrapped around a clear cylinder’ entrance to its Shanghai store (so much more exciting than the ‘just wander in’ look of the Apple store at my local mall). Which is all very stylish, but maybe next they could focus on getting a member of staff to acknowledge people within 15 minutes of them walking into the store…

Image via InSapphoWeTrust‘s Flickr.

Diane Shipley