AIA San Francisco honours new Apple Store in New York

Oct 27, 2017

Apple’s new Upper East Side store in New York received a special commendation in the Historic Preservation category from the San Francisco chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The Bohlin Cywinski Jackson-designed retail store, located at Madison Avenue and 74th Street, is an adaptive reuse of a 1922 U.S. Mortgage & Trust building.

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Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and its consultant team collaborated to restore the building’s general ambiance. The project included exterior restoration that required significant repair to original windows, exterior paint, stone, and grout. Interior finishes, such as the marble entry, plaster coffered ceilings, and chandeliers, were reconstructed with the help of historic photographs and blueprints.


Sensitive alterations were also made to the building’s original banking hall, which now serves as the store’s main sales floor. To recover the light and airy qualities of the space, partitions and mezzanines were recreated, and columns and thick bearing walls removed. The original vault room, repurposed as a private sales space, allows for a more personal customer experience.

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“This project required a focus on reinterpreting and recreating the original qualities of the building,” said Karl Backus, principal from Bohlin Cywinski Jackson’s San Francisco office. “We’re quite happy with the outcome and proud of the team’s work in restoring the grandeur of the space."

The neighborhood is characterized by a mixture of luxury-brand retail shops and several notable landmarks, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Marcel Breuer's Whitney Museum.


Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, founded in 1965, is a national architecture practice noted for elegant and humane design, ranging from modest houses to large academic, civic, cultural and corporate buildings. To date, the firm has received more than 650 regional, national and international awards for design, including three AIA Top Ten Green Project Awards and the AIA Architecture Firm Award.

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Founding Principal Peter Bohlin was also awarded the AIA Gold Medal, the highest honor an individual architect can receive. The firm is well known for its work with Apple, designing stores such as the iconic Fifth Avenue cube in New York City and flagship stores worldwide. The practice has also created headquarters for Pixar, Adobe and Square, and city halls in Seattle and Newport Beach, CA. For more information please visit


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