Apple's flagship store in Chicago has a unique design aesthetic, much like the company's mobile devices (big Apple logos don't hurt). Despite the building's interesting, MacBook-inspired looks, though, the winter weather conditions in the area have exposed a problem. Customers of the store are now greeted by large signs warning them to be on the look-out for falling ice around the perimeter.
People that live in warmer climates might look at these signs and feel that there's some real danger, but Chicagoans? Not so much. Winter is brutal in the city, so these signs are not atypical. However, the design of this Apple Store has made the entire perimeter - even the walkways below used by pedestrian traffic - unsafe.
Photo credit: Rich Hein/Sun-Times
The building simply has a design flaw, and it didn't need to exist. The architects could have been more cognizant of the potential issue, given we're talking about Chicago here; not a city with a much warmer climate. We're reminded of 20 Fenchurch Street in London, where a building had a rather super-heated design flaw, that current tech could have solved ahead of time with relative ease.
Despite Chicago being a city that gets hit hard in the winter, Christopher Chwedyk, a consultant for the store's architects, says that ice wasn't a concern when the store was being built. Chwedyk said, "There was no precedent or prototype for this kind of building", which is fair, but it seems obvious that a long, flat roof extending outward from a building over footpaths below, could have problems with icicles in the winter.
Nonetheless, a fix is in "store", but we're not quite sure what it will be. We still have a few grueling winter months to go, so we assume Apple will be on top of this issue quickly.