Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Honored with American Institute of Architects Interiors Award

The American Institute of Architects have selected the Bohlin Cywinski Jackson-designed Apple Store, Upper East Side as one of nine projects to receive its prestigious award. The awards program honours notable achievements in architecturally spectacular interior spaces.

Located at Madison Avenue and 74th Street, the project is an adaptive reuse of the 1922 U.S. Mortgage & Trust building designed by Henry Otis Chapman, and is now home to one of Apple’s Manhattan retail stores. The neighbourhood is characterised by a mixture of luxury-brand retail shops and several notable landmarks, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum designed by Marcel Breuer.

Apple collaborated with Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and its consultant team to restore the building’s general ambiance and grandeur. The project included exterior restoration that required significant repair to many of the original windows; exterior paint, stone, and grout were also reconditioned. The 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 made to the 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 were removed. The original vault room, repurposed as a private sales space, allows for a more personal customer experience. In addition to careful restorations and modifications, many upgrades to building services were made during the renovation.

“To become a recognisable and active Apple retail environment, while respecting the original design, this project required dedicated focus to reinterpret and recreate the spatial qualities and the unique architectural detailing of the interior,” said Karl Backus, design principal from Bohlin Cywinski Jackson’s San Francisco office. “We’re thrilled with the outcome and proud of the team’s work in restoring the grandeur of the space. We are honoured to receive this recognition.”

This is Apple’s seventh New York retail store to be designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. Others include Apple Store World Trade Centre Oculus (2016); Apple Store, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; Apple Store (2016), SoHo (2002, 2012); Apple Store, Upper West Side (2009); Apple Store, West 14th Street (2007); and Apple Store, Fifth Avenue (2006, 2011).