While every Apple Store is in some sense a place of reverence, the new Upper West Side store unabashedly evokes that feeling, more than any other. It used to be a Victoria's Secret.
Update: For everybody asking for full-sized pics, you can grab 'em here, off my Flickr page.
I call it a temple because the architecture conveys a nearly religious aesthetic, a place to worship Apple, beyond any other Apple store you've ever been to. The top floor's a vast open space, enclosed by spartan stone walls which support a massive glass ceiling. The rows of tables in the main room feel like pews.
I can't tell you—and the pictures can't show you—how utterly open and expansive the room feels. Apple says it has more demo units than any other store in the world. To give you an idea of the space, the walls are 45 feet tall, and could fit 11 Apple 5th Avenue Cubes inside. It's the spareness that's breathtaking. It's cold. Not literally, but the stone walls, the glass, the sheer space rob it of any sense of warmth or feeling. The only sense of life in room is the products. It's a temple to them, really.
The beating heart, where things actually happen is tucked underground. The Genius Bar and personal training space is the biggest ever in an Apple store, able to handle up to 100 customers at once at 45 feet long. It's pretty much like any other Apple store down there, just bigger.