Gas Lights, Bronze & Preservation Mark Store Construction

January 19, 2010

Recently released planning documents for the future Covent Garden (London) retail store demonstrate the extraordinary lengths to which Apple’s architects are going to renovate and preserve the building’s architectural features. The 1878 building includes an eight-bay arcade marked by 20-foot stone arches. Inside, the two-level store will feature a spiral glass staircase, a 30’x40′ courtyard topped with a glass skylight, and original brick and masonry walls. According to the plans, workers will perform extensive renovations to existing metal work and masonry, both cleaning them and replacing broken or damaged fixtures. The sub-divided interior space will be modified to create a single, more unified space. Bronze work will be added to the outside arcade, along with renovated gas lights. A large and architecturally significant wood staircase will be relocated to a side entrance leading to the upper floor Apple administrative offices. In a complicated renovation to lower a portion of floor by four inches, workers will remove a set of brick arches piece-by-piece, photograph and number them, and then rebuild the arches to match the new floor height. In one section of a filed document, window repair is described: “Overhaul all ironmongery and replace defective ironmongery to match original, allow for careful piecing-in timber where repairs where necessary and for replacing sash cords, parting bead and rebalancing sash weight, refix and repair the frame.” Find links to the documents after the break.

These documents were created in August 2009 and posted by the city’s planning agency (pdf, some very large):

This drawing shows the changes to the original storefront design that Apple's architect has submitted to planning officials.

This shows the most recent changes in the building design for the side of the future Apple store.

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