Downtown LA Apple Store—Probably Not

February 25, 2014

A distinctive glass cube has appeared in a rendering for the future The Bloc mixed-used complex in Los Angeles, billed as the new center of the downtown area. The development will revise the layout and architecture of the existing hotel and office towers, and Macy’s department store along 7th Street between Flower and Hope Streets. The cube in the rendering—which is oddly proportioned—is remarkable for its similarity to the iconic Fifth Avenue (NYC) Apple retail store, and seems to lead to an underground space. Inside, there is a suspended, glowing white circle—not an Apple logo. But lest hopes be raised, The Bloc’s official Web page shows an entirely different architecture: a sunken plaza, walkways and pools. Instead of a glass cube, there’s a tall, very red tower emblazoned with “Macy’s” in white letters. The cube rendering was prepared by EPT Design, whose Web page says it’s working with One Eleven Design to “re-imagine four level of this intriguing urban space.” The rendering is likely speculative, and so doesn’t represent the final design for the plaza, or predict that an Apple retail store will open at the site.

The rendering provides several clues that it’s not authentic: Apple doesn’t release renderings before they’ve been submitted to city planning departments; the cube rendering is proportioned incorrectly for a cube; and Apple has yet to duplicate an original high-profile store design.

This version of the rendering for The Bloc shows a Macy’s monolith at the entrance to the new plaza. Click the image for a larger view.

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