Apple’s Cube Retail Store Architect Is ‘Computer Illiterate’

Prizewinning Pennsylvania architect Peter Bohlin is the man who designed Apple’s award-winning New York cube store on Fifth Avenue – and he’s a computer illiterate, says the Philadelphia Inquirer.

He spoke with the paper when he stopped by the Cube to take a look. Told that tourists had photographed it with their iPhones, Bohlin chuckled and said, “I hear that happens a lot.”

According to Cornell University scientists who analyzed 35 million Flickr images, the Cube is the fifth-most-photographed building in New York, the 28th worldwide.

“He’s a total computer illiterate,” said his Philadelphia partner Bernard Cywinski, who then conceded, “I am, too, but at least I managed to learn e-mail.”

The report reveals Apple’s Steve Jobs first met Bohlin when the architect was overseeing a new HQ for Pixar, and asked the architect to get involved in the creation of the then new chain of Apple retail stores.

“Jobs was aware that he had never designed a store interior. But he didn’t care about that handicap, said Karl Backus, the principal in BCJ’s San Francisco office who manages the firm’s Apple projects. That’s because Jobs thought of the stores not as retail spaces but as social spaces,” the report informs.

During his first meeting with Jobs to discuss the Apple Cube, Jobs talked about a store that would serve as a sort of clubhouse for Apple’s loyal followers. While Jobs spoke, Bohlin drew the rough outlines of a cube in front of the General Motors tower.

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