Dezeen Magazine

Apple given New York preservation award for repurposing historic buildings

Apple may be better known for cutting-edge contemporary design, but a New York preservation group is honouring the company for sensitively reusing old buildings with its store designs (+ slideshow).

The New York Landmarks Conservancy is bestowing its Chairman's Award on the technology company.

Apple receives New York preservation award
Grand Central Station is one of a number of historic Manhattan buildings that now host an Apple Store

"Apple is being honoured for their contribution to preserving, restoring, and repurposing notable historic structures in New York City," the Conservancy said. "The company has placed four stores in historic buildings – marrying high tech and distinguished architecture."

The award "recognises exceptional individuals, organisations, and businesses that have demonstrated their dedication to protecting New York's rich architectural legacy," according to the Conservancy.

All of the Manhattan Apple store locations referenced by the Conservancy were designed Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, an architecture firm with offices in Philadelphia, Pittsburg, San Francisco, Seattle, and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

They include Grand Central Terminal, a city-designated individual landmark, where the store is located on a balcony on one side of the grand hall.

In the SoHo historic district, the company repurposed an old Beaux Arts Post Office, inserting a new interior with a glass tread staircase.

The Upper East side store resides in a 1922 Beaux Arts bank building. The architects retained the bank vault in the basement and created a retail space within it.

Apple receives New York preservation award
A Beaux Arts Post Office was repurposed by Apple for their store in New York's SoHo district

In the Meatpacking district, they restored the exterior of a landmark warehouse building and designed a spiral staircase that is visible on the exterior through large windows.

The New York Landmarks Conservancy works to preserve architecturally significant buildings through advocacy and education and by providing financial and technical assistance to building owners and neighborhood groups.

The Chairman's Award will be presented to Apple at a lunch on 9 March in Manhattan.

While the company is being recognized for its adaptive reuse projects in New York, it is also building minimalist contemporary buildings around the world, including a store in Hangzhou, China and its giant ring-shaped headquarters in Silicon Valley, both designed by Foster + Partners.