A few days ago it was reported that Apple’s flagship store in Chicago had dangerously began dropping snow and ice on visitors, causing surrounding areas to be closed off.

The roof of the store had been designed to look like the top of a MacBook, complete with Apple logo. When the story started spreading, the consensus was that this was just a poorly thought design by Apple. That the architects simply… forgot to think about winter. In Chicago.

Turns out that was not the case at all.

In a statement to the Chicago Tribune, Apple Spokesman Nick Leahy set the record straight.

At first glance, it looks like the sloped roof would simply let the snow fall off the sides onto unsuspecting pedestrians. But it is actually a much more clever design. There is a heating element built into the roof, and the water is drained via internal support columns. That way the snow is taken care of, without traditional gutters.

So what went wrong that the whole area needed cordoned off? Turns out there was a software glitch.

“The roof has a warming system that’s built into it. It needed some fine-tuning and it got re-programmed today. It’s hopefully a temporary problem.”

Of course the building’s architects, London-based Foster + Partners, had taken winter into consideration when designing it. Still, it is an embarrassingly public situation to have happened for Apple, especially after a year of other public software issues.

  • David Gow

    And I keep checking iDB for a Cydia update

  • nova12

    maybe its battery had degraded, so the heating elements were just slowed down for a more stable user experience. ?

    • M_Hawke

      LOLOLOL

  • AMB_07

    I’m not even mad, that design aspect is kinda cool.

  • burge

    You seem to be implying on the last sentence of the post that it’s Apple fault because of other software issues that Apple have had. What’s next androids got a software issue so let’s say Apple don’t look good now for software issues. You can not judge a company based on another companies software. That’s really poor.

    • Andrew O’Hara

      Are you saying we are criticizing Apple for the software in their stores roof? And that we should not do that because the architecture firm is responsible? We have no idea who did or didn’t have anything to do with the faulty software, but it is no less embarrassing for Apple, especially after a year of other embarrassing software issues.

      • burge

        I can bet Apple didn’t do the software on the roof. Your post at the end makes out that it’s a Apple failure when it’s not. That was my point

  • Bill

    “At first glance, it looks like the sloped roof would simply let the snow fall off the sides onto unsuspecting pedestrians. But it is actually a much more clever design. There is a heating element built into the roof,”

    So, to be clear, they are heating the roof (with electricity, which is produced in large part by burning coal) to easily clear snow from a roof that they intentionally designed in such a way that makes it potentially slightly more dangerous to pedestrians than a standard roof typically found on other buildings.

    What a world.

    • James Jennett-Wheeler

      I was under the impression that apple generated more electricity (into the grid) via renewable sources than it used in the US? Surely that equates to using using renewable electricity to heat the roof?

      Obviously traditional guttering designs would still be more eco friendly 😛

      Now that I think about it… aren’t all our electrical needs technically superfluous… let’s all live like we’re in the past… or not? Idk… what a world…