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.
— Matt Maldre (@mattmaldre) December 29, 2017
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.