Apple Store North Michigan Avenue
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The Apple Computer Store in Chicago; Photo Courtesy of GreenGrid.Project Name: Apple Store North Michigan Avenue
Year: 2003
Owner: Apple Corporation
Location: Chicago, IL, USA
Building Type: Commercial
Type: Extensive
System: Single Source Provider
Size: 2400 sq.ft.
Slope: 1.5%
Access: Inaccessible, Private
Submitted by: Jim Lindell, GreenGrid

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:
Modular Greenroof System: GreenGrid
Green Roof Design: Doug Hoerr Landscape Architects
Project Manager: Tom Hanzely, GreenGrid/Weston Solutions, Inc.
An overhead shot; Photo Courtesy of GreenGridPhoto Courtesy of GreenGridClose-up of the skylights and Sedum; Photo Courtesy of GreenGrid
Steve Jobs, Apple Computer's original chief executive, became an industry celebrity because of the way he presented the company's new products to an exuberant crowd of employees and Apple devotees. And just as the presentation was about to wind down, Jobs was famous for noting that he still had "one last thing" to introduce sending the crowd into thrilled applause. This excitement extended to the company's Apple Stores as well. Known for their unique layouts, many of the stores incorporate sustainable designs making them eco-friendly as well.

Jobs was directly involved with the planning of the Chicago Apple Store. After determining how he wanted the store to look and the sustainable designs to incorporate, he decided he wanted "one last thing" to be installed on this store: a Green roof. Although he could select from several green roof systems and manufacturers, the one he choose was GreenGrid.

“In just two years Apple has changed the face of computer retailing and we are now bringing that experience to one of the best shopping streets in the U.S.—North Michigan Avenue in Chicago,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO in 2003.

Taking everything learned from its other stores throughout the U.S., Apple's new high-profile store on North Michigan Avenue in Chicago was designed to be the ultimate Apple Store. The store is filled with the full range of Apple products and accessories, including the first-ever Apple Store Internet Café. In addition, the store includes a 2,400 ft2 GreenGrid™ green roof, outfitted with 302 four-inch deep GreenGrid™ modules. One of the main design features of this store is the class studio/boardroom that overlooks the eco-friendly green roof. The green roof is also visible from the many high-rise buildings that surround this part of Michigan Avenue, a.k.a. the Magnificent Mile.
The GreenGrid™ green roof was installed in approximately 12 hours to meet Apple's schedule. The extensive GreenGrid™ modules were densely planted exclusively with Sedum kamtschaticum for an instant carpet of green look. This plant material requires little maintenance, is very hardy in the Chicago climate, and provides a wonderful green impact for this landmark store.

"And Steve wanted the roof to be as lush as possible from the day the store opened," said Sandra McCullough with GreenGrid in 2004. "It took some work, but we had an instant "carpet of green" for him to see opening day."

Additional thumbnail photos:

Apple Store North Michigan Avenue; Photo via
The Apple Store North Michigan Avenue is located at 679 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611; 312.529.9500; visit their website. Read the June 26, 2003 Apple Press Info Apple to Open High Profile Retail Store on North Michigan Avenue in Chicago. See the Chicago Apple Computer Store project profile from GreenGrid. Learn more about GreenGrid in The Greenroof & Greenwall Directory.
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