The most recent stores, such as the new Apple Store 4th Street in Berkeley, CA get rid of almost all the aluminum, and instead are almost entirely glass.
As IFOAppleStore notes, Apple's store architects have worked very hard to present an entirely symmetrical appearance for the 4th Street store. Apple has redesigned the sidewalk in front of the store with several different sized stone tiles to precisely match the sizes of the front window glass.
In this case, the master element is the stone floor tiles, which are 76 centimeters square (about 30 inches). The glass window panes are then manufactured to a multiple of that dimension. Outside, Apple routinely installs a new sidewalk in front of its street-facing stores. In this case, the sidewalk was made with contraction lines that are also multiple of the stone tile dimension. When all the painstaking design and construction work is finished, passersby and store visitors “see” the effect, but probably don’t realize why the store is so attractive.In a companion post, IFOAppleStore notes the subtle new security grate system the Berkeley store -- one open to foot traffic 24/7 -- employs:
The steel grating at that store is constructed of narrow horizontal rods and thin vertical strips that have a minimal cross-section. When the grating is raised, it’s stored entirely within the ceiling behind a thin access slot. When the grating is lowered, it slides down through narrow slots in the side wall.The grate closes well behind the front window as well, so that Apple's perfectionist window displays aren't obstructed by unsightly, but necessary, security features.