The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that Apple has plans for a new prototype store to be opened in Palo Alto. The new building will be larger and more accommodating as Apple expands their operation to include space for gatherings of Apple nerds. 🙂 The article goes on to state that though Apple is being very secretive about their intentions, the building plans have been revealed as part of the City of Palo Alto’s public approval process, since the plans include some demolition work on an existing building.

The Mercury article also states that:

“The proposed store is a new prototype for the applicant,” the developers wrote in a memo to the city. “Fully half the function of the store serves to provide education and service to business as well as customer patrons in addition to product sales. The store is a commons for the applicant’s community to gather.”

The memo adds that the transparent glass front “dissolves the boundary that traditional store facades create. By not breaking the horizontal ground plane of the sidewalk with opaque wall or landscape element, for example, the street is made part of the store’s interior; the pedestrian is in the store before entering it.”

The plans call for moving a bicycle rack, newspaper rack and trash bin front of the building to avoid distracting from the visual effect. With the store positioned directly across from where Florence Street dead-ends into University, people on Florence will be able to see all the way to the back of the store.

“The whole design is inside-outside, with everything completely exposed,” said Lew of the architectural review board. “With the huge skylight, there’s going to be lots of daylight and it will feel more like an atrium inside. … We’re excited about the project.”

This serves as another example of why Apple is heading in the right direction. Even their new store will be light years ahead of the competition and be aesthetically pleasing. The folks at Apple are now going to make their brick and motor stores just as visually attractive as they have made their computer systems.

If I was Microsoft I would be quacking in my boots. If the new Apple Tablet is anything like people are saying it will be, Apple could grab more market share away from the once invincible Redmond software company.

2010 is shaping up as a very interesting year already.

Comments welcome.

Source S.J. Mercury News