Apple raising the bar on Apple Store design. Again.

There have been some fantastic Apple Store designs already, everything from the glass cube in New York to the glass cylinder in Shanghai, but some recent designs for a massive glass roof in Santa Monica, a redesign of the glass cube on 5th Ave., and a spectacular design for Grand Central Station -- not to mention the enormous new Mothership in Cupertino -- show that Apple's ready to take things to another level.

Apple already makes some of the best phone, tablet, and computer hardware in the word -- precision crafted aluminum and glass. Do they really have to push the envelope in architecture and retail design as well? No, but they want to. They could spend less on the stores. They could do less. But they consider it an investment. They believe it matters. That's what makes Apple, Apple. They're dragging us, sometimes kicking and screaming, into the future.

Now if I could just get them to build one of those giant glass tower Flasgships in Montreal's Old Port. Where would you want one?

Check out the pictures after the break.

[Curbed via Macrumors, Gothamist via MacStories, The Real Deal via MacRumors]