What's the 28th most photographed built landmark in the world? According to Cornell, it's the Apple Store Cube. Cornell students fed 35 million Flickr images into a university supercomputer to determine the most photographed landmarks. The Fifth Avenue Apple Store is the fifth most popular in New York--beating out the Statue of Liberty!--and number 28 worldwide. The top landmarks on earth? You probably guessed right: Eiffel Tower, Trafalgar Square, Tate Modern, Big Ben, Notre Dame, London Eye, Empire State Building. New York was the most photographed place, with the Empire State Building, Times Square, and Rockefeller Center taking the top spots. (Download a PDF of the paper here.) The paper also includes some cool data visualization maps of photographic "heat," like these of New York and San Francisco.
Peter Bohlin, of Philly-based Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, designed the Cube, which, in a bit of an upset, helped him beat Fast Company favorite Thom Mayne and Adrian Smith, who designed the Burj Khalifa while at SOM, to win the AIA's Gold Medal this year. Designing the Cube was apparently no problem for Bohlin, even though he supposedly doesn't know how to email. During a chat with Steve Jobs, he sketched out the design with his favorite Itoya pencils (sacrilege! his father ran Faber). His partner, Bernard Cywinski, calls the Cube a "ceremony of descent," but as far as the average shutterbug tourist is concerned, it just looks cool.