Photo of current Apple store design by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Apple is rumored to be working on a major overhaul its retail stores – and according to sources close to the project, the company has hired Foster + Partners to redesign its cool minimalist retail outlets. The architecture firm is already working with Apple on the tech giant’s new spaceship-like campus in Cupertino, California, which is expected to break ground in June.

Apple retail stores design, Apple design, Apple Norman Foster, Foster+Partners Apple HQ, Apple Campus 2, US Patent & Trademark Office, Apple patents, design trademark certificatePhoto of current Apple store design by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

The news comes after the US Patent & Trademark Office granted trademark protection for the design of Apples retail stores, known for their architectural glass panels, floating glass staircases, stainless steel exteriors, and even the birch tables on which arrays of iPads and MacBooks sit. The “Distinctive Design & Layout” trademark certificate was granted in January and covers Apple’s design in color and black and white.

Both companies have refused to comment on rumors of the extended collaboration. A Foster + Partners spokeswoman said: “Any project for Apple is confidential and therefore we are unable to comment.”

Via Archinect