Chicago is currently witnessing the opening of the first of a new series of Apple stores. The store, which is located at Michigan Avenue, was designed by Foster + Partners. The architectural firm utilized the concept of a “Town Square” in the store’s design.
“When Apple opened on North Michigan Avenue in 2003, it was our first flagship store, and now we are back in Chicago opening the first in a new generation of Apple’s most significant worldwide retail locations,” commented senior vice president of Retail in Apple, Angela Ahrendts. “Apple Michigan Avenue exemplifies our new vision where everyone is welcome to experience all of our incredible products, services and inspiring educational programs in the heart of their city. We can’t wait to welcome the community for opening weekend, and to launch ‘The Chicago Series’ with our incredible local partners on Monday.”
A highly-influential site, that is right next to the Chicago Tribune building, was selected by the giant electronics company along with the city to revive the Chicago River area. The new building, that has become a vital portion of the landscape, links the city to the river.
“The whole idea from the very beginning was a half-landscape concept – how could we get the plaza to gently step down to the river’s edge,” commented Senior Executive Partner in Foster + Partners, Stefan Behling.
To follow in the footsteps of the Steve Jobs Theater in Apple Park, Apple Michigan Avenue utilizes a complete see-through façade. Thus, diminishing the boundaries between the inside and outside.
Macbook inspired the features of the roof whose dimensions are 111×98 feet. The roof is made of carbon fiber to give it the least possible thickness which permits it to rise above the transparent walls on four pillars only.
“Apple Michigan Avenue is about removing boundaries between inside and outside, reviving important urban connections within the city,” explained the chief design officer in Apple, Jony Ive. “It unites a historic city plaza that had been cut off from the water, giving Chicago a dynamic new arena that flows effortlessly down to the river.”
The interior of the store comprises the “Forum”, resembling an amphitheater, which is expected to hold the sessions of Today at Apple. Today at Apple is a novel community programming activity under the Umbrella of the Hi-tech company.
The new store will accommodate “The Chicago Series” which will engage people in different activities varying from seminars presented by artists to Hi-tech demos.
“This is not a store,” said Behling. “This is an urban renewal idea.”