Apple is renowned for its impressive stores around the world. Whether they are purpose built or retro-fitted into old buildings, and whether you like Apple or not, you have to admit it's like no other retail chain in the world.
To celebrate, we've picked the most impressive stores from around the world. Let us know if you’ve got a favourite Apple Store in the comments below.
Apple Piazza Liberty, Milan
This one is brand new this week - just off the Corso Vittorio Emanuele, one of the most popular pedestrian streets in Milan, this store has a glass fountain that serves as both the entrance to the store as well as a backdrop to the large outdoor amphitheatre. The piazza is open to the public 24 hours a day and there will be events year-round.
Apple Michigan Avenue, Chicago
Opened in October 2017 the store, found on Pioneer Court, overlooks the Chicago River. Encased in glass, rather than trying to fight against the landscape, the store embraces the terrace design with two staircases either side of the main shopping area and Forum space on the lower floor.
Apple Dubai Mail, Dubai
Opened in April 2017 a stones throw from the famous Burj Khalifa, the Foster + Partners designed building features a 186-foot curved storefront and balcony overlooking the world’s tallest skyscraper and nearby Dubai Fountain. In fact Apple encourages its shoppers to use the venue to watch the spectacular evening fountain shows alongside buying a Mac or iPhone. To cope with the intense heat, the store is shaded by carbon fibre “solar wings” inspired by the traditional Arabic Mashrabiya to keep the store cool and at 180 feet wide, the 18 panels make up one of the world’s largest kinetic art installations.
Apple Union Square, San Francisco
You would expect Apple’s home town Apple Store to be something special, but rather than modernise an older building as it does in so many of its stores in Europe, the Union Square store is a modern standalone building in its own right. Opened in May 2016, the store features 42ft tall sliding doors along the front of the store front allowing people to walk in uninterrupted off Post Street and Union Square to enjoy the art-filled plaza offering seating, public Wi-Fi, a 50-foot tall “green wall” and regular acoustic performances. Taking advantage of the Californian sun, the store is powered by 100 per cent renewable energy, including power produced by photovoltaic panels integrated into the building’s roof.
Apple Schildergasse, Cologne
Apple Schildergasse in Cologne is the first store in Germany to feature Apple’s latest store design that it is slowly rolling out across the world. The double height grand hall of Apple Schildergasse in Cologne features a circular, suspended glass stair case. Opened in March 2017 Apple even went as far as restoring the historic facade.
Apple Marche Saint-Germain, Paris
Apple Marché Saint-Germain, Apple’s first store on the Left Bank and third in Paris. Opened in December 2016 the store is clad in Sebastopol Saint Maximin limestone. The site dates back to the 1400s but Apple has only recently moved in.
Apple Regent Street, London
The company’s first store in Europe was reopened in October 2016 after months of renovations. It was one of the first stores to showcase Apple’s new retail design ethos and features trees and Castagna stone pretty much everywhere. Working closely with Foster + Partners, Apple cleaned and preserved the building’s Grade II-listed exterior facade of Portland stone, Carrara marble and hand-cut Venetian smalti glass tile to ensure the Crown Estate owned building remained in keeping with the rest of the street.
Apple Kärntner Straße, Vienna
Opened in February 2018, the company’s first Austrian store is found between St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Vienna State Opera. It’s been designed with the original heritage building in mind, and sports two-levels, a corner entrance and reinstated exposed columns with large window openings.
Bonus - Apple Park visitor centre
Opened in November 2017, the Apple Park Visitor Centre is found just outside the company’s headquarters in Cupertino. Although not as grand as many of the Apple stores around the globe, it’s still a fully functioning shop and sells Apple Park mechanise you won’t be able to find anywhere else. The Visitor Center’s cantilevered carbon fiber roof appears to float and is only supported by stone clad cores and no other extraneous columns for support. Visitors to the store will be able to explore Apple Park via a 3D model of the campus that is brought to life by augmented reality through an iPad or iPhone. Guests are also welcome to head upstairs to the roof terrace for views of the main campus. And yes, there is even a “Cafe Macs” coffee shop you can work from.
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