(Pocket-lint) - Shopping in 2020 for most of us might have changed beyond recognition, but that hasn't stopped Apple continuing to open new stores with breath-taking architecture around the world.
Apple is renowned for its impressive stores be they in the US, Europe or the Asia. Whether they are purpose-built or retrofitted into old buildings, and whether you like Apple or not, you have to admit it's like no other retail chain in the world.
So we've picked the most impressive stores from around the world including its latest store in Singapore. The new store, which opened in September 2020 is found in Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and is the first Apple store to sit directly on water.
Entirely surrounded by water, Apple Marina Bay Sands offers visitors to the store uninterrupted 360-degree panoramic views of the city and its spectacular skyline as they shop for the latest iPhone.
Here our are favourite stores from around the world. How many have you been to?
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 it’s 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 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 Krntner Strae, 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.
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 Park Visitor Centre, Cupertino
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 3-D model of the campus that 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.
Apple Piazza Liberty, Milan
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 Sanlitun, Beijing
Rebuilt on the footprint of the original Apple store at Sanlitun, this new version is twice the size and is found in Taikoo Li’s open square in Sanlitun.
On the roof is a solar array that will provide power to the store below, which, like all Apple facilities worldwide, runs exclusively on renewable energy.
Apple Central World, Bangkok
Apple Central World, its second and largest retail location in Thailand.
The store is found in the heart of Ratchaprasong, Bangkok’s iconic intersection, and features an all-glass design, housed under a cantilevered Tree Canopy roof.
Once inside, customers can travel between two levels via a spiral staircase that wraps around a timber core (pictured). And when your done you can simply hop on the adjoining Skytrain.
Apple Michigan Avenue, Chicago
Opened in October 2017, the store, found on Pioneer Court the store 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 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 stand alone 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 offers 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 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 Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Entirely surrounded by water, the Apple Marina Bay Sands store opened in 2020 offers visitors to the store uninterrupted 360-degree panoramic views of the city and its spectacular skyline while they buy the latest Apple tech.
According to Apple, the sphere is a first-of-its-kind, all-glass dome structure that is fully self-supported, comprised of 114 pieces of glass with only 10 narrow vertical mullions for structural connection. Impressive.