London celebrations

Foster Partners opens an Apple Store in London

From July 28, a whole weekend of events celebrated the opening of the new Apple Store in London, designed by the Foster + Partners architecture firm in collaboration with the Apple Design team. The new project, faithful to the concept of corporate stores, emphasizes sustainable design and offers events and resources for the international community living and temporarily staying in the region. The chosen location is Brompton Road at Knightsbridgethe upscale district of London where the department stores Harrods and Harvey Nicholsas well as the famous Victoria and Albert Museum, are set amongst Victorian mansions and manicured gardens. It was designed to provide an oasis of tranquility and calm for visitors to this bustling part of town. The store has a single-storey square plan with a corrugated wooden ceiling and large arched windows facing the street. The full-height windows are four meters wide and seven meters high. Their size and transparency blur the boundary between inside and outside, letting a glimpse of the twelve Ficus plants placed near the display cases themselves, as well as the entrance area of ​​the store. The decision to place large trees in an interior space was made in order to bring nature directly into the building, creating visual connection and a constant reminder of closeness. Hyde Park. Just like the trees in the famous London park, the Ficus also become social meeting points, but inside the store. The planter that holds each tree is, in fact, designed to provide seating where patrons can stop and relax while escaping the hectic pace of the neighborhood. The foliage of the trees provides a natural filter that moderates the action of sunlight, creating a play of shadows on the interior walls.
Everything invites calm and relaxation; even the color palette and materials selected for the interior aim to create a relaxing ambience. The entrance to the store is through the central arch which respects the original dimensions of the Brompton Arcadebuilt in 1903. Beyond the entrance arch, visitors can access the various counters of the store or continue along the central path, lined with four stone columns and an equal number of ficus trees, leading to the forum. It is a nodal point of the interior design perceived as distinct from the commercial area. The forum hosts the training events and seminars that, in general, are a feature of the Apple Store offering. A large screen floats at the back of the room while all the necessary technical equipment is discreetly integrated into the walls. The space is enhanced and amplified by the mirrored ceiling made of a special textile material stretched over the ceiling surface to create an uninterrupted reflective plane.

(Agnes Bifulco)

Images reproduced with the kind permission of Apple

Project name: Apple Brompton Road
Architects: Foster + Partners with the Apple design team
Location: London, UK