foster + partners has completed the design of apple’s latest store in the middle east — ‘apple dubai mall’. the building includes a 186 foot curved storefront and balcony overlooking burj khalifa and the dubai fountain, and boasts one of the world’s largest kinetic art installations. the scheme seeks to respond to the culture and climate of the emirates, while simultaneously demonstrating apple’s ambition to create inspirational civic spaces.


the building is clad with a kinetic art piece named ‘solar wings’
image © apple (also main image)

 

 

located in the dubai mall — a destination that attracts more than 80 million visitors a year — the new apple store spans two floors, and is clad with a kinetic art piece named ‘solar wings’. reinterpreting the traditional arabic mashrabiya, the installation gently shades the external terrace during the day, before opening in the evening to take in views of the waterside promenade. conceived by foster+ partners as a ‘theatrical experience’, the 18 carefully engineered panels are inspired by the motion of a falcon spreading its wings.


the mechanical wings open in the evening to take in views of the waterside promenade
image © nigel young / foster + partners

 

 

each wing is made entirely from lightweight carbon fiber, with multiple layers of tubes forming a dense net. ‘following an in-depth study of sun angles, the rods have been distributed in higher concentration where the solar radiation is the most intense over the year,’ explains foster + partners. ‘the unique pattern allows clear views out for people standing on both levels of the store, and the sunlight streaming through the wings casts dappled shadows deep into the interior.’


the 186 foot curved storefront and balcony overlook burj khalifa
image © apple

 

 

the shaded terrace features nine trees set within planters, with seating also provided for visitors to sit and relax. to ensure that the trees receive even sunlight, the planters rotate mechanically. the opening of the store coincided with the announcement of the tech giant’s new in-store experience. ‘today at apple’ sees trained team members offer individual advice on photography, filmmaking, art, design, and more.


the new apple store spans two floors of the dubai mall
image © nigel young / foster + partners

 

 

the design of apple dubai mall is about creating an exceptional architectural and social experience for visitors, bringing to the fore new ideas about the evolving role of apple flagships in the community,’ said stefan behling, head of studio, foster + partners. ‘the opening and closing of these majestic solar wings is analogous to a delicate ballet recital — but on a monumental scale. in some ways it is a very spiritual experience, with the sun streaming through them and creating the most delicate and beautiful patterns of light and shade – a seamless blend of technology and culture.’


the opening of the 18 engineered panels is inspired by the motion of a falcon spreading its wings
image © nigel young / foster + partners

 

 

we view our stores as a modern-day town square, where visitors come to shop, be inspired, learn or connect with others in their community,’ added angela ahrendts, apple’s senior vice president, retail. ‘and what better place to come together than overlooking dubai’s epicenter, where the dubai fountain, burj khalifa and dubai mall meet. we are so honored to have a home at one of the world’s most incredible and dynamic intersections.’


the development takes in sweeping views across the city
image © nigel young / foster + partners


the opening of the store coincided with the announcement of a new in-store experience
image © apple


‘today at apple’ sees trained team members offer advice on photography, filmmaking, and more
image © nigel young / foster + partners


access to the store is provided directly from the dubai mall
image © nigel young / foster + partners


staircase and handrail detail
image © nigel young / foster + partners


the store overlooks the dubai fountain
image © nigel young / foster + partners

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