back in 2015, rumors of a new foster + partners-designed store along chicago’s riverfront had been circulating among the apple community. dubbed its ‘newest and most ambitious store’ yet, apple michigan avenue will make its grand debut on october 20, 2017. intended as a gathering place for the local community, the store will host year-round ‘today at apple’ programming, building on chicago’s city-wide initiative to enliven the riverwalk. celebrating the opening, the apple store will host ‘the chicago series,’ a month-long set of events that will provide attendees with the tools to pursue their passions, from photography and music to coding and app design.


the apple store connects the chicago river with pioneer court and michigan avenue
image courtesy of apple (also main image)

 

 

foster + partners adds new access to the riverfront from pioneer court by linking them through a granite staircases on both sides of the transparent store, opening up views from the plaza to the river and beyond. ‘it’s about removing boundaries between inside and outside, reviving important urban connections within the city,’ explains jony ive, apple’s chief design officer. ‘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 building’s 111×98 foot carbon-fiber roof was designed to be as thin as possible
image courtesy of apple

 

 

every design feature serves to minimize the boundary between the city and the chicago river. even the building’s 111-by-98 foot carbon-fiber roof was designed to be as thin as possible, and the entire structure is supported by four interior pillars that allow the 32-foot glass facades to remain unobscured.


apple michigan avenue sits atop a wide new public stair
image © nigel young / foster + partners

 

 

the store will launch the ‘the chicago series,’ a set of five programs, each with a different area of focus at the intersection of technology and liberal arts, hosted over the course of four weeks. each program is co-created with local non-profits and creative organizations, and focuses on a theme or project designed to make a positive impact in the community.


the venue is a source of creativity, education, and entertainment
image © nigel young / foster + partners

 

 

‘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,’ says angela ahrendts, apple’s senior vice president of retail. ‘we can’t wait to welcome the community for opening weekend, and to launch ‘the chicago series’ with our incredible local partners on monday.’


generous glazing ensures sweeping external views
image © nigel young / foster + partners

 

 

‘we fundamentally believe in great urban life, creating new gathering places, and connecting people in an analog way within an increasingly digital world,’ says stefan behling, head of studio, foster + partners. ‘the design of apple michigan avenue embodies this in its structure and materiality with a glass wall that dissolves into the background, revealing the only visible element of the building – its floating carbon fiber roof.’


‘the chicago series’ is a set of programs that focus on making a positive impact in the community
image courtesy of apple


the store is located at the intersection of the chicago river and north michigan avenue’s ‘magnificent mile’
image © nigel young / foster + partners


the outlet cascades down from pioneer court to the river’s edge
image © nigel young / foster + partners


the scheme creates new connections between the city and the river
image © nigel young / foster + partners

 

 

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