malaysia's first apple store opens with a stepping 'glass dome' roof by foster + partners

malaysia's first apple store opens with a stepping 'glass dome' roof by foster + partners

apple The Exchange TRX Opens in Kuala Lumpur

 

Apple has unveiled its first retail store in Malaysia, a stunning building designed by Foster + Partners. Completed within Kuala Lumpur’s rapidly developing Tun Razak Exchange (TRX), Apple The Exchange TRX has opened to become a luminous focal point for the area with its unique layered rooftop. This three-dimensional, stepping roof structure creates a visual and spatial bridge between the mall’s central atrium and a rooftop park. Lush greenery and a communal lawn wrap around the new apple store‘s upper level, lending a transition between nature and the built space.

apple store malaysia
the three-dimensional layered roof emits a warm glow at night | image © Nigel Young / Foster + Partners

 

 

a rooftop suited for malaysia’s tropical climate

 

Upon the opening of the new Apple store in Malaysia, Head of Studio at Foster + Partners Stefan Behling says: ‘We are delighted to see Apple The Exchange TRX opening its doors to the public.’ The project embodies the city’s vibrant energy. The layered roof, with its stacked solar shading blades, appears to float above the ground and offers views of the surroundings. Galleries and walkways on different levels provide unexpected lines of sight, further enhancing the visitor experience.

 

Designed as a glazed dome, the 87-foot square roof transitions from square to round geometries as it ascends. Beyond aesthetics, this fluid design responds to Malaysia’s tropical climate. A series of strategically angled fins provide shade, controlling solar radiation and ensuring a comfortable interior environment. While the fins appear solid at the lower levels, they gradually becoming more open as visitors ascend throughout the space. The lowest fin extends outward to create a shaded walkway around the building’s perimeter. Meanwhile, a central glazed oculus plays a dual role — the 30% ceramic frit filters soft daylight into the store, while a dynamic lighting feature ensures luminous interiors.

apple store malaysia
a lush tropical garden and a communal lawn wraps around the upper level | image © Nigel Young / Foster + Partners

 

 

ascending spaces with timeless materiality

 

Malaysia’s new Apple store unfolds across three levels, culminating in a viewing deck at the top. This space directly connects with the park’s edge, bringing a touch of nature and natural light deep into the store’s soaring interior. A sculptural quartz and glass staircase, alongside a bespoke glazed elevator, facilitates movement between levels. Layered landings throughout the space create a sense of openness and allow for captivating views across different areas. Functional areas like the Forum (located on a floating deck), the avenue with display tables (on the lowest level with direct mall access), a video wall, a boardroom, and a dedicated Apple Pickup station cater to a variety of customer needs.

 

The material selection reflects a commitment to quality and a timeless aesthetic. Natural stone walls, polished stainless-steel columns, light Terrazzo floors, and a timber ceiling create a sophisticated and inviting environment that complements Apple’s product lineups.

apple store malaysia
the lowest fin shields the glass facade and creates a shaded walkway | image © Nigel Young / Foster + Partners apple store malaysia
a quartz and glass staircase connects levels with layered landings | image © Nigel Young / Foster + Partnersmalaysia's first apple store opens with a stepping 'glass dome' roof by foster + partners
the roof transitions between square and round geometries | image © Foster + Partners

apple-norman-foster-partners-exchange-malaysia-designboom-06a

designed as a the ‘glazed dome,’ the roof spans 87 feet | image © Foster + Partners

malaysia's first apple store opens with a stepping 'glass dome' roof by foster + partners
three levels topped with a viewing deck connect with the edge of the park | image © Nigel Young / Foster + Partners

apple-norman-foster-partners-exchange-malaysia-designboom-08a

image © Foster + Partners

 

project info:

 

project title: Apple The Exchange TRX

architecture: Foster + Partners | @fosterandpartners

location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

client: Apple | @apple

completion: June 2024

photography: © Nigel Young / Foster + Partners

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