Apple opened the doors of its second Chicago store today with the new location sitting pretty on the scenic River Walk. Apple used architect Stefan Behling of Foster & Partners again to design the unique Michigan Avenue storefront. Behling previously was the designer on the visionary UFO style Apple HQ in Silicon Valley.
With a carbon fiber roof, glass walls, and wood accents, the new store is extremely sleek and delivers the usual Apple “look.” The low-iron 10 feet wide glass walls range from 14 to 32 feet high and create and airy and open space. You can look straight through to the teal green hued River. Originally the idea of putting the Apple logo on the roof was tossed around until it was rejected for its similarity to a giant Mac Book (a bit much). The new store surpasses the 2003 location on North Michigan Avenue which originally opened in 2003 and is due for a revamp.
The interior design of the store includes a Genius Gallery where customers can casually sit on bleacher seating to view the projection screen on the River level. This lower floor has wood stools to seat hungry visitors looking to soak up learning sessions. It drives Apple’s latest initiative, Today at Apple, which includes a series of educational sessions that show users how to use Apple products to assist with photography, and music creation (source: Chicago Tribune). Like all Apple stores, there is also the long wooden Genius Bars flanked by employees. And tucked cozily throughout the store are “avenues” that are tailored to specific products, like earbuds. The outdoor amphitheater also creates an easier path from street to Riverfront compared to the usual winding concrete stairways.
Bleacher seating allows visitors to stop in for a quick Garage Band tutorial mid session.
The sales floor has the familiar wooden/clean aesthetic as the Michigan Ave. store.
Lower level stool seats give visitors a closer, more personal experience for learning sessions.
Apple also installed the lyrics of Chicago rapper, Saba, on the side of the building before its official opening. The lyrics, “Where Ideas Sing,” popped up earlier this month and a continuation of the lyrics wrap around the Riverfront on other buildings.
Image Source: NBC Chicago.
With the River Walk nearly unobstructed by the new flagship store, it adds to the modern beauty of the area. The hope is that the store will become more of a public space rather than solely a retail center. With the fall temperatures feeling more like summer, it’s the perfect day to check out the new store and take in the beauty of the Chicago River and city lights.
Unless otherwise stated, ALL Photography Courtesy of Chicago Tribune.