Apple reveals new store concept featuring living “green wall” and public workspace

Technology giant Apple has opened a new concept store in San Francisco, US, which will act as a 24-hour work and gathering space for the general public, as well as a regular retail store.

Apple’s store on Fifth Avenue, New York
Apple’s store on Fifth Avenue, New York

Apple has unveiled a new concept store in San Francisco which looks to act as a workspace, and educational and entertainment hub for visitors.

“Accessibility” for the general public

The new store is located on the city’s Union Square, and is entirely powered by renewable energy, using methods such as solar panels on the building’s roof. It focuses around the natural environment, including a canopy of trees at its centre and a 15m tall “green wall”.

Apple’s chief design officer Jonathan Ive says: “We have a deep commitment to the cities we work in, and are aware of the importance that architecture plays in the community,” he says.

The entrance is preceded by a 13m tall sliding glass door, which Ive says aims to symbolise “transparency” and “accessibility” for the general public.

“It all starts with the storefront — taking transparency to a whole new level — where the building blends the inside and the outside, breaking down barriers and making it more egalitarian and accessible,” says Ive.

“A gathering place”

Key concept areas within the store include the Plaza, which aims to act as a “gathering place for the community”.

It is open to the public 24 hours a day, and includes seating, public wi-fi and an events space that will be host to acoustic performances from local musicians at the weekends.

It also includes commissioned artwork, such as a fountain by local sculptor Ruth Asawa, and another piece by local artist Laura Kimpton.

A space to “inspire and educate”

The store includes another events space called the Forum, which will be the base for Apple’s educational programme Today at Apple. The scheme brings artists, photographers, musicians, gamers, developers and entrepreneurs to the store to speak and perform, in order to “inspire and educate Apple’s customers”, says Apple. The space centres around a video wall, which will be used in interactive sessions.

The Boardroom, is a training space where Apple teams will offer advice and training to small businesses and individuals, while Genius Grove is a support hub with advisors based at the centre of the store.

A series of interactive window displays called The Avenue also “bring to life” Apple’s products and services.

Opens this weekend

The store is set to open on 21 May, and will be rolled out as a wider concept across other U.S. Apple stores in future.

Apple is yet to release images for the new concept store.

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