Apple store in China

Open Apple store in China by Foster + Partners




Apple store in China
Photo © Nigel Young

Foster + Partners has completed a major new Apple store close to Hangzhou’s West Lake, which combines an understanding of the local context with the philosophy of simplicity, beauty and technical innovation that characterises Apple’s products.

Apple store in China
Photo © Nigel Young

Close collaboration between Apple and Foster + Partners’ integrated team of architects and engineers has created the ideal environment in which to view and interact with Apple’s products. Every aspect of the store has been optimised, minimised and de-cluttered.

Apple store in China
Photo © Nigel Young

The white ceiling, which appears as an opaque surface during the day, is dramatically illuminated at night – the custom-made lighting panels emit a pure, even glow, as well as absorbing noise.

Apple store in China
Photo © Nigel Young

The 15-metre-high volume creates a sense of space and calm within the busy store and city. It is divided horizontally by a dramatic cantilevered floor, which extends 12 metres from the rear wall like a diving board to create a 9-metre-high piano nobile.

Apple store in China
Photo © Nigel Young

The extremely slim floor structure is only made possible by tuned mass dampers to eliminate vibration, and it tapers from 1.2 metres to just 10 centimetres. This gives the impression of a floating stage in the centre of the space – a new living room for the city.

Apple store in China
Photo © Nigel Young

The miniaturisation of architectural elements demanded the highest levels of technical innovation and integration. The practice’s in-house structural and environmental engineers, architects, lighting, acoustic and fire safety teams worked closely with Apple, local partners in China and manufacturers to create a completely streamlined, even ceiling.

Apple store in China
Photo © Nigel Young

In addition, the treads of the glass staircases on either side of the space are held in place by a discreet bolt, embedded into the glass to give the impression of floating glass steps – an appearance of effortless simplicity, which belies the complexity of the engineering solution.

Apple store in China
Photo © Nigel Young

Apple has always been at the forefront of technological advances in the use of glass, and the façade comprises 11 large double-glazed panels, each rising 15 metres. The space is shaded by a series of blinds, which respond to the path of the sun and, when retracted, are concealed within the ceiling. Source by  Foster + Partners.

Apple store in China
Photo © Nigel Young

Location: Hangzhou, China
Architect: Foster + Partners
Year: 2015
Photographs: Nigel Young, Courtesy of Foster + Partners

Apple store in China
Photo © Nigel Young
Apple store in China
Photo © Nigel Young
Apple store in China
Photo © Nigel Young

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