On Friday, October 20th, Apple, the multi-national tech company, opened its new flagship store in Chicago, Illinois. Founded 41 years ago, Apple boasts 498 retail stores worldwide, the Chicago store being the latest addition. So, what makes the Apple’s new Chicago store so special? Let’s find out!
Located on Michigan Avenue, Apple’s new Chicago store was opened to the public on Friday, October 20th. Called by many as Apple’s ‘most ambitious store’ yet, the new Chicago flagship store connects the Chicago river, Pioneer Court, and North Michigan Avenue. According to Jony Ive, the Chief Design Officer of Apple, the purpose of doing this is to resuscitate significant urban connections within the city.
A New Gathering Place for The Local Community
With the launch of its new flagship store in Chicago, Apple not only hopes to sell more of its latest gadgets, but it also hopes to provide the local community with a gathering place to connect with each other. To rejuvenate the Riverwalk, Apple has built its store on the city’s city-wide initiative. Additionally, to give the city an enterprising new territory that flows smoothly down to the river.
According to Angela Ahrendts, the senior vice president (retail) of Apple, the design and structure of the new flagship store in Chicago is in sync with the company’s vision of providing customers with a store where they can not only experience the latest and best products and services of Apple, but also connect with others in the community and learn something new.
Planned as a gathering place for the local community, Apple’s new Chicago store will be open to the public all year long. It is easy to assume that one fine day, Apple decided to design a new store, and then place it on Michigan Avenue. That wasn’t the case. Instead, to develop a space designed specifically for Michigan Avenue, Apple referenced historical records and worked alongside the local authorities.
A Sight to Behold
While the main purpose of the new store was to provide the local community with a gathering place, Apple did not show any slackness in the design of the store. To put in three words, Apple’s new Chicago store is a sight to behold. As mentioned earlier, the river of Chicago has been a mainstay of the city since long and Apple’s hopes to strengthen this connection by providing new entry to the Riverfront from Pioneer Court via its Michigan Avenue store. To allow the river to be visible from the plaza and beyond, Apple has connected the two on both sides of new store using granite staircases.
A practically invisible store, Apple’s Chicago store boasts a number of features and all of them have the same main purpose: shrinking the dividing line between Chicago city and its river. Four interior pillars support the entire structure, allowing the thirty-two-foot glass fronts to stay lucent. Additionally, the design of the 111×98-foot carbon fiber roof of the building is as thin as it could possibly be.
What do you think is the first thing that catches the eye when you look at Apple’s new Chicago store? It is the mammoth screen. A 6k resolution detached screen, the screen of the new flagship store in Chicago allows you to take in the rest of the store’s beauty by standing with your back to the screen. This is made possible by the doors to the river-walk behind it.
In addition to the mammoth screen, other notable features of the store include the store’s back that houses all the products, the trees that exhibit the Genius Grove, and the balconies reserved for sessions and performances. Once you notice these things, the little things will start to become obvious to you. You’ll notice that the curved glass along the corner is no less than a technological wonder. After all, not many building glasses can stop vehicle crashes of up to seventy-five miles per hour.
But, the marvels of Apple’s new flagship store don’t end here. If you look closely enough, you will also notice the countless white oak slats beneath the carbon fiber roof used to construct the celling. Granite is used for the store’s floors and Castagna Limestone ensures shining white walls. Some well-known brands have also contributed to the store with Hermes delivering all the leather in the store and Mitsubishi design, manufacturing and installing the store’s glass elevator.
While the architectural marvels of the store are all a sight to behold, the most fascinating feature of the store is its heating and cooling system. The system cools and heats the store by pumping water from the Chicago river. Apple hopes that this will ensure a comfortable atmosphere inside while helping keep the environment green.
A Store in the Heart of The City
Ideally located in the heart of the city, Apple’s new Chicago store is present in a well-established city hub. Apple’s hopes to leverage the location of its new flagship store to boost its brand further, turning more people into its loyalists and advocates. Apple, the tech company that prompted us to stare tirelessly at our cell phones, is now asking us to move away from such habits and come together in a shared space to share ideas face-to-face.
The above stance of Apple may seem a bit hypocritical but you can’t deny the fact that Apple is one of the few companies that is actually taking initiative to promote healthy face-to-face interactions between people living in the same community. In the world where our interactions with friends and family have been reduced to emails and WhatsApp messages, this step by Apple is commendable to say the least.
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