Friday, October 20, 2017

Apple Store Opens in Chicago

Today the Apple Michigan Avenue store opens to the public. Designed by Norman Foster, the store replaces the older Bohlin Cywinski Jackson store a few blocks up Michigan Avenue. Like other recent Apple stores around the world, this one is more lightweight, transparent and outwardly simpler than older stores.

[All photographs courtesy of Apple]

The store is also a symbol of Chicago's move toward the river, something it has been doing with the Chicago Riverwalk (south side of the river, roughly between Michigan Avenue and Lake Street) and projects like this one on the north side of the river and the new CAF location opening across the river from Apple next year.


Although I've yet to see the completed store in person, these photos give the impression that the building is a good neighbor, both in the way it knits and visually connects the plaza at Pioneer Court to the riverwalk below, and in the way the construction fits into the Miesian tradition in Chicago. The latter is most pronounced in the way surfaces appear continuous from inside to outside through the super-clear laminated glass walls, particularly the steps and the wood ceiling. The photos give the impression that it feels like an Apple store, but at the same time it's a very site-specific way of inserting one into the city.


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