Foster + Partners has unveiled its first European new-look Apple Store on London’s Regent Street
When it opened in 2004, the shop was Apple’s first store in Europe. The redesign sees it become the first in the region to feature Foster + Partners’ updated designs which were revealed at the San Francisco Union Square branch in May.
The 1898 Regent Street building was originally the studio of Victorian mosaicist Antonio Salviati of Venice, who was responsible for the mosaics at St Paul’s Cathedral, and its façade is Grade II-listed.
‘We wanted to pay homage to the street and its Classical elements,’ said Apple’s senior vice president of retail Angela Ahrendts, at the launch yesterday morning (13 October).
The shop’s original U-shaped mezzanine floor and glass stair have been removed, and the back of the store pushed back to create a large open space, which is designed to have the feeling of a town square.
The 7.2m-tall space allows the building’s full-height Portland stone-clad arches to form the front façade while flooding the store with natural light.
A forum provides seating for up to 75 people, and ‘avenues’ along the perimeter walls display Apple’s products.
The scheme features terrazzo floors, a grove of 12 Ficus Ali trees set in planters which double up as seating, and walls clad in sandblasted Italian limestone.
The stairs, which unlike the previous design are set back and to the sides of the plan, feature a smooth CNC-carved balustrade.
Speaking to the AJ, Foster + Partners Rafe Bertram, said: ‘In the previous design it was like the stair was a product but now, in this new design, people take centre stage.
‘Our early designs for Apple reflected the rise of the object. Like Steve Jobs said “It’s not about the product, it’s about what you do with it”. This new design reflects the changing way people interact with technology. It was about creating a warm, uplifting and transparent environment’.