Apple Michigan Avenue, the latest collaboration between the tech firm and international architectural practice Foster + Partners, has opened recently in the heart of Chicago. Located at the intersection of the Chicago River and North Michigan Avenue, the store aims to create new connections between the Windy City and the river.
The new Apple store sits atop a wide new public stair that leads down from the plaza to the river, and the gentle descent between the two provides spaces where people can also experience new views of the city and river.
The architects have designed the building so that the stairway passes through the building's walls – in pure glass – connecting the outside to the store's centre. This is sheltered by a thin carbon-fibre roof that appears to dissolve into the background, supported on slender stainless-steel columns – a design that echoes the Apple Park headquarters in California.
Meanwhile, the Apple Park Visitor Center in Cupertino, California has opened to the public. It is described as an architectural extension of Apple's private campus and has a transparent envelope sitting below a floating carbon-fibre roof, the terrace offers impressive views of the main ring-shaped building and a glimpse into Apple Park. A delicate screen of thin, curved carbon-fibre fins shades the terrace, where people can relax and enjoy views of the park. There is also a store and a cafe on the premises.