When one steps into a Starbucks, they almost instantly know they are in the famed coffeehouse, and not at a McDonald's. Apart from the uniformed staff and a giant sign at the door, there are countless other factors that make a Starbucks look like a Starbucks. Textures, materials, shapes, colors, layouts, furniture, and lighting all contribute to the experience of being in a branded environment. These elements are replicated globally to create an identifiable image. As economic patterns change, brands are looking at extending their identities into spatial experiences in order to better engage with their customers in their daily lives.
Apple: The Latest Architecture and News
Last week, Apple opened its largest store in Europe, housed inside Rome’s 19th century Palazzo Marignoli. Designed by Foster+Partners, Apple Via del Corso celebrates the historic building by revealing its 1890s murals, frescos, and graffiti works from the 1950s, hidden from view for decades. The project creates a juxtaposition between the historical layers, the artwork and the signature minimalist aesthetic of Apple stores.
At first glance, it seems that Apple's strong retail design has derived from consistent design. But since Steve Jobs opened the first Apple Store in 2001, the brand has changed its store and lighting design concept five times. Thereby change appears as a central factor when a brand grows and expands internationally. For each period Apple developed sophisticated details and has strived for the perfect sky in their store - a smart strategy to enhance naturalness and sustainability.
For technology companies, image is everything. Whether it be the latest iPhone, the newest Slack interface, or the latest Uber app update, these multimillion-dollar giants strive daily to keep the user engaged, and to keep their image young, current, and cutting edge. Invariably, this need to be noticed transcends the digital screen, and manifests in the architecture of the offices where this innovation takes place.
Across the world, from Dublin to Tel Aviv to Tokyo, the workspaces of the world's largest tech companies are redefining how offices are designed, aided by leading architects such as Foster + Partners, Snøhetta, and Gehry Partners. While our recent article on solutions for flexible home offices reflects on strategic functionality and individual expression, the 30 workspaces below dedicate themselves to collaboration and inspiration through a play on scales, color, shapes, and unexpected fixtures.
Foster + Partners have completed the new Apple Aventura store in Miami, Florida. Designed to embody the city's openness, the project features an undulating vaulted roof that is reminiscent of the city’s nautical roots. The building's materiality and flow are inspired by the region’s Art Deco buildings as the new two-level store responds to the light, culture and climate of Florida.
Tech giant Apple has announced plans to build a $1 billion campus in Austin Texas, along with smaller facilities in Seattle, San Diego, and Culver City. The Austin plans, images of which have not been released, will see the creation of at least 5,000 jobs in the Southwestern city as house prices in the San Francisco Bay area begin to discourage creatives from Silicon Valley.
Apple had announced plans for a second U.S. headquarters at the beginning of the year, as part of a $30 billion investment strategy. In 2017, it opened the Foster + Partners-designed Apple Park, pictured above.
Can tablets help architects better conceive and execute their designs? If you’re skeptical, you’re not alone. To a certain extent, architects are still unsure if meaningful work can be created on an iPad. As the novel of virtual reality wears off, it’s worth asking if portable augmented reality is the push forward that will combine the best of traditional and digital architectural technology. So beyond their utility as lightweight, untethered screens, what can tablets offer the professional architect?
Apple has released new details about their MacBook Air, Mac Mini and iPad Pro. The MacBook Air has finally gotten the long-requested Retina Display, and the design has new features like its Touch ID fingerprint sensor. The broad redesign also extends to the new iPad Pro, where the design nearly gets rid of the bezel that has traditionally wrapped around the sides of the screen and Apple's Face ID facial recognition technology has been included in the tablet for the first time ever.
Apple’s Piazza Liberty Store, designed by Foster + Partners, has opened to the public in Milan, Italy. The scheme is located under an existing piazza close to the Corso Vittorio Emanuele, one of the most popular pedestrian streets in Milan.
The store is defined by a dramatic waterfall which surrounds the entrance while forming the backdrop to a large outdoor amphitheater. Piazza Liberty is the first Apple Store to be constructed in Italy following their retail design collaboration with Foster + Partners.
New images have emerged of the revised Foster + Partners-designed Apple Global Flagship Store at Federation Square in Melbourne after the original proposal attracted criticism and comparisons to a “Pizza Hut Pagoda.”
The revised scheme has been the result of workshops involving Fed Square Management, the Victorian Government, the City of Melbourne, and Apple, with input from Donald Bates, chair of architectural design at the University of Melbourne.
The iPhone Photography Awards (IPPAWARDS) has announced the winners of the 2018 edition of the annual competition. Founded in 2007, the same year as the release of the first iPhone, IPPAWARDS is the first and longest running iPhone photography competition. Now in its 11th year, the awards continue to select the best images taken by iPhone, iPad or iPod touch from a variety of categories including Landscape, Animals, People, Still Life and Architecture.
This year’s architecture category was won by Massimo Graziani from Italy for a shot “Rampage,” taken at the Via Allegri in Rome. Second prize was awarded to KuangLong Zhang from China with an image of one of the oldest mosques in Iran, while third prize went to Nasra Al Sharji from Oman with an early-morning shot of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
Foster + Partners has published photographs of their recently-opened Apple Store in Macau, intended as a “new oasis of calm” against the city’s buzz and excitement. The store, opened on June 29th, was designed in response to a brief calling for “an inviting, contemplative space, where technology, entertainment, and arts come together to make a positive contribution to the city.”
Apple Cotai Central was designed in a close collaboration between Foster + Partners and Apple’s chief design officer Sir Jonathan Ive, a collaboration which has previously produced Apple stores at Michigan Avenue in Chicago, and Regent Street in London.
Apple’s unwavering love for glass and seamless edges is one of the reasons designers flock in masses to purchase their products. But that aesthetic has caused a bit of a snafu at the company’s new Foster+Partners-designed headquarters in Cupertino, where employees are running into the highly transparent glass walls at an alarming rate.
Apple has announced plans to open a second U.S. campus as part of a $30 billion plan to invest in United States operations over the next 5 years.
Melbournites Protest Plans for Apple's First Southern Hemisphere Flagship Store Over Secrecy of Approval Process
Plans announced last month for Apple’s first global flagship store in the southern hemisphere have prompted outrage among Melbournites, who are criticizing the complete lack of public input in the project’s approval process.
The new three-story building, designed by Foster + Partners, would require the demolition of the existing Yarra Building, and would change the character of Federation Square, a popular public location for gatherings and events. But before being announced, the project was already fast-tracked through the first stage of planning approval, thanks to a partnership with the city.
Just a few months after the opening of Apple’s first town square concept retail store, the Foster + Partners-designed glass-box structure is facing the wrath of its first Chicago winter – and it doesn’t appear to be handling it so smoothly.
As reported by the Verge and 9to5Mac, nearly all of the store’s riverfront outdoor space has been roped off due to the presence of large and potentially dangerous icicles that have formed on the edge of the building’s MacBook-shaped roof. Signs reading “watch for falling snow and ice” now surround the store and at the entrance on Pioneer Court.
Apple has unveiled plans for their latest global flagship town square retail concept, to be located in Melbourne’s Federation Square. A product of a partnership between Apple, Federation Square and the Victorian Government, the store is envisioned as a shared resource that will increase the amount of public space in the square and will offer daily programs to “inspire and educate the community.”
To design the structure, Apple has again gone to Foster + Partners, architects of many of the tech company’s most innovative structures of the past few years, including Apple Michigan Avenue in Chicago (Apple’s first town square concept), Apple Dubai Mall, upcoming retail stores in Milan and Washington D.C., and the company’s new corporate headquarters, Apple Park.