Architecture

Dubai's new Apple Store spreads its wings for a better view

The Apple Dubai Mall's 18 motorized "Solar Wings" take around a minute to open
The Apple Dubai Mall's 18 motorized "Solar Wings" take around a minute to open
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As its name suggests, the two-story Apple Dubai Mall is located in the Dubai Mall
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As its name suggests, the two-story Apple Dubai Mall is located in the Dubai Mall
Foster + Partners is very much Apple's architect of choice and the British firm is responsible for several other high-profile Apple Stores in addition to its new sustainable HQ
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Foster + Partners is very much Apple's architect of choice and the British firm is responsible for several other high-profile Apple Stores in addition to its new sustainable HQ
The Apple Dubai Mall's 18 motorized "Solar Wings" take around a minute to open
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The Apple Dubai Mall's 18 motorized "Solar Wings" take around a minute to open
"Reinterpreting the traditional Arabic Mashrabiya, innovative, ‘Solar Wings’ gently shade the outside terrace during the day and open majestically during the evening to reveal the ‘best seat in the house’ with a breath-taking view of the waterside promenade and fountains," says Foster + Partners' press release
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"Reinterpreting the traditional Arabic Mashrabiya, innovative, ‘Solar Wings’ gently shade the outside terrace during the day and open majestically during the evening to reveal the ‘best seat in the house’ with a breath-taking view of the waterside promenade and fountains," says Foster + Partners' press release
The Apple Dubai Mall's "Solar Wings" take around a minute to open
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The Apple Dubai Mall's "Solar Wings" take around a minute to open
The Apple Dubai Mall's terrace really does offer some amazing-looking views
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The Apple Dubai Mall's terrace really does offer some amazing-looking views
The Apple Dubai Mall's trees sit in motorized planters which rotate to ensure the greenery gets even sunlight
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The Apple Dubai Mall's trees sit in motorized planters which rotate to ensure the greenery gets even sunlight
The Apple Dubai Mall's wings are thicker in the middle to resist wind loads
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The Apple Dubai Mall's wings are thicker in the middle to resist wind loads
The wings measure 37.5 x 10 ft (11 x 3 m), with weight coming to a hefty 1,200 kg (2,645 US)
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The wings measure 37.5 x 10 ft (11 x 3 m), with weight coming to a hefty 1,200 kg (2,645 US)
An artist sketching with an iPad Pro at the opening ceremony of the new Apple Store
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An artist sketching with an iPad Pro at the opening ceremony of the new Apple Store
Inside the Apple Store
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Inside the Apple Store

Foster + Partners recently completed a new flagship Apple Store near the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest skyscraper, and the Dubai Fountain, the world's largest choreographed fountain. The store's design is quite interesting and its terrace features 18 motorized "Solar Wings" that open in the evening to offer choice views to those inside.

As its name suggests, the two-story Apple Dubai Mall store is located in the Dubai Mall. During the day, the building's Solar Wings – PR speak for Mashrabiya-like latticed shading screens – are shut and provide shading on the second floor terrace.

In the evening, the motorized wings open fully in a process that takes around a minute, allowing visitors to enjoy views of the surrounding area, including the Dubai Fountain's nightly performances.

Reaching a total length of 900 ft (274 m), the Dubai Fountain is a pretty significant local attraction and hosts a musical performance every evening. It includes a total of 75 color projectors and 6,600 powerful fountain lights. Some 22,000 gallons (83,279 ltr) of water is in the air at any given time.

The Apple Dubai Mall's wings are thicker in the middle to resist wind loads
The Apple Dubai Mall's wings are thicker in the middle to resist wind loads

"Reinterpreting the traditional Arabic Mashrabiya, innovative 'Solar Wings' gently shade the outside terrace during the day and open majestically during the evening to reveal the 'best seat in the house' with a breath-taking view of the waterside promenade and fountains," says Foster + Partners' Stefan Behling in a press release. "With their movement path inspired by a falcon spreading its wings, the 'Solar Wings' are in itself a theatrical experience – an integrated vision of kinetic art and engineering."

Each Solar Wing is made from 340 carbon fiber rods. The material was chosen because it doesn't rust and is lightweight. With that said, the 37.5 x 10 ft (11 x 3 m) structures still weigh a considerable 1,200 kg (2,645 lb) apiece.

The Apple Store's terrace also include nine trees which sit in mechanically rotating planters to ensure they receive an even amount of sunlight.

Foster + Partners is very much Apple's architecture firm of choice and is responsible for several other high-profile Apple Stores, in addition to the sustainable new Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino, California.

Sources: Foster + Partners, Apple, Eemar Properties

3 comments
Wolf0579
Dibai, Emerates, Saudi Arabia... All countries full of a barbaric people who have too much money and not enough civilization.
McDesign
Does Dubai actually create anything, or design and build anything itself?
Rocky Stefano
@McDesign. Does Vegas? Does Apple for that matter? I've seen enough design rip-offs to last 100 years of litigation. @Wolfo579. Do you mean the US is any less barbaric? Blacks are shot on sight there and incarceration puts the US at #1 in the world.