Glass-walled Apple Store takes pride of place atop pyramidal water feature
Apple and Foster + Partners continue their longstanding collaboration with a new Apple Store recently completed in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The retail space features a bold design that takes the form of a glass-walled box that's situated on top of a large stepped pyramid-like water feature.
The Apple Store is located in Abu Dhabi's financial district. It was designed by both Apple's own team and Foster + Partners, and consists of glazed walls and a lightweight gold-colored carbon fiber roof that was made locally. Visitors enter the building using either two ramps that pass over the black granite water feature or through a "kaleidoscope-like" corridor from an adjacent mall.
"The pure rectilinear glazed structure is situated on top of a new stepped pyramid cascading water feature, paved with Absolute Black granite stone," explained Foster + Partners. "Two external entrance ramps cut through the water and rise to the store, creating a new link between the promenade, store and mall. The same granite continues seamlessly inside the store, drawing life from the promenade into the store.
"Visitors from the mall enter through a mirrored stainless-steel portal, enveloped by the sights and sounds of the water jets that cascade down over the exterior glass walls. The water droplets catch the light and shimmer as they run over the milled glass surface. A 72-foot-long (22-m) jointless stretched mirror foil ceiling adds drama to the space – a single uninterrupted plane that creates a kaleidoscopic effect, with the water falling down the walls, and reflections traveling infinitely up towards the sky."
The interior is mostly arranged on a single level and its overall decor will be familiar to those who have visited an Apple Store before. It includes areas where customers can receive support, a number of wooden product tables nestled among Ficus trees, plus a large digital display for multimedia use. Twin staircases lead down to a subterranean space where businesses can get advice on using Apple's products.
Naturally, heat is a real concern in that part of the world, especially with a glazed exterior, so the store is cooled by a radiant underfloor system, combined with a displacement ventilation system, which is thought by proponents to offer improved air quality over standard air-conditioning.
Apple Al Maryah Island is the latest Apple Store to be constructed in the UAE and joins others by Apple and Foster + Partners, including Apple Dubai Mall.
Source: Foster + Partners