India's first Apple Store topped by complex 450,000-piece timber ceiling
Apple has opened its first retail store in India. Located in Mumbai, Apple BKC incorporates sustainably sourced and local materials, and features a light-filled interior that's defined by an impressive handcrafted timber ceiling.
Designed by the tech giant's longstanding architect of choice, Foster + Partners, Apple BKC's name is a reference to the larger Bandra Kurla Complex that it's part of. The store features a sleek exterior that provides generous 8-m (26-ft)-tall glazing, maximizing natural light inside.
Its complex patterned ceiling is inspired by the work of Mumbai's cane and rattan weavers. It's made from sustainably sourced wood and forms a triangular shape. Each wooden tile is made from 408 pieces of wood, with a total of almost 450,000 individual pieces. Other eye-catching design elements include two stone walls and a stainless steel staircase that connects to a cantilevered mezzanine area. Stone pillars and greenery also break up the interior.
"The store is a symbiosis of Apple’s unique design approach with finely crafted elements and locally sourced materials," said Foster + Partners. "The sense of continuity between the interior and exterior spaces is emphasized by a hand-crafted timber ceiling that extends beyond the glass facade to the underside of the exterior canopy."
Its interior layout follows a similar blueprint to other Apple Stores and contains the Forum which hosts a learning and event space, the Genius Grove, where customers can get support, and large numbers of wooden tables for displaying Apple's wares.
The building has received the LEED Platinum green building standard and in addition to its focus on natural light, it reduces its grid-based power needs with a solar panel array that's installed on the exterior.
Apple BKC was officially opened by Tim Cook on April 18 and will soon be followed by a second Apple Store in India, which is due to open in New Delhi in the coming days.