Apple's most ambitious store yet appears to float on water
Described by Apple as its most ambitious retail project, the newly-completed Apple Marina Bay Sands appears to float on the water in Singapore. The building features generous glazing offering stunning panoramic views and can be reached by an underwater entrance.
Apple Marina Bay Sands' overall design is inspired by Rome's iconic Pantheon and was created with longtime collaborator Foster + Partners. The building is based on an existing pavilion in the water that previously hosted a Louis Vuitton store and is part of Moshe Safdie's Marina Bay Sands complex. The store is topped by an oculus and shaded by both surrounding trees and baffles, which are carefully shaped to provide a pleasant lighting effect. At night the building glows like a lantern and it's also quite interesting structurally.
"Entirely surrounded by water, Apple Marina Bay Sands offers uninterrupted 360-degree panoramic views of the city and its spectacular skyline," explains Apple. "The sphere is a first-of-its-kind, all-glass dome structure that is fully self-supported, comprised of 114 pieces of glass with only 10 narrow vertical mullions for structural connection. As Apple's third retail location in Singapore, the new store creates an unforgettable space for customers."
The interior decor will be familiar to anyone who has seen an Apple Store before, with its use of glass, wood, and stone. So-called Geniuses are available to help customers, and an area called the Forum includes a video wall for hosting events. There are also lots of wooden tables hosting Apple's shiny gadgets, of course.
However, there is an interesting twist in this one: an area called the Boardroom is located below the waterline and business owners are able to visit and get advice on using Apple software down there. Additionally, though the building can be reached by a standard footbridge from the shore, an underwater tunnel also connects to a nearby shopping mall. Dezeen reports that this is flanked with product display cases and has an Apple Genius bar running down its center.