Apple’s new flagship retail store for Chicago will officially open on October 20, the company’s head of retail announced today during Apple’s annual keynote address. Formally announced more than two years ago, the new store marks not only a new high-profile storefront designed by Sir Norman Foster’s Foster + Partners, but it has overhauled and resculpted a high-profile stretch of Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River.
During the keynote address, Apple’s Angela Ahrendts claimed that the new store will "transform the riverfront." And in typical Apple fashion, the new store combines form and function to deliver perhaps the most transformative retail offerings in years. Similar to designs for other Apple flagship retail stores, the new Michigan Avenue store boasts a glassy, transparent box shape. However, it is capped with a curved roofline that resembles the lid of its Macbook laptop computer.
The new store has taken over a large portion of Pioneer Court, an outdoor office plaza which had previously served as the location for large-scale art installations. Construction on the new store officially kicked off last March, and after a year, the store began to take shape as workers installed the store’s large glass walls.
Apple is known for its focus on design, and its big move and new location is notable for not just being on the river, but for adding more to Michigan Avenue south of the Magnificent Mile. Once a quiet stretch, the length of Michigan Avenue between the Mag Mile and Millennium Park has gained significant momentum with the delivery of a new apartment tower, a new hotel, and the planned overhaul of the Tribune Tower and its surrounding properties.
Another apartment tower is planned for the stretch, as well as two new hotel concepts via the upcoming Hotel Julian and St. Jane Chicago. In addition, the Chicago Architecture Foundation has just announced its move and plans for the upcoming Chicago Architecture Center across the river from the new Michigan Avenue Store.
- Apple iPhone 8 event live blog [The Verge]
- New Michigan Avenue Apple Store getting glazed [Curbed Chicago]
- Checking-in on Norman Foster’s new Michigan Avenue Apple store [Curbed Chicago]