Apple has always demonstrated its immense appreciation for design, whether in the hands of the customer or in the manner through which they present their products in store. Located uniquely within the Palo Alto Shopping Center, this pavilion respects the expectations of the brand while introducing new and evolutionary ways to reinterpret 13 years of tradition. It doesn’t take long to recognize the brand—the transparent glass extending prominently from floor to ceiling, the soft stainless steel shimmering below the canopy upon approach, the warm stone anchoring the pavilion within its context, and the apple glowing white in anticipation of entry.
At the heart of the customer experience is the product, and for that reason, the space is designed around their display. However, in this location the customer experience begins before they even walk through the door. The store’s incredible transparency blends the outdoor public space with the indoor retail space, encouraging passersby to flow into and through the wooden tables and then back out to the surrounding plaza.
With 180 lineal feet of storefront glass and three entrances, rarely has this brand’s store been so visually recognizable and physically accessible. With the structural support of slender glass fins along the facade, the front room of the store is column-free, enabling customers to browse and explore, uninhibitedly, the variety of products that line the wooden tables.
As one moves from the front room to the back, the atmosphere changes to a feeling of enclosure. The ceiling gives way to a tremendous glass roof, sunlight plays along the floor, and the sounds of customer activity quiets down. Dedicated to service, training and accessory retail display, the sense of privacy supports the company’s ambition for a place of gathering and learning.
Delicate stainless steel beams support the gently arching glass roof, and the stone walls stand visibly in harmony with the sky above. A careful balance of tint, dot-patterned frit, and high performance coating allows modulated daylight to fill the space while maintaining comfort year-round.
Architects: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
Design Principal: Karl A. Backus, FAIA
Project Manager: Michael Waltner, RA
Design Team: Dan Yoder, Designer / David Andreini, AIA / Tina Lindinger, AIA / Joe DiNapoli, RA / Andrew Hamblin, RA / George Bradley, AIA
Photographs: Hufton + Crow, Roy Zipstein