The first example of a brand new architecture for Apple’s retail stores opened on September 7th. The store incorporates a new “floating” roof design that is also being used for Apple Stores currently being constructed in Portland, Oregon and Aix-en-Provence, France. The new Stanford 2 Apple Store was designed by architectural firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. This is the same firm that designed the iconic Apple Store located on Fifth Avenue in New York City.
This new Stanford 2 Apple Store will replace a mini-store located about 300 feet away that has been there since 2004. The previous mini-store location was also near a large Microsoft store, although it is unknown if this contributed to Apple’s decision to move the store to a new location. Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer noted in Apple’s third quarter earnings call that the company planned to relocate at least 23 stores “that had outgrown their former space” in fiscal year 2013.
As it is, Apple stores are already the most successful per square foot in the US, making an estimated $4,542 per square foot. Nevertheless, the company has been pursuing a new strategy of amplifying retail space in order to “increase retail store sales of the iPhone from a 20 percent share of total iPhone sales to a 50 percent share.”
Accordingly, the new store showcases Apple’s products, keeping them easily visible to the public, and hides the store’s more technical program in the back. As Forbes writer Gary Allen describes:
“The 6,825 square-foot store is divided into two spaces: the front half displays all of Apple’s usual products on 12 wood tables, all visible through 20-foot tall windows on three sides. Walkways through the rear stone wall of this space lead to the other half of the store that sits under an arched skylight. A long Genius Bar in the center of the space allows 360-degree access for visitors, and accessory shelves line three walls. There are also tables and counters for training and product set-up, and two “kids” tables. Stock rooms, offices and repair spaces are hidden away in a third area of the building. A roof covered in stainless steel projects out from the storefront, providing protection from the sun and giving the structure a airy appearance.”
Quirk, Vanessa. “Bohlin Cywinski Jackson’s Latest Apple Store Opens” 10 Sep 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 01 Feb 2014. http://www.archdaily.com/?p=427117