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Apple developing new all-glass French store in Aix en Provence

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Apple is developing a futuristic new retail store design for Aix en Provence, France which creates an outdoor appearance using a wraparound transparent glass facade around three sides of the building.

According to report by retail tracker IFO Apple Store, the new location will replace an existing brick building on the south side of Place du General de Gaulle, and is designed to integrate into the plaza's surrounding upscale shops from international retailers.

Apple's new South of France location is located just north of Marseille, providing pleasant Mediterranean weather and significant tourism traffic. The new store is expected to be completed later this year or early next year.

The store's rendering, published by AixEnProvence.fr, depicts the nearly all glass, one story building on a stone plaza with only a minimal ceiling and a rear wall apparently finished with blonde wood.




The rear section of the building appears to incorporate offices and storage similar to the existing design of New York City's Upper West Side retail store, albeit on a much smaller scale.

IFO Apple Store also reported on plans for a new retail store in Basel, Switzerland as detailed in the German language MacPrime.ch. That project plans to demolish an existing building and replace it, making it reportedly unlikely to open before next year.
post #2 of 28
And combined with the new waterproofing thing from that other story, eventually there won't be Apple Stores at all, just tables set up in the wilderness with Apple products on them and a blue-shirted associate standing by for your money.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #3 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple is developing a futuristic new retail store design for Aix en Provence, France which creates an outdoor appearance using a wraparound transparent glass facade around three sides of the building....

Personally, I think that looks hideous and completely impractical. There doesn't appear to be enough space to provide for roof supports for starters.

However, considering this isn't an official Apple announcement and the image may not even be from Apple either, I am cautiously optimistic.
post #4 of 28
Very dramatic. It's nice to see Apple pushing the boundaries of store design. From a safety and structural point of view, would not be too hard to drive a stolen car right through that glass in the middle of the night to steal a few prized tidbits.

Would be great to see the finished building. Apple is making their stores out to be tourist attractions.
post #5 of 28
Way cool. There must be some kind of demarcation to prevent people from walking into the glass I guess, but it looks great.
post #6 of 28
I'm sure they will install waist high pillars strategically around the outside of the structure to prevent cars from doing this. This is common practice for buildings with large glass entrances.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Very dramatic. It's nice to see Apple pushing the boundaries of store design. From a safety and structural point of view, would not be too hard to drive a stolen car right through that glass in the middle of the night to steal a few prized tidbits.

Would be great to see the finished building. Apple is making their stores out to be tourist attractions.
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Would be great to see the finished building. Apple is making their stores out to be tourist attractions.

I completely agree. I recently visited my dad for the holidays. He lives in Connecticut, about a 30 minute train ride out of New York City. We went to the city for a day, and the first thing my wife and I wanted to see was the Apple store in Grand Central Station. It sounded stupid, wanting to see a retail store so badly, but it was as breathtaking as I was hoping it would be. Absolutely stunning, especially when standing inside the store and looking at the rest of Grand Central.
post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Personally, I think that looks hideous and completely impractical. There doesn't appear to be enough space to provide for roof supports for starters.

However, considering this isn't an official Apple announcement and the image may not even be from Apple either, I am cautiously optimistic.

The supports would be made of glass just like with their other glass structures.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardrilling View Post

I'm sure they will install waist high pillars strategically around the outside of the structure to prevent cars from doing this. This is common practice for buildings with large glass entrances.

Strategically, as in far away so that no cars could hit it but also far enough away to keep from detracting from its appearance.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #10 of 28
I might just have to go an see this.
Aix is one of my favourite places in France
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

I completely agree. I recently visited my dad for the holidays. He lives in Connecticut, about a 30 minute train ride out of New York City. We went to the city for a day, and the first thing my wife and I wanted to see was the Apple store in Grand Central Station. It sounded stupid, wanting to see a retail store so badly, but it was as breathtaking as I was hoping it would be. Absolutely stunning, especially when standing inside the store and looking at the rest of Grand Central.

It's not stupid - good architecture is good architecture. The Empire State Building, MET Life Building, Chrysler buliding ... corporate buildings, all
post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

The supports would be made of glass just like with their other glass structures.

That's what I meant. There isn't enough thickness in the roof to do that and the flat roof has no pitch at all either. While I'm at it, the overall proportion is hideous as well and there doesn't seem to be any attempt to make the inside look like a real Apple store (no tables, no product, no genius counter but sofas instead?).

I'm thinking this is a fantasy render done by the newspaper breaking the story based on a vague verbal description of the store they received from a third party. It makes no sense otherwise IMO.
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelsalt View Post

It's not stupid - good architecture is good architecture. The Empire State Building, MET Life Building, Chrysler buliding ... corporate buildings, all

I agree. People from all walks of life travel the world to see architecture. Whether it be old churches, modern skyscrapers, stained glass, water fountains, etc... to each their own. Even the humble Apple retail store(s) from the cylindrical-glass store in Beijing, the updated Cube in New York, and others... they are definitely worth seeing.

I would exclude Microsoft stores though. All two (??) of them.
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

That's what I meant. There isn't enough thickness in the roof to do that and the flat roof has no pitch at all either. While I'm at it, the overall proportion is hideous as well and there doesn't seem to be any attempt to make the inside look like a real Apple store (no tables, no product, no genius counter but sofas instead?).

I'm thinking this is a fantasy render done by the newspaper breaking the story based on a vague verbal description of the store they received from a third party. It makes no sense otherwise IMO.

I see what you're getting at. Yeah, that's an artist's rendering not an architect's.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

That's what I meant. There isn't enough thickness in the roof to do that and the flat roof has no pitch at all either. While I'm at it, the overall proportion is hideous as well and there doesn't seem to be any attempt to make the inside look like a real Apple store (no tables, no product, no genius counter but sofas instead?).

I'm thinking this is a fantasy render done by the newspaper breaking the story based on a vague verbal description of the store they received from a third party. It makes no sense otherwise IMO.

No no... this is Apple taking the concept of 'create a great user experience and the products sell themselves' to its natural conclusion. No Products! Just a great user experience! Not even a screen in sight. Nothing! No Apple logos. No staff. I think Apple just hired Mr Costanza as their new head of retail.

post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

...and a blue-shirted associate standing by for your money.

What for? There's an app for that.
post #17 of 28
ifoapplestore added a rendition, from the side, apparently taken from page 15 in the Aix-en-Provence magazine:

post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

And combined with the new waterproofing thing from that other story, eventually there won't be Apple Stores at all, just tables set up in the wilderness with Apple products on them and a blue-shirted associate standing by for your money.

Future Apple Stores will be floating cubes hovering over the city on force fields. It will be powered by the tears of broken competitors.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Future Apple Stores will be floating cubes hovering over the city on force fields. It will be powered by the tears of broken competitors.

And when the tears run out, they'll enslave the team that created Android to pedal a comically flimsy bicycle system for power.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #20 of 28
Last night's "The Simpson's" was a pretty funny Apple (er, "Mapple") themed episode. Homer walked into a Mapple store, and watched as a rotating MacBook Air-lookalike completely vanished whenever it turned thin-side to the camera. I can see a future episode, with Homer fumbling and bumbling around in a store with just one "real" wall.
post #21 of 28
Surprised by all the "that's impossible" feedback. After all, this is nothing more than a larger version of the Cube in NY. And yes, I'm well aware that buildings don't just magically scale bigger without issues. However, one would think that by the time this was even whispered about in public that the A&E firm Apple is using had done their homework to make sure it will work.
post #22 of 28
How are they going to heat and air condition this thing? Keep in mind the other glass Apple buildings are separate from the retail space so the glass structure is not being heated or conditioned. This is going to be a pain in the but for them...if it's true.
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemoola View Post

How are they going to heat and air condition this thing? Keep in mind the other glass Apple buildings are separate from the retail space so the glass structure is not being heated or conditioned. This is going to be a pain in the but for them...if it's true.

Infrared-rejecting glass. Corning probably has the formula secreted away somewhere, waiting 40-years for a call Apple.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

And combined with the new waterproofing thing from that other story, eventually there won't be Apple Stores at all, just tables set up in the wilderness with Apple products on them and a blue-shirted associate standing by for your money.

That is the name of the game for Apple to make money.
post #25 of 28
For anyone interested in the exact translation of the caption:

IT'S OFFICIAL! AN APPLE STORE IS BEING BUILT IN AIX

The old Office of Tourism, on the Rotonde Plaza will soon be an Apple Store.

The world-famous American group has chosen the city of King René to open one of its 6 sites in the world (of 357) that will be built by Apple's architects (New York, Chicago, Sydney, Bejing, Shangai and Aix-en-Provence).

The current building will therefor be demolished to leave space for an architectural project of total transparency. The Apple Store, if everything goes well, should open its doors at the end of the year 2012, or at the latest, the end of 2013.
post #26 of 28
This looks exactly like the new store design for the Portland, Oregon store.
post #27 of 28

Easier for the vandals to break into. Just throw rocks now.Not to sensible at all.
 

post #28 of 28
Western Australia just got a nice new Apple Store, I finally went to it last week on iPhone5 launch day. Wide and deep. (That's what she said).

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