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Apple rumored to tap Foster + Partners for new Apple Store designs

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
A new report holds that Apple is looking for fresh design input for its celebrated line of retail outlets, and that the iPhone maker has turned to the company responsible for its forthcoming "spaceship" campus.

Apple is said to have tapped Foster + Partners for a fresh take on its Apple Stores, according to a new report on Wednesday from Marketing. Sources close to the project reportedly said the two companies are collaborating on future Apple Store designs.

Apple headquarters 2.0 rendering
Foster + Partners is behind the design of Apple's new Campus 2 design for its upcoming corporate headquarters.


The two companies have worked together before, with Apple tapping Foster + Partners for the design of its "spaceship" campus, which Apple is expected to move into in 2016. That project, initially priced at $3 billion, has reportedly ballooned to $5 billion, though cost-cutting efforts are thought to be underway.

Foster + Partners' previous work includes the McLaren Technology Centre and New York's Hearst Tower.

Apple in the past has worked with Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Foster + Partners' rival, on its Apple Store designs. BCJ is the firm behind Apple's iconic Fifth Avenue store in New York, and the Regent Street location in London.

Apple secured a trademark on the distinctive design of its retail outlets earlier this year. Apple's stores have gone from novelty retail outlets to something approaching a community center, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook. The retail locations saw 120 million visitors in the fourth quarter of last year, with some locations so heavily-trafficked that Apple is closing them to move them into larger spots.
post #2 of 14
Apple needs to move into famous landmarks like opening a store in the Leaning Tower of Pisa, The Great Pyramid, The Vatican, The Louvre, etc.

"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 #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Apple needs to move into famous landmarks like opening a store in the Leaning Tower of Pisa, The Great Pyramid, The Vatican, The Louvre, etc.

Yeah, sure... Have you been to the Leaning Tower of Pisa? After that they could open one in Big Ben, and one in The House of Commons. Oh, and how about one atop Kilimanjaro? 

post #4 of 14
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post
Apple needs to move into famous landmarks like opening a store in the Leaning Tower of Pisa, The Great Pyramid, The Vatican, The Louvre, etc.

 

They'd have to straighten the tower and aluminize the Louvre, and the French and Italians would hate that.

 

But imagine the Great Pyramid covered with four huge, perfect sheets of anodized aluminum…. And a brushed concrete stone at the top.

post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Apple needs to move into famous landmarks like opening a store in the Leaning Tower of Pisa, The Great Pyramid, The Vatican, The Louvre, etc.

 

I'm going to assume that's a weak attempt at being funny.    Even if not, that's a terrible idea.   People don't suddenly decide when they're touring the Vatican or the Great Pyramids that they suddenly need a computer, phone or iPad and they have to have it right now, although Apple does actually have a store in the Louvre (I think it's in the underground entrance near a museum shop).  

 

As for bringing in new architects to rethink that Apple Store concept, I think that's a good idea.   For all the hype, what is an Apple Store?   It's a big room with parsons tables, concrete floors (usually) that are hard on one's back and lighted displays on the walls along with the Genius desk and the ability to take orders on the floor.   What was unique about these stores when they first opened was the fact that all the hardware was available for practical use.   That's still rare in other retail environments.    In Best Buy, for example, the computers aren't generally connected to the Internet and the few that are have passwords on them.

 

But when it comes down to it, what's so special about a parsons table and a lighted display?

 

What Apple doesn't demonstrate today is the integration between devices.    Macs are on a separate table from iPads which are on a separate table from phones, etc.     Apple needs to show how these all work together and how they work with other devices, Apple as well as 3rd party, in the home, office and on the road.   For example, is there anywhere in an Apple Store where one can see Airplay demonstrated?  Is there anywhere where they show how 2nd screen applications work in conjunction with a TV show?  Is there anywhere where they even demonstrate how iCloud (supposedly) keeps devices in sync?    Is there anywhere where they show how in iPhone can work in conjunction with an car's audio system?   Etc. 

post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Apple needs to move into famous landmarks like opening a store in the Leaning Tower of Pisa, The Great Pyramid, The Vatican, The Louvre, etc.


Well they kind of already are in the Louve. The entrance to the store is just past the inverted pyramid underground

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

I'm going to assume that's a weak attempt at being funny.    Even if not, that's a terrible idea.   People don't suddenly decide when they're touring the Vatican or the Great Pyramids that they suddenly need a computer, phone or iPad and they have to have it right now, although Apple does actually have a store in the Louvre (I think it's in the underground entrance near a museum shop).  

As for bringing in new architects to rethink that Apple Store concept, I think that's a good idea.   For all the hype, what is an Apple Store?   It's a big room with parsons tables, concrete floors (usually) that are hard on one's back and lighted displays on the walls along with the Genius desk and the ability to take orders on the floor.   What was unique about these stores when they first opened was the fact that all the hardware was available for practical use.   That's still rare in other retail environments.    In Best Buy, for example, the computers aren't generally connected to the Internet and the few that are have passwords on them.

But when it comes down to it, what's so special about a parsons table and a lighted display?

What Apple doesn't demonstrate today is the integration between devices.    Macs are on a separate table from iPads which are on a separate table from phones, etc.     Apple needs to show how these all work together and how they work with other devices, Apple as well as 3rd party, in the home, office and on the road.   For example, is there anywhere in an Apple Store where one can see Airplay demonstrated?  Is there anywhere where they show how 2nd screen applications work in conjunction with a TV show?  Is there anywhere where they even demonstrate how iCloud (supposedly) keeps devices in sync?    Is there anywhere where they show how in iPhone can work in conjunction with an car's audio system?   Etc. 

At least at my local store, they have all these in spades. Next to the MBPs there are iPhones with linked iCloud accounts. Granted, a specialist would have to demo it for you or you'd have to stumble across it.

Next to the AppleTv there is an iPad and TV where you can experience AirPlay.

I think your description is a bit shallow. Most Apple Stores make an architectural statement where they are located. They also have business briefing rooms, customer training areas, repair rooms (3 day turnarounds instead of 3 weeks), and even mini theaters.
post #8 of 14
Apple stores interior design, rather primitive besides curved glasses, are in need of an upgrade in design quality, to be on par to their cool devices. Foster would do a great job, if Apple can keep the budget under control.
post #9 of 14
Foster may have designed the cool looking 'spaceship' Apple headquarters, but are they also to be blamed for the recent reports of over budget issues or is that the fault of the construction contractor estimates being off by just a "smidge"?

If the over budget fault lies with Foster and Apple continues to use them, then greeeeeeeeat!...
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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

Foster may have designed the cool looking 'spaceship' Apple headquarters, but are they also to be blamed for the recent reports of over budget issues or is that the fault of the construction contractor estimates being off by just a "smidge"?

If the over budget fault lies with Foster and Apple continues to use them, then greeeeeeeeat!...
/
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It's the fault of the end-user more than doubling the occupancy requirements after the design and construction estimates had been settled. Old story in the construction world. That "just one little tweak" disease. It went from a reported 5000-6000 to 13,000. That's bound to blow out costs.

post #11 of 14
Only thing "Iconic" about 5th Ave store, is Steve's entrance cube. Once you're underground the store is no different than your typical mall grade Apple store; just bigger.
The historical building retrofits, and the complete ground-up constructions are the true gems.
post #12 of 14
A great move. Apple stores already look like they have the Foster aesthetic.
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyb0731 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Apple needs to move into famous landmarks like opening a store in the Leaning Tower of Pisa, The Great Pyramid, The Vatican, The Louvre, etc.


Well they kind of already are in the Louve. The entrance to the store is just past the inverted pyramid underground

Everyone says that, making it sound like it must be something museum-worthy. But it's important to note that the Store is in a shopping mall that is adjacent to the Louvre. The mall was there long before Apple set up shop.

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Everyone says that, making it sound like it must be something museum-worthy. But it's important to note that the Store is in a shopping mall that is adjacent to the Louvre. The mall was there long before Apple set up shop.



Indeed there is no such thing as an Apple mini store within the Louvre ... The store is indeed part of an underground shoppping mall adjacent to the Museum, but this is no ordinary shopping mall, mostly dedicated to luxury or cultural goods. Apple store fits perfectly well, in that respect, the only problem is that it is much too small .. But other Apple stores exist in or near Paris
Edited by umrk_lab - 4/10/13 at 12:30pm
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