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

Posted:
in Genius Bar edited January 2014


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.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 27
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 27
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,499member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 27
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,594member
    Way cool. There must be some kind of demarcation to prevent people from walking into the glass I guess, but it looks great.
  • Reply 5 of 27
    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.



  • Reply 6 of 27
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 27
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 27
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 27
    I might just have to go an see this.

    Aix is one of my favourite places in France
  • Reply 10 of 27
    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
  • Reply 11 of 27
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 27
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,499member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 27
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 27
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,594member
    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.



  • Reply 15 of 27
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,438member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 27
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,438member
    ifoapplestore added a rendition, from the side, apparently taken from page 15 in the Aix-en-Provence magazine:



  • Reply 17 of 27
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 27
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 27
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 27
    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.
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