Retail therapy: projects that transformed retail design into an immersive experience
by Sunena V MajuDec 15, 2022
•make your fridays matter with a well-read weekend
by STIRworldPublished on : Apr 22, 2023
Designed by Foster + Partners, Apple has opened its first flagship store in Mumbai,India. Called 'Apple BKC' the store gets its nickname from its location within the Jio World Drive at the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC). The store is said to have undertaken sustainable design solutions by employing locally sourced materials, and highlighted by a handcrafted timber ceiling composed of nearly 450,000 pieces of wood. The store's exterior features large 8 metres tall windows, that allow plenty of natural light to enter the store, creating a bright and welcoming atmosphere.
"The store is a symbiosis of Apple’s unique design approach with finely crafted elements and locally sourced materials," share Foster + Partners, in a press release, adding, "The sense of continuity between the interior and exterior spaces is emphasised by a hand-crafted timber ceiling that extends beyond the glass facade to the underside of the exterior canopy." Two stone walls and a stainless steel staircase that connects to a cantilevered mezzanine area, contribute to the store's unique design elements. Further, the elements of design help in breaking up the interior, with stone pillars and greenery interspersed throughout.
Visitors can browse the Apple products, in the main area, displayed on tables and in avenues throughout the store. The Forum area of the store offers a space for events and learning experiences, featuring a large video wall. The store's feature wall, wrapped in a white acoustic fabric, is framed by a colonnade that naturally draws the visitor's attention. The walls, constructed using stone from Rajasthan, have a smooth texture that resembles the luxurious fabric. The store's stainless steel staircase with two 14-meter-long glass railings leads to a mezzanine level overlooking the central space. The store also features an 'Apple Pickup' option, allowing customers to order online and pick up their products conveniently, providing a seamless and smooth shopping experience.
Stefan Behling, Head of Studio at Foster + Partners, expressed excitement about the partnership with Apple, for their inaugural flagship store in India, stating, "We are delighted to collaborate with Apple on their first flagship store in India. Apple BKC embodies the creative spirit of Mumbai. The design incorporates finely crafted elements, locally sourced materials and lush greenery—to stimulate the senses and lift the spirits.”
The building has received the LEED Platinum green building standard and features a solar panel array on the exterior that reduces grid-based power needs. The retail store design and sustainability features are a testament to Apple's commitment to environmental responsibility, showcasing how it is possible to create an energy-efficient and carbon-neutral retail space while still providing a visually stunning and functional experience for customers.
“At Apple, our customers are at the centre of everything we do, and our teams are excited to celebrate this wonderful moment with them as we open our first retail store in India,” says Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of retail. “Apple BKC is a reflection of Mumbai’s vibrant culture and brings together the best of Apple in a beautiful, welcoming space for connection and community.”
Apple BKC is the latest, in a series of retail outlets designed by Foster + Partners for Apple, joining other recently unveiled Apple stores such as the Abu Dhabi store surrounded by a stepped waterfall and the Los Angeles store located in the historic Tower Theatre. Overall, Apple BKC marks an important milestone for Apple—recognising India as a serious market for the tech giant and providing a flagship store that embodies both Apple's design philosophy and its sustainability initiatives.
(Text by Khushi S Tandon, intern at STIRworld)
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