Drawing from the region’s Art Deco building style, the latest Apple retail store at Aventura Mall in Miami, Florida, personifies the city’s fervour, openness and generosity within its open, flowing space and choice of materials. Designed by Foster + Partners, in close collaboration with the design team at Apple, led by chief design officer Sir Jonathan Ive, Apple Aventura’s design demonstrates skilled accordance to Florida’s climate, light and culture. Its white, wavy roof reminds one of Miami’s nautical and architectural heritage, while the store’s double storeys provide a platform for cultivating creativity and innovation, intrinsic to Apple’s products and work force.
The Apple store is located at the new wing of the lively Aventura Mall, with its ground level right next to the mall’s entrance plaza, and a fountain featuring the Aventura Slide Tower by Carsten Höller (a public art sculpture). Articulating Miami’s cultural and artistic stance and adding further into the modern expression of Miami’s culture, Apple Aventura aims at bringing people together under one (it's own) roof, creating a dynamic destination.
This store is very ‘Miami’ to me – its special trees, the light and the new roof. It is also quintessentially Apple, marrying the outdoor lifestyle with a sense of freedom and creativity that is intrinsic to the way we work. - Sir Jonathan Ive
Visitors at the Apple store are welcomed into a densely planted, verdant garden, with teak tables and chairs. The garden’s design is reflective of Miami’s outdoor lifestyle, offering a place for relaxation, and acting as an outdoor Genius Grove (Apple retail store selling products in sleek designed spaces, a rebranding of the ‘Apple Bar’).
The undulating roof of the structure is irrefutably the cynosure of the building. The extraordinary vaulted roof is made from white precast concrete elements - its 24.3m concrete beams span 18.3m between slender columns of steel, which are clad with concrete casing. In between the beams, 6m wide arches of concrete span to form the distinct barrel-vaulted ceiling. A white fabric covers its underside for diminished acoustics.
Stefan Behling, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners, says, “We love the honesty and purity of the concrete. The language and materiality at Apple Aventura Mall are inspired by Miami’s white Art Deco traditions and climate, making it an expression of its place and culture. This is the first Apple store to feature white precast concrete as the predominant structural system and it is also a continuation of the materiality we explored at Apple Park.”
An extensive flight of steps populates the interior, forming an amphitheatre that faces the Forum screen. The open plan layout has integrated charging stations and leather seating, where visitors can watch and experience Apple’s varied programme of talks and Apple Music events, along with hosting appointments with Apple Geniuses. These sweeping steps are the social heart of the store, connecting the internal entrance to the plaza below.
The building directs the visitor’s attention to the see-through, spacious interior, owing to its glazed façade, which allows the indoors to feel like an extension of the outdoors with a naturally lit and calm setting. The massive double height hall of the Apple store is shaded by the white, vaulted roof, seamlessly housing within it a grove of trees and an array of display tables.
Foster + Partners conveys freedom and ingenuity with Apple Aventura, an astute expression of Miami’s culture and climate, and ultimately and quintessentially Apple in its design and intent.
Name of the Project: Apple Ventura
Location: Miami, Florida, USA
Year of completion: 2019
Architect: Foster + Partners, in collaboration with Apple’s design team led by Sir Jonathan Ive