Bobbing for ‘Apples’ has a new meaning with floating store

On September 10, 2020, Apple unveiled what it calls its ‘most ambitious retail project’ to date, the project, which is the first Apple store to sit directly on the water, appears as a floating ‘apple’ that offers uninterrupted 360-degree panoramic views of the city and its famous skyline.

Designed in close collaboration with foster + partners, the sphere is an all-glass dome structure that is fully self-supported, comprised of 114 pieces of glass with only 10 narrow vertical mullions for structural connection.


Internally, an oculus — inspired by the pantheon in Rome — is located at the apex of the dome, providing a flooding ray of light that travels through the space. The interior of the glass is lined with custom baffles, each uniquely shaped to counter sun angles and provide a night time lighting effect. apple and foster + partners lined the interior with trees, allowing the green garden city of Singapore to permeate the space, while providing additional shading and soft shadows through the foliage.

Once inside, visitors can explore curated products and accessories, receive personal technical support, or simply take in views of marina bay. A focal point for the space is a video wall, which serves as the stage for ‘Today at Apple’ sessions featuring Singapore’s artists, musicians, and creators. Entrepreneurs and developers interested in receiving training and advice can meet with apple team members in the company’s first underwater boardroom, located on the lower level of the store.

‘Apple marina bay sands is all about the delicate interplay between transparency and shade,’ explains David Summerfield, foster + partners. ‘The structure dissolves the boundary between the inside and outside, creating a minimal platform that floats gently in the water, looking out over the bay and the spectacular Singapore skyline.’ Stefan Behling, also of foster + partners, adds: ‘the dome appears ephemeral. The effect is very calming, and the changing intensity and colour of the light is mesmerizing. It is not only a celebration of apple’s incredible products, but a celebration of light.’

Images Finbarr Fallon via Design Boom

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