Apple brings in the green

The newest Apple store in Macau has been filled with greenery to reflecting a growing desire for an inviting, contemplative space where technology and arts come together.

Foster + Partners once again joined forces with Apple’s design team — led by Jonathan Ive and Angela Ahrendts — to create a greenery-filled store in Macau.


Providing a stark contrast to the bustling city, Apple Cotai Central appears as a welcoming luminescent cube set within a quiet bamboo grove and an external plaza.

Access to the apple store is provided via the plaza, a space that forms an “urban room” that draws people into the site. The structure itself has been conceptualised by Foster + Partners as a “paper lantern”, which surrounds visitors with glowing stone panels. These interior elevations shimmer throughout the day, while at night the cube radiates a warm glow. The façade comprises five layers of glass integrated with incredibly thin layers of stone, a composition that lends the building its distinctive materiality.

A bamboo grove at the centre of the scheme pierces the soaring atrium, which is topped with a large skylight. The ground level is wrapped in a glazed façade that looks onto a layered bamboo screen, providing a heightened sense of enclosure. Two grand stone staircases lead to the upper level, lit by skylight strips that bring in filtered natural light. Here, display tables are arranged around the central atrium looking onto the bamboo grove below.

“We wanted to create something very simple and pure — a beautiful and elegant building that complements the sounds, sights and colours of Macau, while embodying a sense of clarity and quietude,” explains Stefan Behling, head of studio, Foster + Partners. “The design creates two distinct spaces, one inside and one outside, imbued with a sense of authentic beauty arising from the innovative use of natural materials.”

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