Apple Opens New Flagship Store in Chicago

The strategic riverfront location will help connect the shop with the Chicago River and North Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile. The main idea of the design was to minimize the boundary between the city and the river.

Apple Michigan Avenue
Apple Michigan Avenue

Apple has opened Apple Michigan Avenue, a new flagship store in Chicago, designed to create a connection between North Michigan Avenue, Pioneer Court and the Chicago River. Foster + Partners handled the design of the store.

“Apple Michigan Avenue is about removing boundaries between inside and outside, reviving important urban connections within the city,” Jonathan Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, said in a company release. “It unites a historic city plaza that had been cut off from the water, giving Chicago a dynamic new arena that flows effortlessly down to the river.”

The store boasts an extremely thin Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer roof profile; 10-foot to 17-foot long roof overhang on all four sides for solar protection and open views; brushed stainless steel structural columns; and four layers of half-inch thick laminated ultra-low-iron glass façade.

Innovative Design

The idea behind the design was to minimize the boundary between the city and the Chicago River. Located at the intersection of the Chicago River and North Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile, the store flows from Pioneer Court to the edge of the river, bringing about a new link between the city and the river. The store is connected to the Pioneer Court by granite staircases on both sides, opening up views from the plaza to the river and beyond.

“Apple Michigan Avenue is about removing boundaries between inside and outside, reviving important urban connections within the city,” Ive said. “It unites a historic city plaza that had been cut off from the water, giving Chicago a dynamic new arena that flows effortlessly down to the river.”

The store will include “The Chicago Series,” a set of five programs, each with a different area of focus at the intersection of technology and liberal arts, hosted over the course of the next month. Each program is co-created with local non-profits and creative organizations.

Apple originally opened its first-ever flagship store on North Michigan Avenue in 2003, and this latest project is said to be the first in a new generation of Apple’s most significant worldwide retail locations. The original store has served more than 23 million customers. In total, the Chicagoland area boats nine Apple stores and employ approximately 1,300 employees.

Last year, Apple introduced its first-ever green-inspired store in San Francisco, showing its commitment to innovation and the environment.

Photo courtesy of Apple