After 18 months of construction, Apple has revealed its new Michigan Avenue flagship store on the Chicago River, an all-glass building that’s “blurring the lines between inside and outside.”
Designed by Foster + Partners, a London-based architecture firm, the 20,000-square-foot store at 401 N. Michigan Ave. is slated to open to the public Friday at 5 p.m.
The store, which cost about $27 million to build, has that classic Apple store look and feel to it, with a modern design and rows of merchandise on simplistic wood tables. But the design is amplified by two grand staircases at the entrance that take patrons down to tables of iPhones, Apple watches and Macbooks, as well as indoor trees and outdoor river walk seating.
Apple and Foster + Partners worked with city officials to design the store in a way that included ample public space, said Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of retail.
“Hopefully this exemplifies a place where everyone’s welcome,” Ahrendts said. “Apple retail has always been about more than just selling. It’s always been about a place for human connection, and that’s the future of retail.”
As part of the opening, Apple is engaging the local community in its “Chicago Series,” a month-long set of varying events, beginning Oct. 21. Events will include photography and music workshops, as well as more tech-centered ones, some of which will be hosted in partnership with local tech incubators 1871 and Blue 1647. Tech events include app-development classes and startup workshops. To see the full event schedule, go here.
Apple’s existing flagship, downtown store at 679 N. Michigan Ave. closed its doors for good last night, moving operations to the new store this morning. Here’s a peek at what it looks like: