Foster + Partners has completed its latest project for Apple with the new Apple Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi. Crafted in collaboration with Apple’s design team, the store occupies a large shaded plaza elevated above a public promenade on the waterfront of the United Arab Emirates capital. A pyramidal water feature paved with Absolute Black granite theatrically boosts the design’s curb appeal, rendering the glazed rectilinear structure akin to a glistening pearl overlooking the city and coastline.
“The design of Apple Al Maryah Island is all about the view of the extraordinary skyline of Abu Dhabi and creating an experiential route for visitors, as they walk through surrounded by the calming water and mirrors,” says Foster + Partners head of studio Stefan Behling. “It seeks to draw the vitality of the waterfront promenade through the site and into the store, blurring the boundaries between inside and outside, and generating an exhilarating and inspirational Apple store.”
The plaza’s black granite spreads into the store, which visitors enter via a mirrored stainless-steel portal enveloped in the sight and sound of water jets cascading down the external glass walls. A 72-foot-long jointless mirror foil ceiling further heightens the drama of the design with a single uninterrupted plane that serves as a kaleidoscopic reflection of the water feature.
Ficus trees were also planted throughout the sunny interior to contextualize the 19-foot-tall ceilings, which are accented with stretched gold fabric for enhanced acoustics. Additionally, radiant floor systems were installed with displacement ventilation to cool the building.