Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

The Evolution of the Apple Store

After a partway implementation of Jony Ive’s redesigned retail store concept at the Upper East Side location in New York, Apple is opening the first location based on this redesign in Brussels tomorrow. From the photos published in this media preview, it looks like a slightly warmer interpretation of the formula — there’s lots of mid-tone wood, accessories neatly tucked-away, and clay walls — blended with the cavernous look of the recent large flagship stores.

The giant screen — to be used for events, as well as largely replacing the backlit product photos that usually line the walls — throws me off a little, though. It could just be the photos, but it doesn’t appear centred, and the giant black “chin” across the bottom is quite pronounced. Based on these photos, it doesn’t look as well-considered as the rest of the store, though I suppose there are few ways to make a gigantic screen look less imposing.

The new Genius Bar sounds a little less hectic (this is the Google translation of the linked article):

The Genius Bar is unique and completely redesigned. In the middle of the Apple Store you can find eight trees where you can sit and where there are two large tables. That zone in the store serves as a Genius Bar for those who so need technical support. If Apple wants to create a feeling of cosiness and openness. So you wait on the benches among the trees to a Genius can help you further. Believe us, it is truly beautiful.

Previously, only the Bondi, Australia store had live trees inside. Looks like the renovated corporate store isn’t getting the trees, but is gaining the warmer wood and giant screens.