Apple’s latest retail store has drawn comparisons to a floating lantern, with a unique design incorporating a glass dome that sits directly on the water of Singapore’s Marina Bay. We first saw a glimpse of the store, the company’s third in Singapore and 512th worldwide, a few weeks ago, and the iPhone-maker has now shared new pictures of the building’s interior, which opens to visitors on Thursday, September 10th.
The store is called the Apple Marina Bay Sands, and is located in a luxury district of Singapore full of shops, restaurants, and the Marina Bay Sands hotel and casino. The sphere is constructed from 114 individual pieces of glass held in place by 10 vertical mullions (the architectural term for supporting bars between panes of glass in a window), and Apple says the dome is a first-of-its kind construction: all-glass and fully self-supporting.
On the interior wall of the sphere there are baffles that create shade and what Apple is calling a “nighttime lighting effect.” At the top of the sphere is an oculus that lets in sunlight, which Apple says was inspired by the Pantheon in Rome. As well as a shop floor with all the usual gadgets on display, the dome houses a video screen and seating area to host the various talks and tutorials Apple likes to give at its stores.
Underneath the dome and the surface of the bay is a lower level. Apple says this space includes the company’s “first underwater Boardroom,” where “entrepreneurs and developers interested in receiving training and advice can meet with Apple team members.”
“We couldn’t be more excited to open the breathtaking Apple Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, building on our commitment to this special place that began more than 40 years ago,” said Apple’s senior vice president of Retail + People, Deirdre O’Brien, in a press statement. “Our passionate and talented team is ready to welcome this community to our new store and deliver the care and support that our customers around the world love.”
But perhaps the most impressive thing about the new store is not physical at all, it’s something that the staff supply. According to Apple, the Marina Bay Sands’ 148-person team collectively speak 23 languages: a fact that makes the shop more welcoming to visitors than any architectural flourish.
For a closer look inside the store, check out this video from local Singapore news source, Mothership.sg: