“Fifteen years ago today Apple opened its first two stores and we’re thrilled to mark the occasion with the opening of Apple Union Square in San Francisco,” said Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail and Online Stores. “We are not just evolving our store design, but its purpose and greater role in the community as we educate and entertain visitors and serve our network of local entrepreneurs.”
The images above and below were shared online today by @harrymcracken, @panzer and others attending the preview event for press. The new store features a number of new design elements, including changes to the layout for its Genius Bar that will be known as “Genius Grove” at the new store, and a number of new specialized areas throughout.
Some notable features of the store include the massive front doors measuring 20ft high and 40ft wide, while the back side of the Apple Store backs on to a public plaza that Apple remodelled extensively during construction.
The building’s unique position connects San Francisco’s most famous square to a rejuvenated plaza to the north, creating a beautiful gathering place for the community. The art-filled plaza offers seating, public Wi-Fi, a 50-foot tall “green wall” and regular acoustic performances. The store is powered by 100 percent renewable energy, including power produced by photovoltaic panels integrated into the building’s roof.
Apple highlighted a revamped layout for the store during the preview including a new position called ‘Creative Pro’ that will offer consultations on specific topics in a new area that Apple is calling ‘The Avenue’. There are also three other new locations within the store: a ‘boardroom’ for small business customers, a new “forum” video wall, and a revamped “Genius Grove” that ditches the old bar-style:
Here’s Apple’s description of the new store areas and Creative Pro position:
- “The Avenue,” inspired by the window displays along a boulevard that dynamically change with the season. Avenue walls are interactive themed “windows” where Apple’s products and services come to life, from music, to creativity, apps, photography and more. New “Creative Pros,” Apple experts in creative arts, offer advice and expertise at each of the displays. Customers will also find “Only at Apple” products on the Avenue, a curated collection of third-party accessories.
- “Genius Grove” invites customers to get support working side-by-side with Geniuses under the comfortable canopy of local trees in the heart of the store.
- “The Forum” is a vibrant gathering place, centered around a 6K Video Wall. It is home to “Today at Apple,” which brings to the community the world’s most talented artists, photographers, musicians, gamers, developers and entrepreneurs to inspire and educate our customers to go further with the things they are passionate about. Today at Apple includes year-round programs for kids, new monthly events for teachers, sessions for current and aspiring developers, Creative Sessions in partnership with local experts in creative arts, Game Night with editors from Apple’s App Store® and more. The Forum and Video Wall are a place of discovery, including events about the making of movies from iTunes®, or exclusive premieres of new music and music videos from Apple Music™.
- “The Plaza” will be found only at Apple’s most significant stores, including Apple Union Square. It’s open to the public 24 hours a day, features public Wi-Fi and seating, and takes Today at Apple outside, with a regular weekend series of well known local acoustic performances such as Travis Hayes and global talents like Escondido, who will then give exclusive interviews about their craft in the Forum. The Plaza at Apple Union Square features a fountain by well-known San Francisco sculptor Ruth Asawa, originally commissioned in 1969, and a new work, “Love” by local artist Laura Kimpton, commissioned by Hyatt Hotels.
- “The Boardroom” is an intimate space where the store’s Business Team offers hands-on advice and training to entrepreneurs, developers and other small and medium business customers.
Apple has made other improvements throughout the store too:
In the photos below we see some interesting new stools that Apple has at the Union Square store:
And here’s an image Apple shared of what the new public space behind the store will look like when it finishes renovating:
As an additional effort alongside the opening of the new store, Apple noted that it’s building a “visual arts lab with 45 workstations outfitted with the latest Apple products” for the nearby Ruth Asawa School of the Arts.
The Union Square Apple Store in San Francisco is set to open this weekend on Saturday, May 21st at 10am local time. Apple will be shutting down the current San Francisco Apple Store at May 20 at 9:00pm as the new store becomes the flagship Apple retail location in the city.
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