This morning in Seattle, Apple welcomed customers to a striking new store in the heart of University Village, an upscale shopping center near the University of Washington. 9to5Mac reader Kim Ahlberg stopped by the store and snapped some photos of the new design elements on display.

With a low-slung roofline and intensely contemporary architecture, the new Apple University Village stands in stark contrast to the company’s outgoing location next door. We previously detailed the shopping center’s history and how Apple has the opportunity to cultivate a warm, community atmosphere through friendly and accessible design.

This morning at 9:30 a.m., customers streamed onto the store’s breezy porch, where visitors can stop to sit and chat. The Seattle Times detailed some of the project’s impressive new design elements, including the custom teak Adirondack chairs set outside. 9-foot wide glass panels let fresh air and customers inside, where sound dampened, wood-lined ceilings are split only by aluminum bands running to structural columns.

Perhaps the most impressive parts of the new store are two planting beds, one inside, where Japanese maple trees have been planted. Skylights above provide even more natural light inside. Natural elements are a key design element at University Village. A green wall nestled between two Avenue displays provides a quiet place to relax and wirelessly charge your iPhone. Above, the roof is planted with sedum. Saddle brown leather upholstered benches provide a view of the indoor garden. Seattle’s store is only the second to receive the new style of seating. The first was Apple Cotai Central in Macau, which opened yesterday.

Another highlight is the store’s massive video wall, a staple element in new stores, but critically important to Today at Apple, the educational and community-driven series of sessions Apple rolled out worldwide last year. According to SVP Angela Ahrendts, retail strategies must evolve beyond selling in order to remain relevant.

Behind closed doors lies the store’s new Boardroom, a private place for business meetings and collaborations. These spaces have traditionally been reserved for only the largest stores, but have recently made their way to more and more new projects.

Elsewhere in the U.S. this morning, Apple Palo Alto reopened after a brief, 48-day renovation. We brought you a comprehensive gallery of the changes. The modest update is the first Apple store to receive the company’s new retail layout while maintaining many classic design elements. This evening in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Apple The Pier will close permanently after over 11 years in business. The store is only the third worldwide to ever close without a replacement.

Follow along with our retail guide for more Apple store news.

Update: More detail shots from 9to5Mac’s Peter Cao:

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Michael Steeber

Michael is a Creative Editor who covered Apple Retail and design on 9to5Mac. His stories highlighted the work of talented artists, designers, and customers through a unique lens of architecture, creativity, and community.

Contact Michael on Twitter to share Apple Retail, design, and history stories: @MichaelSteeber