Apple may be planning a significant upgrade to its retail store in Vancouver’s Pacific Centre shopping mall. Plans unearthed by Daily Hive Vancouver reveal an expansive, multilevel glass pavilion destined to replace the mall’s rotunda entrance.
In a series of public development documents submitted to the City of Vancouver by Perkins+Will Architects and mall owner Cadillac Fairview, a multi-phase refresh of the Pacific Centre shopping mall is detailed. Cadillac Fairview has been planning a redesign of the mall plaza at Georgia and Howe streets since at least 2016, but the latest documents show an updated design that deemphasizes the mall entrance in favor of a “retail pavilion” that aligns perfectly with Apple’s architecture style.
Placed on a 45 degree angle at the busy downtown intersection, the new Apple Pacific Centre could feature broad stone walls and a multilevel curved glass facade topped by a rounded, wood planked ceiling. The design loosely follows smaller upcoming stores planned at Atlanta’s Lenox Square and Tysons Galleria. Similar to San Francisco’s Union Square flagship, a green wall may anchor the rear of the store. Trees and benches dotted around the plaza further strengthen the structure’s connection to nature.
“Durable, natural materials have been selected for all exterior finishes,” the application’s design rationale states. “These materials include a warm gray limestone cladding, robust granite paving, wood soffits, low-iron glass, and metal-panel roofing.”
Interior blueprints show a multilevel space with room for a significant sales area and sprawling Forum. A set of stone stairs and an elevator would be nestled behind the Video Wall. The tentative plans are particularly striking when compared with the current scale of Apple’s operations at the Pacific Centre. The company’s existing store opened in 2008 and fills a tiny sliver of the mall’s upper level, making it a prime candidate for expansion.
As Apple reimagines its stores across the world with Today at Apple-first designs, cramped and outdated locations can no longer offer the full Apple retail experience. None of Apple’s six stores in British Columbia have been updated with contemporary design elements as of this writing.
Just this past week, Apple introduced 58 new Today at Apple sessions and reiterated its plans to upgrade existing classic store locations with modern fixtures. As Apple ramps up its free community initiatives and faces ever-growing customer demand, projects similar to Vancouver’s proposal will become more important than ever to the continued success of Apple retail. Expect to see stores of this magnitude become the norm, not the exception.
Elsewhere in Canada, an earlier report by MacRumors suggests that Toronto’s Eaton Centre will see a new and improved Apple store. In the Netherlands, iCulture reports that Apple Amsterdam could soon be remodeled to add a Video Wall. Switzerland’s Apple Glattzentrum may also be on the upgrade schedule.
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