The first Apple store to be designed under the direction of Jony Ive opened today in Brussels, reports Dezeen.
Jony Ive is recognized as the creative force behind Apple’s renowned minimalist aesthetic, and in May, 2015, was promoted to chief design officer, an overarching role that will see Ive assume full control of the company’s design department.
The new Apple store is expected to set the tone for radical changes to come in the look and layout of Apple’s Retail spaces, and exemplify the new design direction.
The redesign of Apple’s stores is believed to have been a collaborative effort led by Ive and Apple Retail SVP Angela Ahrendts, the former CEO of luxury brand Burberry, reports 9to5Mac.
The reimagining of Apple’s Store design has been so thorough that Apple are rumored to have begun co-designing packaging for third-party accessories that will be sold in the stores to ensure a seamless aesthetic with meticulous continuity.
The new Brussels Apple Store is set within a structure designed by the firm UNStudio and Jaspers-Eyers Architects, an abstract building with curved glass exterior panels that extend to the full double height of the Apple Store’s interior, broken up and supported by two undulating columns.
The interior shares design elements consist with some existing stores, such as a minimal use of color, light concrete-toned walls, wooden furnishings, and transparent glass.
Light-boxes run the length of the ceiling and resemble the lighting arrangement used in Foster and Partner’s Apple Store in Hangzhou, China.
Symmetrical rows of tables perfectly ordered, and made from sequoia wood, host Apple’s flagship devices, iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
At the far end of the interior space is a wall devoted to a large cinematic and panoramic screen which displays images and animations of Apple products.
Accessories, such as Beats headphones and iPad smart cases, are set within open recess cabinets that run the length of the store’s longest wall.
The most striking new feature is a promenade created by two rows of six-meter-high trees, which is in keeping with the use of natural imagery that runs through Apple’s aesthetic DNA.
Complementing this sense of technology associated with nature is the increased use of natural finishes and timber surfaces, more than would be encountered at any of the existing Apple stores.
The new Brussels Apple store shares design elements with a proposed retail space near Memphis, confirming the expectation that Brussels will be a pioneer store, a glimpse of the future Apple retail experience.
[Image via Apple/Video credit Juan-José Gebruers]