Apple Retail Store Designs to take a New Direction

17th April 2013

Remember our blog piece back in February about Apple’s iconic global store design and how it had been emulated by bogus Apple stores in China, where even the staff thought they were working in an actual Apple Store? Following this blatant infringement of copyright, Apple then sought to attain groundbreaking patents on their retail store designs to prevent it happening in the future.

Photo by Kaiyu Wu on Unsplash

Photo by Kaiyu Wu on Unsplash

Despite successfully achieving a patent on their store design in the US, with expected global patents to follow, reports this week suggest that Apple are now planning to redevelop their retail store design strategy by appointing award-winning British architect Norman Foster’s architecture firm, Foster and Partners to revamp their stores.

Based in London, Foster and Partners were recently hired by Apple to design their new 5 billion ‘spaceship’ campus which is currently being developed in Cuperino, California (pictured) described as ‘one of the most ambitious building projects ever undertaken’ – particularly for a corporate headquarters. Some of Foster’s other iconic work includes the Gherkin building in London and the Hearst Tower in New York. He also worked with Sir Richard Branson and Philippe Starck on the Virgin Galactic project.

According to reports Foster and Partners will be replacing 8 Inc (who designed Apple’s designed Apple’s flagship 5th Avenue and Regent Street Stores) as primary architect on all Apple stores.

The shift to Foster and Partners is not seen as new Apple CEO Tim Cook making his stamp on the brand, but rather as part of their ongoing strategy to keep their ideas fresh and stay ahead of their competition. The ‘Space Camp’ HQ project has been a long time coming and Steve Jobs had a major role in selecting Foster and Partners to complete the work, so this shift in direction and retail design can simply be seen as a continuation of the brand ethos rather than a complete change of direction and here at Barber, we will be very interested to see what Apple and the new architects produce.