Foster + Partners has unveiled images of Milan’s newest Apple Store—and it’s just as strikingly gorgeous as we expected. Building off of Apple’s “Town Square” retail store concept and the city’s legacy of impressive public piazzas, the Apple Piazza Liberty Store features a new public plaza where locals and visitors can gather and enjoy views of a new dramatic fountain. The store is sunken below grade and includes a spacious, light-filled interior with mature live trees set in raised planters.
Located off of Corso Vittorio Emanuele, one of the most popular pedestrian streets in the city, Apple Piazza Liberty grabs attention with its stunning fountain made up of two rectilinear pools and vertical water jets. Visitors can observe the fountain from the broad stone steps of the Amphitheater leading down to the sunken Apple Store or enter the fountain through the 26-foot-tall glass-covered entrance enveloped by dramatic views and sounds of cascading water.
“[It’s] an immersive recreation of the childhood game of running through fountains, the experience changes throughout the day as sunlight filters through the water, while at night the glass ceiling creates a kaleidoscopic effect, with the water falling down the walls, and its reflections travelling infinitely up the sky,” explain the architects in their press release. Stefan Behling, Head of Studio at Foster + Partners, adds: “The fountain is an expression of child-like excitement that speaks to each one of us. In its simplicity, it echoes the idea of walking into a big fountain without getting wet, and the joy of being alive.”
The fountain’s waterfall effect can be seen below-grade in a second wall of water at the base of the Amphitheater. The Amphitheater steps and surrounding plaza were paved with Beola Grigia, a luminous local stone from Lombardy, and flanked by 21 new Gleditisia Sunburst trees. Inside, the interior is “metaphorically carved from the same stone as the plaza above,” with a stepped ceiling and skylights that let in natural light.
Images by Nigel Young/ Foster + Partners