A new Apple Store has just opened in downtown Chicago—and it’s an architectural beauty. Designed by Foster + Partners, Apple Michigan Avenue follows the tech giant’s new (and controversial) “Town Square” store concept in which stores are meant to serve as community hubs rather than simply commercial spaces. Naming aside, the new Apple flagship is a stunner with wraparound glazing and an ultra-thin carbon fiber roof in the recognizable shape of a Macbook cover.



Apple Michigan Avenue by Foster + Partners, Apple stores by Foster + Partners, Apple Town Square Chicago, Chicago Apple flagship, carbon fiber floating roof, carbon fiber roof, Apple Michigan Avenue

Apple Michigan Avenue by Foster + Partners, Apple stores by Foster + Partners, Apple Town Square Chicago, Chicago Apple flagship, carbon fiber floating roof, carbon fiber roof, Apple Michigan Avenue

Located along the Chicago riverfront on North Michigan Avenue’s ‘Magnificent Mile,’ Apple Michigan Avenue was envisioned as a bridge between the city and the river. Granite staircases that flank the store step down to the waterfront from the historic Pioneer Court urban plaza. Massive curved glass walls wrap around the building on all sides, while four slender columns support an extremely thin floating roof.

Apple Michigan Avenue by Foster + Partners, Apple stores by Foster + Partners, Apple Town Square Chicago, Chicago Apple flagship, carbon fiber floating roof, carbon fiber roof, Apple Michigan Avenue

Apple Michigan Avenue by Foster + Partners, Apple stores by Foster + Partners, Apple Town Square Chicago, Chicago Apple flagship, carbon fiber floating roof, carbon fiber roof, Apple Michigan Avenue

Related: First Apple Store in Southeast Asia is 100% powered by renewable energy

“We fundamentally believe in great urban life, creating new gathering places, and connecting people in an analog way within an increasingly digital world,” said Stefan Behling, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners. “The design of Apple Michigan Avenue embodies this in its structure and materiality with a glass wall that dissolves into the background, revealing the only visible element of the building – its floating carbon fiber roof.” Interior stairs double as seating for Apple Michigan Avenue’s “forum,” the events space for talks about photography and coding, and hub of Today at Apple.

+ Foster + Partners

Images by Neil Young

Apple Michigan Avenue by Foster + Partners, Apple stores by Foster + Partners, Apple Town Square Chicago, Chicago Apple flagship, carbon fiber floating roof, carbon fiber roof, Apple Michigan Avenue

Apple Michigan Avenue by Foster + Partners, Apple stores by Foster + Partners, Apple Town Square Chicago, Chicago Apple flagship, carbon fiber floating roof, carbon fiber roof, Apple Michigan Avenue