Described as one of the greenest Apple spaces to date, the flagship Apple store in Singapore has a range of indoor greenery to break down barriers between the indoor and outdoor spaces.
Singapore's official ranking as the greenest city in Asia informed the design of Apple Orchard Road, the first Apple flagship in the city. The building’s most prominent feature is the eight mature trees that line the store's entrance. Not to be missed, the 12 ficus trees inside the store also command attention in a city renowned for its impressive urban greenery.
In addition to the green focus of the vegetation within and around the store, the building itself integrates an array of sustainable technologies – meaning all of its energy comes from renewable sources.
"This is one of our greenest Apple spaces yet," said architect Stefan Behling, who is head of studio at Foster + Partners.
"It breaks down the boundaries between the inside and outside, with the greenery cascading through the store from the mezzanine to the ground floor and out onto Orchard Road, creating the most welcoming civic gesture."
In line with the now-familiar Apple Store aesthetic, the store features a minimal glass facade measuring 36.5 metres wide. This is sheltered beneath a slender cantilevered canopy, offering protection from Singapore's notorious tropical showers.
The eight mature trees stand in front of this facade, framing a public square at the entrance. The aim was to create a green orchard that pays tribute to the fruit and nutmeg trees that once occupied the area.
Inside, the two-storey space is framed by walls of Italian Castagna stone, which integrate the two hand-carved spiral staircases. The architects describe these as "warm and beautifully sculpted bookends" that offer "an homage to craftsmanship and materiality".
The ficus trees are located on both levels, planted in the same donut-shaped pots seen in previous stores, but the majority can be found up on the mezzanine.
Called the Genius Grove, rather than the Genius Bar, this space is the largest of its kind in any Apple Store worldwide. It is slightly set back from the facade behind a simple glass balustrade, creating a double-height atrium below.