An increased focus on community engagement matches characteristically sleek design at the Apple store that will open on Saturday in San Francisco. It’s a manifestation of the company’s mission to remain “egalitarian and accessible.” So even if you can’t afford the $750 iPhone 6s, Apple’s futuristic flagship offers an art-filled plaza that’s open to the public 24 hours a day.
The new storefront boasts 42-foot tall sliding glass doors, creating a transparent design that seamlessly merges the inside and outside environments. Completely powered by renewable energy, with a large portion produced by photovoltaic panels on the building’s roof, the new design appropriately coincides with the growing concern of climate change.
The store also has a 50-foot tall “green wall,” and while that’s great, it also offers free wifi, and a place for people to sit and relax. Inside the new Apple store, there’s a section called the Avenue, inspired by displays along a boulevard that change seasonally, features themed windows where Creative Pros offer advice and showcase Apple’s variety of products. At the Genius Grove — forget the antiquated Genius Bar — customers can receive assistance from Apple Geniuses beneath a canopy of trees.
A new program called “Today at Apple” brings together the community through programs for kids, monthly events for teachers, sessions for developers, and several other creative initiatives. Centered around a 6K Video Wall in a new area of the store called The Forum, Today at Apple represents a crucial facet of discovery in the store’s new design. More business-oriented customers can receive training and assistance from Apple’s business team in a smaller and more focused space called The Boardroom.
In a press release for the new flagship store, Apple’s senior VP of online and retail stores Angela Ahrendts says the company is “not just evolving our store design, but its purpose and greater role in the community as we educate and entertain visitors and serve our network of local entrepreneurs.” In other words, waiting around for your appointment with a Genius just got a lot more exciting.