Look inside Singapore's ‘floating’ Apple Store before it opens on Thursday

Designed to be a gathering place... in a time when gathering is anything but recommended.

Apple has finally shared an inside look at Apple Marina Bay Sands, the spherical store constructed to appear as if it’s floating on water. The company calls it a “new and captivating retail experience,” and we have to agree.

Apple Marina Bay Sands is the first Apple Store to be entirely surrounded by water. Its unique design allows bright sunlight to filter in, making Apple’s products look more beautiful than ever before. One gets the sense that, if the company had its way, every Apple Store would be this open, allowing it to showcase its products to the nth degree.

The Apple Marina Bay Sands store will accept its first customers on Thursday, September 10, at 10 a.m. Singapore time. And yes — everyone will be required to wear masks and check their temperature at the door.


A truly international experience — It isn’t just the store’s housing that’s been meticulously designed. Apple has curated the entire Marina Bay Sands experience to be one welcoming to both Singapore residents and travelers alike.

Apple has hired 148 employees for the new store, and they collectively speak “over 23 languages.” Singapore’s Marina Bay is a popular tourist destination; Apple has very much kept this in mind when hand-picking every aspect of the location’s new store. It's also located in a heavily trafficked downtown location that will be very familiar to residents.

A gathering place… with appointments — If there’s any tension in Apple’s new store unveiling, it’s that created by the continued existence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apple Marina Bay Sands is designed to be a gathering place. The company says the building design was inspired by the Roman Pantheon — the blueprint for a place to congregate.


The store is designed to pull you in and keep you there, with dramatic views and even a Video Wall, which is meant to serve as “the stage for Today at Apple sessions featuring Singapore’s artists, musicians, and creators.” There’s even an "underwater" Boardroom for entrepreneur meetings and training sessions.


Unfortunately, though, Apple Marina Bay Sands is going to be quite limited by the ongoing pandemic. Visits to the store will be by appointment only for the opening on Thursday and, most likely, for the foreseeable future. Each ticket is nontransferable and admits only one person.

This is Apple’s most impressive retail experience yet — that much is undeniable. But launching it in the middle of a pandemic might stifle the hype a bit.