Apple’s floating on water store opens in Singapore

Apple Marina Bay Sands

Apple’s most ambitious retail store, Apple Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, which sits on water, has opened.

The store appearing as a sphere floating on the iridescent Marina Bay is at one of the most iconic locations in Singapore.

Entirely surrounded by water, Apple Marina Bay Sands offers uninterrupted 360-degree panoramic views of the city and its spectacular skyline. The sphere is a first-of-its-kind. It features an all-glass dome structure that is fully self-supported and comprised of 114 pieces of glass with only 10 narrow vertical mullions for structural connection.

Apple Marina Bay Sands
The dome structure of the floating Apple Marina Bay Sands retail store. Photo: Apple

The design is the result of a close collaboration between the design teams at Apple and the integrated engineering and design team at Foster + Partners.

“Apple Marina Bay Sands is all about the delicate interplay between transparency and shade. The structure dissolves the boundary between the inside and outside, creating a minimal platform that floats gently in the water, looking out over the bay and the spectacular Singapore skyline,” David Summerfield, Foster + Partners said.

Inspired by the Pantheon in Rome, an oculus located at the apex of the dome provides a flooding ray of light that travels through the space, Apple said in a press statement. The interior of the glass is lined with custom baffles, each uniquely shaped to counter sun angles and provide a nighttime lighting effect. With trees lining the interior of the dome, the green garden city of Singapore flows into the store, providing additional shading and soft shadows through the foliage.

“We couldn’t be more excited to open the breathtaking Apple Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, building on our commitment to this special place that began more than 40 years ago,” said Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail + People. “Our passionate and talented team is ready to welcome this community to our new store and deliver the care and support that our customers around the world love.”

To enter the the store, people walk along a 45-metre-long underwater entrance tunnel from Basement 2 of The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands before taking the escalator to the store.

Visitors entering the store encounter a dramatic reveal into the massive volume of the dome, where they can explore curated Apple products and accessories, receive personal technical support from Geniuses, or simply take in the stunning view of Marina Bay. The Forum is centered around a Video Wall, which will serve as the stage for Today at Apple sessions featuring Singapore’s artists, musicians, and creators. Entrepreneurs and developers interested in receiving training and advice can meet with Apple team members in Apple’s first underwater Boardroom, located on the lower level of the store.

Apple has been in Singapore for more than 40 years, beginning with the first corporate office in Ang Mo Kio. In 1981, the team was responsible for producing the majority of printed circuit boards for Apple II computers worldwide. Since then, Apple has expanded its corporate and retail presence, and now supports over 55,000 jobs across the entire Apple ecosystem.

The 148-person team at Apple Marina Bay Sands, who collectively speak over 23 languages, will welcome visitors for the first time on Thursday, September 10 at 10 am SGT. The store implemented the same health measures for both employees and visitors seen across all Apple Store locations, including a mask requirement, temperature checks, and social distancing.

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