Unapologetically arbored: First Apple Retail Store designed under Jony Ive

Jonathan Ive is Apple’s Chief Design Officer, reporting to CEO Tim Cook. Jony is responsible for all design at Apple, including the look and feel of Apple hardware, user interface, packaging, major architectural projects such as Apple Campus 2 and Apple’s retail stores, as well as new ideas and future initiatives.

“An Apple store with trees?” Jenny Xie reports for Curbed. “That seems unthinkable for the tech giant’s famously minimalist retail locations, yet it is the reality for the company’s new outpost in Brussels, Belgium, the first designed under newly-minted Chief Design Officer Jony Ive.”

“Talk of a new retail aesthetic has been swirling since around the Apple Watch release this past spring, particularly the thought that Apple Store 2.0 needs to be quieter, more luxurious, and appeal to more than just ‘Apple Dudes,'” Xie reports. “That’s beginning to happen with this new store.”

While still glassy and super streamlined, the interior emphasizes more natural finishes,” Xie reports. “This means clay-brick walls, wooden benches, wooden drawers and display mounts, and one large screen instead of many back-lit photo displays. And yes, eight real, breathing, (shedding ?!) potted trees.”

More info and photos in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The new guy or gal gets the rake.


      1. The really big stores could use some open space well. The small stores are starving for open space. Meanwhile, there are thousands of small markets without Apple Stores.

  1. Actually, the blending of surrounding elements with the clean lines of Apple is stunning. I, personally, think tree placement should be a little more “random” to truly blend the natural element. They should also, of course, be apple trees.

  2. Um, uh: I don’t get why this is some sort of ‘new’ retail aesthetic. Malls have been inexplicably sticking potted trees all over the place for many decades. Stuffing them inside a store is just more of the same.

    But I do like that they tree pots have wooden bench edges! That’s thoughtful. If somehow the trees actually reflect the environment outside of that store, then I can see the point. I expect that BIG screen will come in handy. That seems an inevitable addition.

    I’m not sure it’s fair to blame Ive for ‘creating’ every single change we see in Apple’s designs. But he certainly provides approval of everything. I can and do certainly blame him for the simplicity-to-the-point-of-juvenile changes he made in OS X. But that bad idea may have been someone else’s.

      1. If I was to complain about the trees, I’d worry about them preventing people at one end of the store being able to see the new big screen at the other end of the story. Otherwise, I agree with you that they’re beneficial and fine. They just don’t equate to any sort of store decor innovation.

  3. I’ve grown tired of the sterile Apple environment at their stores. Great products, overly enthusiastic ‘associates’ and a bleak, monotone, boring interior to gander at for 15-45 minutes as you wait for whatever.

    It’s impressive the first couple of trips. The first couple of years. The first couple of times you take someone else there for their first time. Now it is just annoying.

    Thank you for the trees. They can give a better perspective to dimension, break the monotonous full view, and kill at least a bit of that damnable constant roar of trained enthusiasm from the workers and giddiness from the buyers.

    Apple doesn’t need the mystic dynamics anymore. They need the casual reality of success to be reflected. This is a small start.

    1. Next we’ll be seeing saguaro cactuses in Arizona, sandlots in Ohio, slot machines in Nevada, and more! It’s exciting to think that the new Apple design milieu may engage local environmental themes in preference to the stifling anaesthetic of a uniform minimalist European tradition posing as a universal style. If retail chief Angela Ahrendts is true to her goal of creating community centres, the stores’ designs ought to reflect, in part, the demographic and social profile of the people who shop there…

  4. The big Apple Store in Sydney CBD is lauded by many. I find it a cold, soulless place with all its steel, glass and whiteness.

    The odd tree wouldn’t go astray to bring some warmth, colour and ironically, humanise the place.

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