Reflections and shadows define the Apple Store by Foster + Partners

The architectural firm Foster + Partners has designed an Apple Store in Los Angeles as “a dynamic hall of illusions” reinforced by a mirrored ceiling that reflects rows of indoor trees.


The store on a level that replaces an existing structure is located in The Grove, one of the city’s prominent shopping malls adjacent to affluent neighborhoods of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood.

Apple Store in The Grove
The store is located on an outdoor lot at The Grove Mall

The new store for the technology company Apple measures twice the size of the site’s original structure and is a triple-height rectilinear building located on an open-air space.

A large glass facade is designed to strengthen the sense of community both in and around the store. This has been fitted with two three meter by 10 meter sliding doors that will allow the store to be naturally ventilated for large parts of the year.

High glass facade
A transparent glass facade was designed to welcome visitors inside

This availability is also reflected in the Apple Store’s two entrances, as visitors can arrive at the store directly from The Grove or from West 3rd Street, where they will be greeted with an area dedicated to picking up Apple products.

Skylights flood the store with natural light from above, with white beams supporting an expansive mirrored ceiling made of specialized stretched fabric and casting dramatic shadows on the Castagna stone-clad walls that flank the interior space.

Reflected ceiling
The store’s mirrored ceiling reflects the activity below

The statement ceiling reflects rows of light wooden tables set up for product consultations, often considered an integral part of Apple Stores.

“Apple at The Grove is a dynamic hall of illusions that capture Los Angeles’ vitality,” said Foster + Partners.

Also reflected in the mirrored ceiling – which the architectural firm said was Apple’s first – are two parallel rows of eight ficus trees.

“The trees make their way through the building on the edge of West 3rd Street, establishing biophilic connections and creating a lush, inviting atmosphere,” explained Foster + Partners.

Shadows on stone walls
White beams cast dramatic shadows on the stone walls

Long screens with Apple products along the stone walls of the room, while a large presentation screen surrounded by benches sits at the far end of the store.

“The design is rooted in its locality, while at the same time addressing the rich history of film in the city,” the studio added.

Sixteen fish trees in the technology store
Sixteen ficus trees are included in the design

The UK office Foster + Partners has designed several other Apple Stores. These include the recent Apple Tower Theater, another Los Angeles project housed in an abandoned 1920s theater and a minimal Istanbul store also flanked by two stone walls.

The photo is by Nigel Young and is polite by Foster + Partners.

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