A reimagined Apple Regent Street opens Saturday in London with a new layout featuring Apple’s latest design thinking.
The store features Apple’s town square layout, including a central grand hall filled with trees surrounded by window displays that highlight the best in photography, music and more. The square’s theater, the Forum, hosts daily entertainment and learning events.
“We are delighted to be a part of Regent Street and excited to be again serving our community by offering a place to learn, to be inspired and entertained, where customers can get support from our staff and from each other,” said Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail.
Working closely with Foster + Partners, Apple cleaned and preserved the building’s Grade II-listed exterior facade of Portland stone, Carrara marble and hand-cut Venetian smalti glass tile. The remodeled mezzanine features an open-plan layout and a double-height grand hall that brings in more natural light and transparency from the street. Twin staircases of sandblasted and honed Castagna stone handrails hand carved into the stone walls draw visitors up to the new mezzanine level set in tree tops above the grand hall.
“On Regent Street we preserved the incredible exterior facade while opening up the interior of the store to enhance the transparency and flood the space with natural light,” said Jonathan Ive, Apple’s chief design officer. "By choosing materials sympathetic to the historic nature of the building, we’re able to modernize the space while remaining authentic to its surrounds.”
The store team at Regent Street has increased more than 500 percent over the past 12 years, as Apple introduced iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and Apple Watch. The 512 employees span more than 20 nationalities and speak over 30 languages. Of the 100 employees who originally opened the store, more than a quarter remain at Apple.
Regent Street was Apple’s first store in Europe, having welcomed more than 60,000 visitors since 2004, though the company’s history in Europe goes back 36 years. Apple now employs more than 22,000 people in 19 European countries, including 6,000 in the UK.
Also published on Medium.