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Foster + Partners' new Apple store addresses to Paris’ rich history
France Architecture News - Nov 23, 2018 - 05:42 6906 views
Foster + Partners has completed a new Apple store in Champs-Élysées,one of the most famous avenues in the world in Paris. Opened to the public on November 18, the new store is located in one of the ornate Beaux-Art style buildings that line the famous tree-lined boulevard have been synonymous with Parisian living for centuries.
The new store captures the essence of this bustling metropolis by creating a interior courtyard within a quintessential Parisian apartment, carefully interweaving several layers of history with contemporary, light-filled and inviting spaces.
"The courtyard pulls the vitality of the historic promenade deep into the building, creating a unique interior experience that is full of life and energy," said Foster + Partners.
The design was led by Apple’s teams, including Sir Jonathan Ive, chief design officer and Angela Ahrendts, senior vice president of Retail and Foster + Partners.
"My collaboration with Foster + Partners is now in its tenth year and I am thrilled we have completed such a special project together. I love Paris," said Sir Jonathan Ive.
"The charm and allure of the city is encapsulated by the scale and energy of the Champs-Élysées, and Apple Champs-Élysées is an extension of that vitality, wrapped within a historic envelope, with a careful juxtaposition of new and old," Ive added.
Situated on the corner of Champs-Élysées and Rue Washington, Foster + Partners carefully restored the existing building and seamlessly incorporated within the design with maintaining original detailing of the historic building, and sympathetically juxtaposed with dynamic contemporary interior spaces. The entrance is via a beautiful 19th century Parisian passage, with display spaces on either side.
Upon entering, visitors are directed to a newly revived courtyard with large mature trees that create an almost external and natural setting and a unique Kaléidoscope solar roof-light, featuring mirrored pyramids that reflect dappled sunlight onto the internal façades and floor below.
"The Kaléidoscope – covered by photovoltaic panels above – reflects fragmented images of the surrounding building fabric when you look up from within the courtyard, referencing the Cubist tradition," said the firm.
The effect changes throughout the day and night and as you move through the building, offering a new experience from every corner. This inspirational space will host the Forum, where experts from various fields will entertain, inspire and teach visitors at Today at Apple events. Adjacent to the courtyard are calmer spaces, green walls and seating, creating the ideal place for visitors to pause and rest.
Internally, a beautifully restored original timber and marble escalier d’honneur (grand staircase) leads up to the floors above. Initially designed as a collection of appartement bourgeois, the building has gone through several incremental changes throughout its lifetime, and the design aims to revive the original spirit by restoring the detailing and interconnected spaces of the 19th century Parisian apartment.
The later additions to the building have been completely reimagined, creating a dynamic juxtaposition of new and old. This layered transference of scale and style allows visitors to appreciate the history of the location, as they pass through the display areas in different rooms, catching framed glimpses of the historic fabric from the contemporary spaces and vice-versa. Each of the rooms has balconies that open onto the Champs-Élysées, against the backdrop of Paris and views of the Eiffel Tower.
"This is one of the most unique Apple Flagships in the world, located along the world’s most beautiful avenue. In true Parisian style it is rich in texture and envelopes a range of experiences that stimulate your senses. This is emblematic of the idea of juxtaposition that runs throughout the interior spaces, bringing together the historic and contemporary, interior and exterior, and ground and sky. As a place that inspires creativity, I love the fact that this was previously home to the aviation genius Alberto Santos-Dumont," said Stefan Behling, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners.
All images courtesy of Foster + Partners
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