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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Apple Dubai Mall: yet another plume in the desert!

Info & Images: Courtesy Foster+Partners
Read Time: 3 mins

"Foster+Partners Apple Dubai Mall indiaartndesign"
©Nigel Young

One of the world’s largest kinetic art installations opens to visitors at the Apple Dubai Mall…

Apple Dubai Mall is reinventing the traditional introverted idea of mall-based retail as a more outward-looking experience that engages with the spectacle of urban life. Its design is a highly innovative response to the culture and climate of the Emirates, while also demonstrating Apple’s pioneering ambition to create inspirational civic spaces for all. 

"plan Foster+Partners Apple Dubai Mall indiaartndesign"
©Foster+Partners

Designed by the veteran Foster+Partners, the new Apple Dubai Mall occupies the most pivotal position in the city, alongside the iconic Burj Khalifa and overlooking the famous Dubai Fountains. Spanning over two floors, it embraces the theatre of the fountains with a sweeping 186-foot (56.6 metre) wide and 18foot (5.5 metre) deep terrace – a first for any Apple Store – with unparalleled views of the spectacular setting and the incredible choreographed display. 

Intended as a major attraction, the design of the mall is all about creating an exceptional architectural and social experience for visitors, bringing to the fore new ideas about the evolving role of Apple Flagships in the community, informs Stefan Behling -  studio head, Foster+Partners.

"mashrabiya Foster+Partners Apple Dubai Mall indiaartndesign"
©Foster+Partners
"mashrabiya Foster+Partners Apple Dubai Mall indiaartndesign"
©Nigel Young

Celebrating the sun, the design of the mall uses the abundant daylight to create a special ambience within. Reinterpreting the traditional Arabic Mashrabiya, innovative, ‘Solar Wings’ (18 in number) gently shade the outside terrace during the day and open majestically during the evening to reveal the ‘best seat in the house’ with a breath-taking view of the waterside promenade and fountains. With their movement path inspired by a falcon spreading its wings, the motorised ‘Solar Wings’ that are carefully designed never to intersect, take one full minute to open and close – and are in itself a theatrical experience – an integrated vision of kinetic art and engineering. The wings have been carefully crafted to inspire delight, a delicate combination of form and function.  

"interiors Foster+Partners Apple Dubai Mall indiaartndesign"
©Nigel Young

Made entirely of lightweight carbon fibre, each wing has multiple layers of tubes forming a dense net. Following an in-depth study of sun angles, the rods are distributed in higher concentration, where the solar radiation is the most intense over the year. The unique pattern allows clear views out for people standing on both levels of the store, and the sunlight streaming through the wings casts dappled shadows deep into the interior. 

“The opening and closing of these majestic Solar Wings is analogous to a delicate ballet recital – but on a monumental scale. In some ways it is a very spiritual experience, with the sun streaming through them and creating the most delicate and beautiful patterns of light and shade – a seamless blend of technology and culture," adds Behling. 

"fountains Foster+Partners Apple Dubai Mall indiaartndesign"
©Nigel Young

Access to the store is through full-height, glazed pivoting doors on both levels, directly from Dubai Mall. The Avenue, a specially designed area for accessories display, on the lower level along with Apple’s signature display tables sits in the midst of a grove of trees, creating a calm environment to experience Apple’s latest products.

Apple Dubai Mall will also launch Apple’s new global in-store experience, ‘Today at Apple’ –  where New Creative Pros, the liberal arts counterpart of Apple’s technical geniuses, will offer individual advice and training on photography, filmmaking, art and design and more. 

"trees Foster+Partners Apple Dubai Mall indiaartndesign"
©Nigel Young

The new shaded terrace features nine substantial trees within large planters incorporating seating for visitors to sit, relax and enjoy the view. The planters will rotate mechanically to ensure that the trees receive even sunlight. The terrace will offer the communities of Dubai a new vantage point – furthering Apple’s commitment to the communities they are part of.    

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