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Since its first standalone store opened in 2001, Apple has deservedly been lauded for its innovative approach to retail store design. Today it operates 511 stores in 25 countries and has won various architectural awards along the way, most notably for its use of glass staircases and cubes.

In recent years, Apple has built numerous standalone flagships around the world. While the tech trailblazer has held true to its signature minimalism, these high-profile stores remain distinct on account of their scenic backdrops, dramatic facades and design details inspired by their host countries.

The photos that follow highlight 17 Apple stores that represent the company’s best retail design work in the last four years.

Store locations: Bangkok (2x), Beijing, Chicago, Dubai, Kyoto, Mexico City, Milan, New York City, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, Tokyo, Vienna and Washington, D.C.

Apple Antara, Mexico City
Opened: September 2019

Taking advantage of Mexico City’s mild climate, Apple Antara features large sliding doors that create a 20-foot-wide entrance, inviting visitors from the outside plaza.

Apple Antara, Mexico City

The store’s pavilion design includes limestone-clad walls and curved corner glass panels to create a bright great hall.

Apple Antara, Mexico City

Visitors enter the store through 23-foot-tall sliding glass doors.

Apple Carnegie Library, Washington, D.C.
Opened: May 2019

Apple Carnegie Library restores the Beaux-Arts style building once home to Washington, D.C.’s Central Public Library.

Apple Carnegie Library, Washington, D.C.

The library’s original circulation desk and skylight area have been transformed into an atrium and gathering space called the Forum.

Apple Carnegie Library, Washington, D.C.

Apple worked with conservation experts to return interior spaces to their original footprints and restore the building’s distinctive early 20th-century detailing.

Apple Central World, Bangkok
Opened: July 2020

Apple Central World’s distinctive architecture is brought to life with the first-ever all-glass design, housed under a cantilevered tree canopy roof.

Apple Central World, Bangkok

Freestanding displays surround a timber core that functions as the centerpiece design of the store.

Apple Central World, Bangkok

Customers can travel between two levels via a spiral staircase that wraps around the timber core, or a unique cylindrical elevator clad in mirror-polished stainless steel.

Apple Central World, Bangkok

Offering a place for the community to gather, large Terminalia trees and benches surround the outdoor plaza.

Apple Marina Bay, Singapore
Opened: September 2020

Appearing as a floating sphere, Apple Marina Bay Sands is the first Apple store to sit directly on the water. The sphere is an all-glass dome structure that is fully self-supported, comprised of 114 pieces of glass with just 10 narrow vertical mullions for structural connection.

Apple Marina Bay, Singapore

An oculus at the apex of the dome provides a flooding ray of light, with custom sunshade rings lining the interior glass.

Apple Marina Bay, Singapore

The sphere affords 360-degree panoramic views of the city and its skyline.

Apple Sanlitun, Beijing
Opened: July 2020

Sitting adjacent to the previous location on Taikoo Li’s open square in Sanlitun, the brand new store is twice the size of the original.

Apple Sanlitun, Beijing

The Viewing Gallery offers a stunning vantage point for the lively outdoor square.

Apple Sanlitun, Beijing

The store’s glass panels blur the barrier between inside and out.

Apple Via del Corso, Rome
Opened: May 2021

The store preserves the grand Palazzo Marignoli, paying homage to Rome’s rich history of art and culture, and making it one of Apple’s most significant restoration projects.

Apple Via del Corso, Rome

Adjacent to the Forum is a dedicated space for Apple Support and the Genius Bar, where a team of conservators worked thousands of hours to restore the exquisite, geometrically patterned, hand-painted ceiling.

Apple Via del Corso, Rome

Apple Via del Corso centers around a lush courtyard brimming with native Camphora trees — the green heart of the palazzo and a remnant of the historic monastery Santa Maria Maddalena delle Convertite.

Apple Via Del Corso, Rome

Large glass windows face Via del Corso, allowing natural light to stream into the interior.

Apple Iconsiam, Bangkok
Opened: November 2018

Apple Iconsiam’s glass facades allow for a seamless transition from the store to the river and the city.

Apple Iconsiam, Bangkok

The store’s clean, trapezoidal design lines and glass surfaces accentuate the natural beauty of its surroundings while creating an open, airy atmosphere.

Apple Champs-Élysées, Paris
Opened: November 2018

Located on the famed Parisian shopping avenue, Apple Champs-Élysées is housed in a Haussmann-era apartment building and features a blend of historic and modern architecture.

Apple Champs-Élysées, Paris

The inner courtyard is covered by a sculptural roof light, providing sunlight to the space below and generating renewable energy with integrated photovoltaic panels.

Apple Champs-Élysées, Paris

The space revives the building’s original spirit by restoring the detailing and interconnected spaces of the quintessential Parisian apartment.

Apple Marunouchi, Tokyo
Opened: September 2019

Apple Marunouchi is located near the Imperial Palace and across from the historic Tokyo Station.

Apple Marunouchi, Tokyo

Apple’s fifth store in Tokyo features a unique facade, with two-story vitrine windows.

Apple Marunouchi, Tokyo

Inside, native bamboo lines the window openings to bring the outside in.

Apple Piazza Liberty, Milan
Opened: July 2018

Apple Piazza Liberty is located below a revitalized piazza in the center of Milan.

Apple Piazza Liberty, Milan

A dramatic glass fountain serves as the entrance to the store and a backdrop to the large outdoor amphitheater.

Apple Fifth Avenue, New York
Opened: September 2019

Apple Fifth Avenue features a luminous glass cube rising above a newly designed public plaza.

Apple Fifth Avenue, New York

Eighteen mirror-glass Skylenses and 62 skylights flood natural light into the expanded store below the glass cube.

Apple Fifth Avenue, New York

A stainless steel spiral staircase features 43 cantilevered stair treads designed to support a floating cylinder of glass.

Apple Michigan Avenue, Chicago
Opened: October 2017

The store connects the Chicago River with Pioneer Court and Michigan Avenue.

Apple Michigan Avenue, Chicago

The structure is supported by four interior pillars that allow the 32-foot glass facades to remain unobscured.

Apple Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Apple worked closely with the City of Chicago and referenced historical records to develop a store design specifically for the site on which it sits.

Apple Kärntner Straße, Vienna
Opened: February 2018

Apple Kärntner Straße is located on the famous pedestrian shopping street between St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Vienna State Opera. The two-level store features a corner entrance and reinstated exposed columns with large window openings.

Apple Kärntner Straße, Vienna

Clean lines and a minimalist aesthetic are the hallmarks of an Apple store retail space.

Apple Kyoto, Japan
Opened: August 2018

Apple Kyoto is located on Shijō Dori, which has served as the city’s main shopping corridor since the 1600s.

Apple Kyoto, Japan

Apple Kyoto is centered around a multi-level atrium.

Apple Garosugil, Seoul
Opened: January 2018

Located in the heart of the Gangnam area, Apple Garosugil’s 25-foot glass facade blurs the lines between the street and store.

Apple Garosugil, Seoul

Lining each side of the store are Avenues, inspired by window displays along a shopping street, which have interactive displays for visitors to get hands-on with third-party products.

Apple Dubai Mall, United Arab Emirates

Apple Dubai Mall is shaded by carbon fiber “Solar Wings,” inspired by the traditional Arabic Mashrabiya.

Apple Dubai Mall, United Arab Emirates

The 186-foot storefront at Apple Dubai Mall offers breathtaking views of the Burj Khalifa and overlooks the stunning Dubai Fountain.

Apple Dubai Mall, United Arab Emirates

“We view our stores as a modern-day town square, where visitors come to shop, be inspired, learn or connect with others in their community,” says Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of retail.

Apple Taipei 101, Taiwan
Opened: June 2017

Apple’s first store in Taiwan is located on the ground floor of the iconic Taipei 101.

Apple Taipei 101, Taiwan

Apple’s latest store design includes a concept called The Forum, which hosts in-store programming and hands-on sessions.

17 of Apple’s Most Spectacular Store Designs

17 of Apple’s Most Spectacular Store Designs

Since its first standalone store opened in 2001, Apple has deservedly been lauded for its innovative approach to retail store design. Today it operates 511 stores in 25 countries and has won various architectural awards along the way, most notably for its use of glass staircases and cubes.

In recent years, Apple has built numerous standalone flagships around the world. While the tech trailblazer has held true to its signature minimalism, these high-profile stores remain distinct on account of their scenic backdrops, dramatic facades and design details inspired by their host countries.

The photos that follow highlight 17 Apple stores that represent the company’s best retail design work in the last four years.

Store locations: Bangkok (2x), Beijing, Chicago, Dubai, Kyoto, Mexico City, Milan, New York City, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, Tokyo, Vienna and Washington, D.C.