Apple Michigan Avenue opened on Friday night to thousands of customers who gathered on Pioneer Court along Chicago’s Riverwalk to experience the company’s “most ambitious store to date,” according to a statement from Apple.
The location is intended to be a “gathering place for the local community” and plans to host events and programming that include topics such as photography and app design Apple said. Beginning on Monday the store will launch “The Chicago Series,” which is a set of five programs, each with a different area of focus at the intersection of technology and liberal arts, hosted over the course of four weeks.
Two granite staircases on both sides of the transparent glass store provide new access to the riverfront and expansive views of the Chicago River. Apple worked closely with Chicago, even referencing historical records, to develop a design that fit for the site, the company said.
“Apple Michigan Avenue is about removing boundaries between inside and outside, reviving important urban connections within the city,” Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer said in a statement. “It unites a historic city plaza that had been cut off from the water, giving Chicago a dynamic new arena that flows effortlessly down to the river.”
Every feature of the design serves to minimize the boundary between the city and the river. The building’s carbon-fiber roof was designed as thin as possible and the entire structure is supported by four interior pillars that allows the 32-foot glass walls to remain open.