Apple opens first Foster-designed store
in Istanbul


News: Foster + Partners has completed its first Apple Store at a shopping centre in Istanbul, Turkey.

Apple opens first Foster-designed store in Istanbul

Located at Istanbul's Zorlu Centre, the Turkey store is the first in a series of retail spaces that British architecture firm Foster + Partners is creating for Apple and will be followed by another in San Francisco.

Apple opens first Foster-designed store in Istanbul

The two-storey underground store sits beneath the main plaza of the shopping centre, inside an 18-square-metre void originally intended as a descending water feature.

Apple opens first Foster-designed store in Istanbul

A frameless glass box rises above the void, announcing the presence of the store and offering shoppers a view down inside.

Apple opens first Foster-designed store in Istanbul

Norman Foster's firm reportedly took over the design of all Apple stores last year and submitted designs for the San Francisco store in December.

The move followed Apple's successful bid to trademark the "distinctive design & layout" of its retail spaces, including all-glass storefronts and rectangular tables. There are now more than 400 Apple Stores worldwide.

Apple opens first Foster-designed store in Istanbul

However the computing brand came under fire in October when one of the original store concept designers said that its retail presence was "not evolving as fast as it could be".

Foster + Partners first started working with Apple in 2009 on the design of Apple Campus 2 – the company's new California headquarters  – after late Apple CEO Steve Jobs called Norman Foster out of the blue with the words "Hi Norman, I need some help".

Apple opens first Foster-designed store in Istanbul

Main image is by Robert S Donovan. Additional photography is courtesy of Apple.

  • alex

    This is not an architecture!

    • why guy


      • alex

        Many aspects are pretty obvious why it is not (not enough space to explain), but let’s just say that this is just a billboard, a big ‘nothing’, an advertising, only on some ‘important’ place in the world.

        Anything you do there would draw attention… you see what I mean? There’s nothing we should observe or analyse here; nothing to learn, nothing that any other office wouldn’t do even better. It is just that they have this privilege to do it (but that is another story).

        PS, I respect many of Foster’s heroic and wonderful projects.

        • james

          You may find it conceptually vapid, but there’s no question that this is architecture. The wheel doesn’t need to be reinvented for every Apple store. In terms of serving the client’s need (which is the point of architecture) these designs absolutely deliver.

  • Ivan

    What’s there to design, each of their stores is the same. Oh yes, stairs in this case look more delicate, good job!

  • Ben

    “…followed Apple’s successful bid to trademark the “distinctive design & layout” of its retail spaces, including all-glass storefronts and rectangular tables.” Yes, that is very unique to Apple, they certainly thought of it first. :-/

  • CC

    Although amazingly detailed, why would you hire a big firm like Foster’s to do the exact same store Apple has done all over the world?

    • haromaster

      Why not?

  • Tyler N

    The only good thing in this store is the stair.

  • janine

    So frickin’ boring.

  • CC

    It has been done over and over by cheaper firms!

    • Paul Lloyd Johnson

      This isn’t the exact same store though is it? On the contrary, Apple stores vary quite significantly.

  • astroexe

    This is a poster building. It of course makes sense to have it designed by a poster architect; Apple have hired Foster’s firm to have a slight spin on their own brand, without loosing any corporate identity and gaining all publicity/credit/etc from it. Pretty smart move, but sadly underwhelming in design.

  • alex

    Let me explain by using the words of Ms Colomina (Princeton):

    “Of course, not everything that is built is architecture. Most are mere buildings. Which doesn’t mean it doesn’t represent anything, but you don’t need a food critic or McDonalds”

    So yep, this is not architecture!

    • Paul Lloyd Johnson

      This most certainly is architecture. It’s a great shame that all other brands don’t make the same effort when building their stores. To compare this to McDonald’s is a lazy argument.

    • Pretendgineer

      Utter self-indulgent nonsense. Bad architecture is still architecture.

      Which is not to say that this is bad architecture. It’s not exciting architecture, that’s for sure but it looks to be immaculately finished.

      I’d love to see how it’s detailed.