Foster + Partners' latest Apple Store opens in central Tokyo

The latest Apple Store in Tokyo is fronted by a row of two-storey protruding windows that turn the shopfront into a series of display cabinets.

Located near the Imperial Palace in the Marunouchi district of central Tokyo, the Apple Store has been deigned by Foster + Partners in collaboration with Apple's design team.

Apple Store Apple Marunouchi, Tokyo, by Foster + Partners

Built on a corner site at the base of a modernist 1970s tower block, the Apple Marunouchi store is fronted by seven large windows with cast aluminium frames that the studio refers to as vitrines – a type of glass display cabinet.

"We wanted to create a restrained presence amid the bustle of Tokyo," said Stefan Behling, head of Studio at Foster + Partners.

"The beautifully crafted aluminium vitrines define the boundary of the store and Apple's presence, offering everyone walking by a glimpse into the store."

Apple Store Apple Marunouchi, Tokyo, by Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners created the two-storey windows to be a continuation of the expressed structure of the tower above and create an identifiable facade for the store.

Bamboo has been planted inside each of the producing windows – a plant that the studio also included in its design of the Apple Store in Macau.

"The structural grid gives the entire volume a certain rhythm, while the calm interior is enhanced by the bamboo that lines the perimeter," said Behling.

Apple Store Apple Marunouchi, Tokyo, by Foster + Partners

The two-storey store is arranged around a double-height void aligned with the main entrance. A sculptural staircase made from white-painted aluminium provides access to the upper floor.

Interiors are rendered with white plaster to match the facades of the tower block, and the ceilings are clad with white ash.

Apple Store Apple Marunouchi, Tokyo, by Foster + Partners

"I love the simplicity of the space," added Jony Ive.

"There is an honesty in terms of how the structure of the building, the green bamboo, and the transparent vitrines all come together to form a light-filled volume that is full of life."

Apple Store Apple Marunouchi, Tokyo, by Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners, which was established by Norman Foster in 1967, is the UK's largest architecture studio.

It has previously designed Apple Stores in cities across the world including a store in Kyoto, which has a translucent facade. The studio has also recently complete shops for the technology company in Paris, Bangkok and Miami.

Photography is by Nigel Young.

More images and plans

Apple Store Apple Marunouchi, Tokyo, by Foster + Partners
Site plan
Apple Store Apple Marunouchi, Tokyo, by Foster + Partners
Ground floor plan
Apple Store Apple Marunouchi, Tokyo, by Foster + Partners
First floor plan
Apple Store Apple Marunouchi, Tokyo, by Foster + Partners
Apple Store Apple Marunouchi, Tokyo, by Foster + Partners
Apple Store Apple Marunouchi, Tokyo, by Foster + Partners
Apple Store Apple Marunouchi, Tokyo, by Foster + Partners