Apple Fifth Avenue store, located on the corner of Central Park, one of the greatest public urban spaces in the world. Through the careful peeling back of layers of history and the sensitive restoration of the cube, Apple Fifth Avenue seeks to revive the plaza by making it more accessible from three sides, reinforcing the progressive and innovative spirit that is emblematic of Apple.

Nine beautiful innovative mirrored ‘Skylenses’ are arranged in a grid either side of the glass cube. These public sculptures allow visitors to interact with the famous New York City skyline in a completely new way. Their seamless curved surfaces create a place to sit while providing a reflected perspective of the city’s architecture. The skylenses feature an innovative circulatory cooling system beneath the top surface, designed to absorb solar energy and offer frost protection, allowing people to use them throughout the year. The mirrored glass floods natural light into the expanded store – double the size of the previous space.

A grand hall beneath the plaza matches the energy of the public square above, with a backlit, cloud-like ceiling made from a three-dimensional curved fabric innovatively combines artificial and natural light to match the changing tones of daylight through the day – producing an experience that has never been achieved before. Even in low-light conditions, the intensity is higher around the skylights and gradually recedes away from it, giving the impression of natural light flooding the interior. A ring of lights around each skylight contains focus lighting that highlights the products on the display tables. The ventilation system is discreetly integrated within the stone floor and responds intelligently to the levels of occupancy and outdoor weather, optimizing energy usage.

Stefan Behling, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners, said: “Inspired by the original vision of the sunken open-air plaza, we wanted to completely dematerialize the roof of the store and flood the interior space with daylight. The Skylenses literally bring the skies underground and the innovative tunable white light ceiling allows us to match the exact wavelengths of sunlight at different times of day, blurring the boundary between inside and outside.”

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