The Apple flagship alongside the Chicago River at 40 North Michigan Avenue is currently under construction. High-tech glass walls will soon encircle the building, leaving floor-to-ceiling open views from the Pioneer Court plaza to the river. Target date for the iconic $27 million building’s opening is expected to be this October.
The “glass-sheathed temple of computing” will feature a “grand flight of stairs that will cascade from street level to the walkway along the Chicago River’s north bank.” Foster + Partners of London designed the store. The glass walls and thin roof supported by four columns are meant to nearly invisibly connect what’s inside the store and what’s out. All retail is below street level to avoid blocking the view overlooking the river.
Transparent walls, 14 feet high at street level and 32 feet high near the river, are made of four layers of half-inch-thick glass joined with layers of stronger, thicker laminated glass. The roof is made from a lightweight material used in yacht hulls to keep it thin—four feet thick at its widest point and four inches at its narrowest, with an Apple logo on top.
— Chicago Tribune