Apple has hundreds of physical stores dotted around the world, serving as stores, repair centers and community hubs where people can learn to be more creative. Until now, though, none of these glistening Apple meccas have been built on water. As The Straits Times reports, the company has confirmed plans to open a dome-shaped store near the Marina Bay Sands resort in Singapore. We don't know when the doors will open, but a spokesperson said it’s “coming soon.” “It will be a space for you to explore, connect and create something new,” an official teaser site explains.
As Archigardner reports, the store is replacing a shard-shaped Crystal Pavilion that once housed a nightclub called Avalon. Apple has rebuilt the structure with glass panels that will reflect Singapore's skyline during the day and, according to materials published by 9to5Mac, glow like a lantern at night. "The structure’s shape informs an entirely new store layout," the company teased, and will be partly lit by a circular window at the top of the dome. Like the original Crystal Pavilion, it will be connected by a boardwalk and an underwater tunnel that connects to a nearby mall.
The eye-catching dome is the third Apple store in Singapore. The company built its first location at Knightsbridge Mall in 2017 before opening a second at Jewel Changi Airport in July 2019. The store opening is unusual at a time when most companies are still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic. Apple has plenty of cash, though — it recently hit a $2 trillion valuation — and is clearly confident that pre-COVID-19 foot traffic will return. Microsoft, for comparison, has announced that it will close all of its physical stores and transition four, based in London, New York City, Sydney and Redmond, into community-focused Experience Centers.