Nearly Transparent Store Planned For France

January 13, 2012

One of the most unusual and amazing architectural designs for an Apple store will reportedly appear in Aix en Provence (France), featuring a nearly all-glass structure enabled by new technology developed by Apple’s glass suppliers. According to magazine, the current tired-looking tourism office on the south side of Place du General de Gaulle will be demolished and the Apple store will be constructed at the site. A rendering posted by the magazine shows a one-level structure set back on a broad stone plaza, with a tan-colored rear wall, and all other encompassing walls made of glass. A second rendering shows the store is an extension of a design roughly based on the Upper West Side (NYC) store. Typically for Apple, the rendering does not show any Apple-like features and there are no visible Apple logos. According to the magazine, the city required Apple to build to new earthquake standards, and harmonize with the surrounding picturesque streets. The city is in the south of France, and is favored by good weather and thousands of tourists each year. The area to the west of the future store has been recently reconstructed with many upscale shops from international retailers. According to the magazine the store could open by late 2012 or early 2013.

View a photo of the current Office de Tourisme.

This rendering is looking south from the traffic circle in city center of Aix en Provence, and shows a future nearly all-glass Apple store. The only visible "hard" structure is the rear wall. Click the image for a larger view. The current building is surrounded by tall trees, grass, walkways and built-up planter boxes.

This blow-up of a small image of the rendering shows the all-glass main store, with stone walls at the rear. The design is a modification of the Upper West Side store. The fountain on the near side of the store looks similar to the Fifth Avenue (NYC) plaza fountain.


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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Lars H January 13, 2012 at 2100

On page 15 in the Aix-en-Provence magazine there’s a side view of the store too


Gary Allen January 13, 2012 at 2219

Thanks, I’ve added that image to the story.


Mike Kaufmann January 14, 2012 at 0836

Back in the 70s or 80s my wife and I rented a car in Paris and spent three weeks driving all over France. Somehow we got into Aix wthout a reservation for a place to spend the night. We were at a small cafe in the middle of town and still didn’t have a place to stay, We had asked at all the visible hotels in the area and we came up with nothing. Our waiter noticed we were going through our travel books and asked if we were looking for a place to stay. We told him our plight and he said wait a minute. He goes into the cafe and calls his mother who has a small hotel outside of town. He comes back and draws a map on the back of a placemat. We thank him and off we go and it’s getting dark. We must have taken a hour with all wrong turns and her hotel is out in the sticks! But, we found it! And there was a charming little restaurant next door! It was clean and nice, but the mother spoke no English and we only spoke Fractured French! When we left the next morning, we got her the biggest bunch of flowers we could find and brought them back to her! I wonder if I could find that hotel again?


tz January 14, 2012 at 1049

I can’t imagine trying to play around with their LED screened devices in direct sunlight.
Perhaps this location is somehow located in the shade?


Zach January 16, 2012 at 1459

I just passed through there this morning. Doesn’t look like there’s any advancement. The building is just abandoned for the moment. I’d like to take some photos for you guys, but I’ll be living the city tomorrow


Gary Allen January 16, 2012 at 1510

Thanks for the help in pinning down the location and what it looks like!


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