Almost two years after tipsters pointed to a prominent building in city center Barcelona (Spain) as a future Apple store, the company has confirmed the location is “opening soon” with a unique wrap-around mosaic that mirrors the style of noted architect Antoni Gaudí. The seven-foot tall poster appears as pieces of iOS device app icons separated by grout, and is the most complex covering ever erected by Apple before a high-profile store opening. The mosaic features a distinctive multi-color Apple logo in front of the store, and a wave design along both sides of the building on Passeig de Gràcia. As noted by iPordelante.com, the mosaic pieces and color palette are drawn from the icons for Apple’s main iOS applications, including Mail, Contacts, Stocks, Weather and the Apple Store app. Insiders say the mosaic was created by a collective called The Guild in Los Angeles. It was shipped to Barcelona and installed in one night by a team of 40 workers. The mosaic patterns appear computer-generated, as duplicate patterns are easily discernible in the white and color patterns. Based on previous store wrappings, about three days before the store opens, the mosaic will be taken down, destroyed and tossed into a dumpster. Just before the barrier was erected, photos of the store show that all the furnishings are in place and the first stage of interior cleaning is underway. Tipsters in the city say the grand opening will be July 28th.
Apple has erected plastic coverings over several other significant stores prior to their grand opening, starting with all-black plastic wrapping the Fifth Avenue (NYC) glass cube. Green plastic covered the entire glass storefront of the Boylston Street (Boston) store in honor of the “Green Monster” outfield wall at the Boston Red Sox’ Fenway Park. The George Street (Sydney) store was covered with a Bondi blue-and-white “wave” design.
In this case, the mosaic wrapping is a series of three walls, lit by electric lights at night, that is an authentic mosaic made of individual pieces of an unknown material. Based on the size of the artwork, it tooks months to design and create. Shipping the mosaic sections from Los Angeles seems to have been an expensive and exacting task.
Significantly for the residents of Barcelona, the sign’s message is in Catalan, not Spanish, English or some combination. Cantalan is spoken in Barcelona not only because it’s the region’s language, but also to continue a fierce independent the region feels from the rest of Spain, especially Madrid.
Antoni Gaudí (1892-1926) designed several notable buildings in Barcelona, including nearby on Passeig de Gràcia. His designs are distinctive for their curved edges and integration of stained glass, wrought iron, ceramics and wood. Ironically, Gaudí was struck by a streetcar on Gran Via just five blocks from the Apple store site. He died a day later at age 73.E-mail this story