Future China Store Will Have Familiar Design

June 12, 2014

In the rush to double the number of retail stores in China, it appears Apple will re-use one of its most iconic architectural designs, the glass cylinder store entrance of the Pudong (Shanghai) store. Construction photos and an architectural rendering confirm that the future Chongqing store will be located beneath Guotai Plaza, a new urban lifestyle and entertainment center. Like Pudong, the plaza features high-rise office buildings plazas, water features and green space, combined with retail spaces. Early renderings of the space showed two circular features at both ends of the plaza. However, in a later rendering, one of the features is covered with a cylinder of glass topped by a white Apple logo, identical to the Pudong Apple store design. Presumably, the cylinder is the entrance to the full store underground. Current photos of the plaza show a very tall gray barricade circling unseen construction work at the same location as shown in the rendering. Photos of the underground space show the early stages of construction. Insiders say the entrance project is being managed by Frener Reifer, a German company that specializes in façade and unique structure construction. Apple has used the company before, including for the Stanford 2 (N. Calif.) and Third Street Promenade (N. Calif) retail stores, the first to use the new V3.0 store design. Based on construction progress, the store could open in early 2015.

This rendering shows a transparent glass structure on the plaza (bottom), topped with a white Apple logo (inset).

This view of Guotai Plaza shows the current construction underway in the area shown in the rendering. The barricade is cylindrical, indicating a Pudong-like structure.

From the plaza, a tall gray barricade conceals construction on the store entrance.

The future Apple store is surrounded by high-rises and other retailers.

This recent peek into the underground space shows little construction progress. However, a white Apple logo is unexplainably propped up against the far wall.

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