updated 05:30 pm EST, Mon January 16, 2012
Aix-en-Provence plans show glass-heavy design
Two more future Apple stores have been uncovered thanks to magazine features and a European Mac website, retail tracking site ifoAppleStore reports. One will be in the French city of Aix-En-Provence, not far from Marseilles, while the other will be in the north of Switzerland where it meets the French and German borders in the town of Basel. A magazine from the Aix-en-Provence region revealed renderings for the planned store, showing it to be nearly transparent.
The design of the French store continues Apple's recent fascination with the increased use of glass in its structures, this time taking acting as three of the four "walls" of the building, which has a more rectangular, minimalist style and is a single-storey building. The renderings (seen below) continue the recent trend in making as much of the store as possible visible from street view, and is located in a recently-renovated area of upscale shops and picturesque landscaping.
The space where the store will be constructed is currently occupied by a 70s-era tourism ministry office. The new Aix-en-Provence store will be the 10th in France and is expected to open in late 2012 or early 2013.
The Basel store, planned for early 2013, will demolish an existing building along a popular street but will replace it with a similar structure that blends in with the other buildings. The storefront will be a two-level store with additional storeys used for storage and offices, according to details and blueprints obtained by Swiss Mac site MacPrime.ch.
Apple had originally proposed a taller showroom with 30-foot-tall glass "curtains" draping from the mezzanine down to street level, but in the revision process to conform to city ordinances the glass wall will now be cover the ground floor (perhaps 15 feet) high. The store itself would sport around 7,500 feet of retail space with another 2,800 feet for other purposes. It is estimated that the construction will cost around $6.3 million, and it will be the fourth Apple Store in the country. [via ifoAppleStore]