updated 12:00 am EDT, Fri May 3, 2013
Expanded, multi-floor layout gives Mac maker showcase space
[Updated with video of grand opening] Europe's latest "showcase" Apple Store, the Kurfürstendamm outlet in Berlin that is set to open on Friday at 5pm local time, looks to take its place as one of the most beautiful on the continent -- comparing favorably to premiere stores in Paris and London among others. The large facility, with some 48,000 square feet, has room for luxuries like an expanded theater space and classically-appointed conference room, while still retaining a sleek and modern main sales floor at the ground level following extensive renovations to the century-old building.
The store is located at Kurfürstendamm 26, and first advertised for potential employees way back in December of 2011, indicating that extensive reconstruction and remodelling was required to achieve Apple's architectural vision for the space. A photographer from German Apple enthusiast site ifun.de was allowed early access in order to capture some breathtaking images of the store's exterior and interior (seen below) in their pristine, pre-opening state.
The building the new store is housed in comprises three storeys, was built in 1913 and formerly housed a stage and movie theater. It was fortunate to survive two World Wars without significant damage, retaining the original Ionic columns just below the 70-foot wide entrance and upholding an 87-foot wide cornice. The former theater, which is on the third level and accessible either by elevator or a grand staircase, has been turned into a state-of-the-art Apple presentation stage with 10,000 square feet of space.
The lower levels include two floors with about 7,000 square feet, with offices and storage likely being located in the 9,300 square-foot basement, according to ifoAppleStore. The front of the store is marked with outdoor, permanent glass exhibit cases showing off new products, a thus-far unique feature for the retail chain. Though taking over two years to complete, the finished store is another jewel in Apple's crown of showcase stores, elegantly blending old and new to become an architectural showpiece that is likely to be as much photographed as it is frequented.
Our thanks to ifun.de for the outstanding gallery of pictures. More can be seen in their full gallery.