June 15th marks the grand opening of Apple’s second retail store in Taiwan and the first on the island with direct access to the city of Taipei around it. Ahead of Saturday’s public reveal, Apple has previewed new details about the store’s design and what it represents for residents and visitors in Taipei.
While Apple Xinyi A13 offers the same products and services as Apple’s first Taiwanese store in the Taipei 101 Mall, the scale and ambition of the new space is on another level. The store features a freestanding glazed upper floor with an open-air plaza dotted by trees and planters. Opposing stone walls anchor the store and two sculptural marble staircases connect to a second subterranean space. The lower level houses the store’s Forum and video wall for creative sessions. When the adjacent A13 Shopping Mall opens later this year, visitors will be able to enter Apple’s space through the basement.
Xinyi A13 introduces Apple’s highest tier of store design language to Taiwan for the first time. Materials and architectural flourishes scarcely found outside U.S. projects combine to create a pavilion that stands among the most significant stores Apple has opened to date. The unadorned white wrappings and stark black graphics Apple designed to announce the store’s arrival deferred to the building’s architecture.
Architecture, of course, is only part of the picture in Taiwan. Apple is highlighting its Today at Apple expansion in Taipei with equal enthusiasm. “Ideas are on stage here,” heralds the Today at Apple session collection created for the grand opening. Like at Washington, D.C.’s Apple Carnegie Library, a six-week schedule of creative sessions hosted by designers, illustrators, photographers, and musicians has been prepared. Many of the individuals Apple has lined up are local to the community and will share their perspectives on the creative landscape and culture of Taipei.
Events kick off on opening day with a live music performance and continue throughout opening weekend with an exclusive Photo Lab, Art Lab, and Design Lab. The majority of the first sessions for the store were reserved to capacity within a few days of their initial availability.
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