The thinking behind the design of the Apple Store Vienna
As an architect, I have developed this job characteristic, of decomposing the space thoroughly in my mind everywhere I go and try to understand what the interior design is trying to tell me about the brand. Here are a couple of thoughts that occurred to me while looking at the Apple Store Apple Kärntner Straße.
No shop window display. The Apple store does not display its products in the window like other shops. But it does give you a great view of the “market place” atmosphere of their shop. People are buzzing around their tables testing their products and as it happens, everyone wants to be where other people are.
Marketplace atmosphere. All the products are displayed on tables giving people the opportunity to go around them, have a closer look, compare. The entire setup reminds the visitor of a marketplace. A very familiar setup.
Clarity of space. All the spatial composition elements are on one surface. The ceiling is not composed of a number of spots but it is a light surface. The wall in the back is covered by a screen on (almost) its entire surface. The floor is a uniform color in the entire shop. The tables and the chairs are the same color. All walls are the same color. For the brain, it is very easy to deconstruct the space in our head. We understand it easily and we feel safe.
Light, natural colors. Light colors support the reflection of natural light all the way to the back, as well as make it easy for the eye to understand space. A light floor usually makes the space airier and flowing. The shadows that hit the ground are not so hard. The glossiness of the screen, as well as its size, speaks volumes about the technological power of the brand but also supports the “classiness” of the entire look and feel.
Biophilia. It’s been a recognized phenomenon, that nature, has a soothing and calming effect on people, this is why the “Apple Store” is willing to “sacrifice” some of its display areas, in order to make you feel more comfortable, as well as speak volume about their eco-friendly measures to support sustainability.
Playfulness. It might look like the Apple store might have run out of money and forgot to put some proper chairs in the space. But that is not at all the case. When was the last time you sat on a wooden box or a basketball? Probably when you were a kid. And it’s that childhood feeling that they want to remind you of, attached to their identity as a playful and innovative brand.
The use of lines and symmetry. Do you notice how the lines on the ceiling match exactly the edges of the table? That is no coincidence. The use of lines makes it easy for you to understand the space and how deep it is. Also, many of the perspectives of the shop make the use of symmetry, and we all know how much the human brain loves symmetry. Like the photo to the right.