Apple previewed its newest retail outlet in the U.K. Tuesday, Apple Brompton Road in London’s Knightsbridge neighborhood. The store, set to open Thursday afternoon local time, claims a few “firsts.”
They include the first mirrored ceiling in an Apple Store, the first dedicated pick-up area in a U.K. Apple Store and the first time Apple has used a certain type of sustainable flooring.
Located a stone’s throw from Hyde Park and featuring design inspired by local flora, the store also boasts a brand-new augmented reality (AR) experience about William Blake.
The new London store offers advancements in sustainable design, community events and resources, and a team of more than 200 ready to provide excellent service for customers, Apple said.
“We are thrilled to open Apple Brompton Road in London, a city teeming with energy, history, and cultural diversity,” said Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail + People. “The store’s focus on creativity gives our incredible team members the perfect space to share their passion and expertise with Londoners and visitors from around the world.”
Towering flora, mirrored ceiling, staff of 200
Upon entering Apple Brompton Road, visitors will see 12 towering Sicilian ficus trees that line the 7-meter floor-to-ceiling windows and entryway. Seating at the base of each planter provides gathering spaces.
Visitors come through the central arcade, which mirrors the dimensions of the original Brompton Arcade built on the same location in 1903.
The store’s Forum — with its free, daily Today at Apple sessions — features a first for Apple in the U.K. It’s a mirrored ceiling that offers depth-enhancing reflections, Apple said.
The store’s staff of 200 collectively speaks more than 45 languages. And visitors can speak with some of them at another first for the U.K. — a dedicated Apple Pickup area for products ordered online.
Sustainability: another ‘first’
Apple Brompton Road’s terrazzo flooring is comprised of a plant-based bio resin, the first of its kind in Cupertino’s retail stores.
The vast space — which features a unique curved timber ceiling — offers seating where customers can relax. And, like all Apple facilities, Brompton Road is powered by 100 percent renewable energy, the company said.
United Visions AR experience
The store opening kicks off with the launch of United Visions, an augmented reality experience honoring the creative works of London poet and painter William Blake.
Created for Getty Museum and brought to life through Apple technology, the purpose-built app showcases the possibilities of creativity by reimagining the artist’s work.
Artists and creative technologists Tin Nguyen and Ed Cutting used Apple’s M1 Ultra chip in the development of the experience, which features a poetic soundtrack by Grammy Award-winning record producer Just Blaze.
United Visions can be viewed by customers in-store and by anyone who downloads the app.
Opening weekend festivities
Opening weekend festivities will include a panel discussion on the creation of United Visions with Nguyen, Cutting and Just Blaze, as well as a special performance and Spatial Audio listening session by London artist Nina Nesbitt.
Apple Fitness+ trainers Cory Wharton-Malcolm, Jamie-Ray Hartshorne, Kim Ngo and Jonelle Lewis will join Jay Blahnik, Apple’s vice president of Fitness Technologies, for an in-store Q&A followed by a 3-kilometer walk and 5-kilometer run in Hyde Park.
Apple Creative Pros will also host live illustration sessions that take inspiration from the local blooms.
And the store will host its ongoing Brompton Series of talks, which takes place on the last Thursday of every month through October. It features talks by thought leaders in the wellness space.
Music workshops in connection with Apple Music’s Up Next series breaking down songs by emerging London artists using Spatial Audio; artists include Kali Claire, Olivia Dean, and Rachel Chinouriri.
Apple Brompton Road opens Thursday, July 28, at 4 p.m. BST in London. Customers can download interactive custom wallpapers, listen to a curated Apple Music Brompton Road Playlist, and sign up for upcoming Today at Apple sessions.