Located in Dubai Mall – one of the most visited urban centres in the world, attracting over 80 million visitors every year since 2014 – the new Apple Dubai Mall occupies the most pivotal position in the city, alongside the iconic Burj Khalifa and overlooking the famous Dubai Fountains. Spanning over two floors, it embraces the theatre of the fountains with a sweeping 186-foot (56.6 metre) wide and 18-foot (5.5 metre) deep terrace – a first for any Apple Store – with unparalleled views of the spectacular setting and the incredible choreographed display.
The design of Apple Dubai Mall is a celebration of the sun, using the abundant daylight to create a special ambience within. Reinterpreting the traditional Arabic Mashrabiya, innovative, ‘Solar Wings’ gently shade the outside terrace during the day and open majestically during the evening to reveal the ‘best seat in the house’ with a breath-taking view of the waterside promenade and fountains. With their movement path inspired by a falcon spreading its wings, the ‘Solar Wings’ are in itself a theatrical experience – an integrated vision of kinetic art and engineering. The wings have been carefully crafted to inspire delight, a delicate combination of form and function.
Made entirely of lightweight carbon fibre, each wing has multiple layers of tubes forming a dense net. Following an in-depth study of sun angles, the rods have been distributed in higher concentration where the solar radiation is the most intense over the year. The unique pattern allows clear views out for people standing on both levels of the store, and the sunlight streaming through the wings casts dappled shadows deep into the interior. The new shaded terrace features nine substantial trees within large planters incorporating seating for visitors to sit, relax and enjoy the view. The planters will rotate mechanically to ensure that the trees receive even sunlight.
Photo credits: Foster + Partners.