This giant glowing orb is the world’s first floating Apple Store

Apple’s newest retail location, located in Singapore on the city-state’s waterfront and known officially as Apple Marina Bay Sands, can claim a world’s first title: it’s the only Apple retail shop on the planet that floats on water.

The location, Marina Bay Sands, is Singapore’s third Apple Store following Orchard Road, which opened as Singapore’s first in 2017, and Apple Jewel Changi Airport, located in the world-famous retail sector of Singapore’s transportation hub that also features the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. (Singapore seems cool, huh?).

During the daytime, the new Marina Bay Sands store appears to look like an odd spacecraft of some sort or perhaps some form of futuristic theater. But at nighttime, when Singapore’s iconic skyline is lit in all its glory in the background, the store really comes alive and you can tell the company clearly designed it as an evening fixture best viewed in the dark.

We don’t have a lot of details on the location, like how exactly the interior is structured. We do know that the store is Apple’s 512th retail shop globally and that it’s opening sometime soon.  9to5Mac has published what appears to be marketing images and blurbs promoting the new store, in which the store is referred to as “the lantern on the bay.”

Apple Marina Bay Sands is a gleaming orb resting on the waters of Singapore’s bayfront. During the day, the store’s glass panels reflect the towering skyline of the Downtown Core and motion of the rippling water. At night, the sphere glows with a gentle warmth, evoking the design of traditional lanterns carried during Singapore’s Mid-Autumn Festival.

The pavilion dome narrows to an oculus, allowing unobstructed light to flood in. A birds-eye view of the store resembles a glass iris peering into the sky. Apple Marina Bay Sands is a dramatic departure from the design of any Apple Store before it. An elevated boardwalk and underwater passage connect the pavilion to the shore and The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.

The structure’s shape informs an entirely new store layout. “During the day, the store’s glass panels reflect the towering skyline of the Downtown Core and motion of the rippling water. At night, the sphere glows with a gentle warmth, evoking the design of traditional lanterns carried during Singapore’s Mid-Autumn Festival,” one of the slides reads. “The pavilion dome narrows to an oculus, allowing unobstructed light to flood in.

A birds-eye view of the store resembles a glass iris peering into the sky.” According to the marketing material, the store will “include the same measures found at Singapore’s other Apple Stores” regarding ongoing COVID-19 health and safety efforts, which include limited occupancy, mask-wearing, and other sanitization requirements.

While totally unique, Apple Marina Bay Sands will still offer the signature experience and familiar store features customers have come to expect from Apple’s other locations in Singapore.

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