Globally renowned architecture firm Foster + Partners has designed a new Los Angeles, California Apple store. The structure masterfully embodies the city’s spirit of creativity and innovation, reflecting the energy that characterises the city. Located adjacent to West Hollywood and Beverly Hills, this new space occupies a key position in one of LA’s most popular retail and entertainment complexes: The Grove. The project was materialised as a result of the collaborative efforts of Apple’s design teams and the architecture and engineering teams at Foster + Partners. 

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Los Angeles Apple Store-Lines of trees shape the interior of Apple at the Grove_©Nigel Young

Attention to Local Details | Los Angeles Apple Store

Apple at the Grove is a well-designed structure that blends in beautifully with the surrounding area. In the words of Stefan Behling, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners, “The initial vision was to create the most pleasant and stimulating environment for everyone, by drawing the trees from The Grove through the store onto West 3rd Street, an exceptionally spacious and light-filled volume to experience the incredible array of Apple products. It brings together the special light, the trees, the spirit of the film and entertainment industry and the art of illusion, all within the soaring volume of the store, amplified by the mirrored ceiling.” 

By designing the space in a way that is respectful towards aspects of the local area, Foster + Partners have created a structure that honours the city’s culture and environment. The mirrored ceiling also gives the space a certain opening or vertically lengthening effect, which mimics the expansive open-air shopping center that surrounds the store. It gives the illusion of a much larger volume and works masterfully with the lighting in the room to fill the building with a tangible air of lightness. 

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Los Angeles Apple Store-The mirrored ceiling gives an illusion of height to the volume_©Nigel Young

Lighting & Inclusion of Nature

Bringing natural light into the space was one of the main priorities for this design. “Five-foot-wide linear skylights allow natural light to flood in from above”, the firm describes. These skylights enhance the faux open-air effect and bring an element of the natural world into the store, resulting in a powerful intermixing of technology and nature. Along with meaningful bright spaces, areas of shadow exist to make the store more visually intriguing: “Beams span the entire width of the store, casting rhythmic shadows onto the walls of the open and airy space.” 

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Shadows play rhythmically across the walls_©Nigel Young

Foster + Partners made further efforts to bring together the Apple products inside the store and the natural elements outside. “The exterior-facing façade is fully glazed with two 10 x 31.5-foot sliding doors that blur the boundary between the inside and outside.” The iconic landscape that characterises The Grove is extended into the interior in the form of sixteen Ficus trees, establishing biophilic links and creating a lush, inviting atmosphere. This inclusion of nature embodies the spirit of vitality that underlies Apple’s mission. 

Interior Composition

Overall, the store’s layout is largely similar to those of other Apple stores and showrooms. Items are displayed on a selection of wooden tables which add a tasteful dash of color to the mainly white volume. Wooden seating areas complement these elements, contributing to the cohesive, minimalistic appearance of the space. The entire space is arranged on one single level which sits just a step above West 3rd Street. Castagna stone-clad walls surround the vast internal volume, upon which sits one of the world’s most extensive Apple Avenue displays. In addition to the main entrance, two alternative entrances exist on West 3rd Street. One of these leads to a new area where customers can collect items that they have ordered online.

The store also hosts a new space called The Forum, found at the end of the store. This was designed to be fully dedicated to Today at Apple, an initiative that aims to improve education in fields related to technology and creativity. The company offers short courses and classes in skills such as photography, videography, art, design, coding, and more. Through dedicating a space to just this area of the organisation, Foster + Partners have been able to encourage education and facilitate meaningful learning experiences. 

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Wooden elements emphasise the natural feel of the space_©Nigel Young

Collaboration Between Apple and Foster + Partners | Los Angeles Apple Store

Since it was founded by Norman Foster in 1967, Foster + Partners has grown to become the largest firm in the United Kingdom. The company works on projects across the globe and has a reputation of placing great value on innovation, creativity, and modernity, just like Apple. Apple at the Grove isn’t the first Apple Store that Foster + Partners has designed. As a result of a long-standing partnership, Foster + Partners has designed an impressive succession of more than twenty retail spaces for the company in locations including Paris, China, Turkey, New York, and London. By adding another store to the list, the firm promises to inspire creativity and innovation in a wider population, embodying the vibrant, progressive spirit of Los Angeles.


Katie is an architecture student, writer, and lover of words. She envisions a future in which the positive impacts that buildings can have on humans and our planet are prioritised, and hopes to harness the power of language to amplify the stories being whispered through the world of design.