fbpx DAN | Daily Architecture News 'The Apple tree' by Foster + Partners blossoms in Bangkok - DAN | Daily Architecture News
‘The Apple tree’ by Foster + Partners blossoms in Bangkok

‘The Apple tree’ by Foster + Partners blossoms in Bangkok

Retail Design
WATCH: Highlights from the world of architecture and design.

Housed under a “cantilevered tree canopy” roof structure, Apple Central World in Bangkok was “brought to life with the first-ever all-glass design,” says the tech giant. Located in the heart of Ratchaprasong, Bangkok’s iconic intersection district, the striking store forms a new social subject in this part of the city and joins the backdrop of the capital’s famed New Year celebrations.

Designed by Foster + Partners, “The Apple Tree” as its nicknamed is fronted by a generously sized public plaza while Bangkok’s renowned Erawan shrine is sited across the road. Further adding to the spectacle, the outlet is overlooked by a busy web of vehicle and pedestrian routes that weave around the site.

Apple Central World / News highlights

  • The recently opened Apple Central World in Bangkok is the second and largest Apple store in Thailand.
  • Designed by Foster + Partners, the store is located in Ratchaprasong, Bangkok’s iconic intersection district.
  • Defined by its tree-like central structure, the impressive store provides a completely new and accessible destination in the beating heart of the city.
  • Apple says the store’s unique design includes many of the brand’s latest features including a Forum, Boardroom, and freestanding retail displays.
Oak panelling lines the central column of Apple store Bangkok
Customers are welcome to interact with freestanding displays under the canopy.

At Apple Central World, the sleek canopy roof is unquestionably its defining feature – it’s a dazzling gesture by Foster + Partners that establishes a majestic sculptural presence in this corner of the city. The circular roof projects out from its central “trunk” over the 24.4-metre diameter glass drum facade and extends a further 3 metres to provide a ring of shade to the retail levels beneath it.

Tracking the circular outline of the store’s canopy, the glazed facade blurs the line between indoors and out, allowing the tree-like structure to stand almost uninterrupted in this bustling urban jungle. “The fully glazed drum surrounding both floors provides dramatic 360-degree views, juxtaposing the intense urbanism with the quiet greenery of the new landscape,” says the architects.

The public plaza outside Apple's Bangkok store
Offering a place to stop and unwind, the generous public plaza includes trees and benches.

Referencing the subject of its inspiration, the central structure ­– from its base to its outer dripline – is wrapped in warm timber panelling. “The central support is formed of 1,461 European white oak profiles,” says the architects.

The architects explain that the oak timber “is split into individual lamellas and bonded onto a spruce core for stability. A carefully crafted edge detail on each slat allows air to be extracted out through the central structure with an absorptive acoustic backing layer.”

Material finishes outside the store are equally considered and high-quality, combining to create a generous plaza for the community. This publicly accessible area is surrounded by a ring of Terminalia trees interspersed with inviting benches for passers-by to rest and enjoy the green space.

Apple staircase designed by Foster + Partners
Apple store Bangkok staircase
“Each tread is milled from solid blocks of stainless steel and is highly polished, giving them a reflective, sculptural quality,” says Foster + Partners.

Referencing the material of its inspiration, the central structure ­– from its base to its outer dripline – is wrapped in warm timber panelling.

Upon entering the store, customers are welcome to travel between the two circular floors via a beautifully crafted staircase with helical turbine blades that cantilever from the structure’s core. “Each tread is milled from solid blocks of stainless steel and is highly polished, giving them a reflective, sculptural quality,” says the architects.

Customers can access the store from the plaza at ground level or by travelling along a new walkway that leads into the store’s upper level. The walkway also provides customers with a direct connection to the Skytrain station and Bangkok’s largest shopping centre.

The Forum inside Apple's Bangkok store
The tree-like central column at Bangkok's new Apple store
Centred around the impressive video wall, the Forum (left) at the new Apple store Bangkok will be home to regular Today at Apple events.

Apple says the store’s unique design includes many of the brand’s latest features including a Forum, Boardroom, and freestanding retail displays. Centred around a video wall, the Forum will be home to upcoming Today at Apple sessions with some of Thailand’s most celebrated artists, musicians, and creatives.

Customers can discover curated products and accessories for a wide range of creative interests at the freestanding displays, located all around the circular store layout on the first floor. The Boardroom sits in the lowest level of the store and will provide entrepreneurs, developers, and local business owners a dedicated space to receive personal advice and guidance from the Apple’s team of experts.


Interior view of the Apple store Bangkok
Staff operate at freestanding retail displays at the Apple store Bangkok
The new Apple store Bangkok

Related stories

Login to join the conversation

Subscriber comments are moderated first. Respect others. Criticise ideas, not people. No offensive language View commenting guidelines

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Further Reading
View all in Architecture
Paved paradise: Fish Lane Town Square by Richards & Spence
Fish Lane Town Square by Richards & Spence Fish Lane in South Brisbane is such a place. It’s a laneway that services during the day a collection of old and new with unplanned qualities, allowing a shortcut between the cultural precinct and West End. In recent years, the laneway, with landscape design by RPS Group, […]
Boomerang House in Brisbane by Joe Adsett Architects
Boomerang consists of five bedrooms, including a parents’ retreat, five bathrooms, a four-car garage, underground wine cellar, upper-level lounge and a light filled downstairs living area. The enormous square-shaped block also facilitates a 9-metre swimming pool and tennis court for the whole family to enjoy. With oversized windows featuring throughout the home, the remarkably light-filled […]
Zaha Hadid Architects creates dune-like HQ for BEEAH Group
Under the leadership of ZHA practice principal Patrik Schumacher, the now-completed BEEAH Group headquarters has been designed to respond to its environment, rising from the desert as a series of low-slung interconnecting “dunes” orientated and shaped to optimise local climatic conditions. “Embedded within its context of Sharjah’s Al Sajaa desert, the design echoes the surrounding […]
Nantou City Guesthouse in China by Neri&Hu
Inspired by the vibrant milieu of the alleyways in Nantou City, the project seeks to reflect on the cultural heritage of the mundane. Scenes of the everyday – people, objects and their settings – are the primary source material for design. To celebrate life in the urban village, the existing structure was cut into as a […]
Home tour: Bilgola Beach House in Sydney by Olson Kundig
Responding to the glittering beachfront environment and exposed location between the north and south headlands, the home was designed by Seattle-based architecture firm Olson Kundig to withstand Australia’s dramatic climate conditions, “where harsh sunlight, high winds and flooding are common,” say the architects. It does this not by working against the rhythm of nature, but rather […]
Wine time: Clos Pachem Winery in Spain by Harquitectes
Located in the heart of the historic Gratallops village, in the Priorat region of Spain, the site of the winery traces the form of an L-shaped polygon. It’s hugged closely on its sides by narrow laneways and traditional row houses, and overlooked by the nearby church – the town’s most dominant structure. The site boundary […]

Back to Top