Apple To Launch World’s First Floating Store In Singapore

Apple MBS Store
Image Credit: Chong Jun Liang

Now that’s a headline you didn’t think you’d hear in your lifetime, did you? We certainly didn’t think we’d be writing it. Amidst the COVID-19 gloom, Apple has taken its retail game up a notch by building the world’s first floating Apple Store. If you can find your way into Singapore somehow and managed to drive all the way to Marina Bay you will likely find a massive brick-and-mortar business floating around in the bay. Make sure to book yourself a stay at the Marina Bay Sands hotel while you’re at it, as the store falls in its vicinity.

Photographs of the yet unopened, gorgeous storefront are flooding the Internet right now, but believe it or not, nothing solid has come our way from Apple. Not even a press release explaining how it plans on keeping the jaws of shoppers from dropping every time they enter the store. Anyway, let’s get to know this store a little more.

Is it a crystal? Is it an orb? Or is it just a Death Star?

Apple Store Marina Bay
Image Credit: Roslan Rahman/AFP via Getty Images

Apple’s known to put a lot of thought into its design, so it would be interesting to find out what has served as the inspiration behind this project. From the outside, the store seems to have assumed the shape of a crystal, or an orb for that matter. If you’re getting Death Star vibes, you aren’t alone, but instead of a galaxy far far away, this entity is floating on a waterbed in its rotund spherical form in a Singapore bay. Though there are plenty of photographs of the exterior, our first glimpse of the interior still looks like it’s scheduled for a further date.

MBS Store By Apple
Image Credit: Archigardener

Huge curved glass panels have been used to construct this store and they seem to have some kind of sporadic stripes of varied opacity. Singapore gets pretty hot during the day so Apple definitely will have thought about heat protection here. More of this glass structure would have been visible if it wasn’t for the gray sticker that’s currently applied to most of its surface, presumably to conceal whatever Apple’s trying to hide.

Leading up to the store is a curved timber bridge that adds its own character to the structure. It will connect the store to the busy pedestrian promenade along the Marina Bay Sands waterfront and will provide the final bit of overwhelming anticipation to anyone who is about to enter the store for the first time. What’s even more exciting to know is that the previous structure occupying the location boasted of access from an underwater tunnel of the Marina Bay Sands, so it’s unlikely that Apple would want to let go of this opportunity.

This store gets its own logo!

Apple Marine Bay Sands Logo

That’s right, Apple has put up a website for its floating store and although it doesn’t reveal any crucial details about it, you do get to see one of the most stunning Apple logo designs on there. It’s a red-colored apple that turns into watery ripples at the bottom, implying the fact that the store floats on water. A GIF version of the same (seen above) looks gorgeous, might we say. Clever as that is, you can download wallpapers of this minimalist logo for your iPhone, iPad or Macs right now. Just head over to this link.

The store has leaked. Well not literally

Apple Singapore Store
Image Credit: Roslan Rahman/AFP via Getty Images

Would have been quite depressing to know that the floating Apple store had started to leak water but that’s thankfully not the case. Rather, some crucial information about it has leaked. 9to5Mac seems to have gotten its hands on marketing materials and blurbs relating to the store. According to them, Apple intends on referring to the store as “The lantern on the bay.” One of the blurbs 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.”

The marketing materials also talk about the Apple Marina Bay Sands storefront as “a gleaming orb resting on the waters of Singapore’s bayfront.” They also say, “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.”

Apple stores in Singapore
This will be Apple’s third store in Singapore after the first one was opened in 2017 and the second one in 2019. The first one was the Apple Orchard Road store, which at first glance, seems to be blurring the boundaries between inside and outside. Keeping with its name, a green orchard greets you on outside this store, while there’s more beauty to be encountered inside, with its spectacular curved staircases and an oasis-like general vibe. The second Apple store in Singapore is the Apple Jewel Changi Airport. Filled with modern architecture, indoor gardens, a majestic 40-meter waterfall, and more, this storefront really inspires awe.

Apple MBS Store Night
Image Credit: The Strait Times

When does it open?
Details are very slim as to when Apple plans on opening up its Marina Bay Sands store to the public. A video that has found its way to MacRumours seems to be an official Apple-made clip ending with a ‘See you soon.’ But it still doesn’t have any date to look forward to. The marketing materials mentioned above have, not surprisingly, talked about COVID-19 safety measures. Apple has said that all the safety guidelines that are followed at the other Apple stores in Singapore will be followed at the new store as well.