Apple's Mark on the Mag Mile

Guest post by Sebastiano Masi


The new Chicago Apple flagship store on Michigan Avenue and the river is the first of its kind – and it is one of the most ingenious buildings in Chicago.

The Mac-shaped building sits right at the historic confluence of Chicago, where Michigan Avenue meets the river. It is on the exact location of the first structure ever built in Chicago, the trading post of du Sable, and is across the river from where Fort Dearborn once stood.

The one thing that makes this building so impressive: It’s invisible.  

The disappearing act

It stands in the shadow of two amazing structures, The Wrigley Building and the The Tribune Tower, amazing examples of early skyscraper architecture. It would have been so easy for Apple to use the store as a massive advertisement, one that would have imposed on the view of the area, but instead the Apple Store uses amazing, and clever, architecture to almost completely disappear – a disappearing act, that, ironically, makes the building even more impressive.  

The exterior design is unique, with a light carbon fiber roof held up by four discreet pillars, and with glass walls that give it its modern, even futuristic, feeling. Inside, there are even more design details to admire. The underside of its roof is made of a light wood, a stark contrast to the stone and steel of all the buildings surrounding it.

The river

The store is tucked away within the plaza it sits next to, with a staircase leading down to the river, allowing store-goers to step out and enjoy beautiful views. Its placement allows it to be easily seen from the river, but its low height and glass walls allow for its neighbor, the Tribune Tower, to remain visible from the river as well. The core Apple ideology of simplicity is evident in this structure, as is its place among Chicago’s architectural masterpieces.

Making the Mag Mile even more magnificent

Located on the south end of the Magnificent Mile, it serves as a new addition to connect the famous shopping strip with the river and Millennium Park. A new attraction for the southern end of the Mag Mile, it adds a dynamic new piece to not only the Mag Mile but also the revived riverfront.

Apple has chosen to debut this new design in our beloved city – and the rumor has it that there will only be six more stores like it.


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