When Jony Ive was promoted to Chief Design Officer earlier this year, we learned that part of the new role would include redesigning the company’s iconic Apple Stores. Four months later, we’re getting a first look at his retail plans with a new store opening in Belgium.
The latest Apple Store isn’t a total departure from what we’ve seen before, but there are definitely some big changes. Ive decided to use giant floor-to-ceiling glass panes on the outside, which gives the entire space an open feel. He also installed eight trees in the center of the store surrounding a pair of tables where people can sit and wait for their Genius Bar appointment.
Ive also put a huge emphasis on natural materials. There’s ton of wood used to display products, including Beats headphones and iPhone accessories. The interior walls even use the same clay brick featured in Apple’s still-in-progress Cupertino headquarters.
The new store was designed by Jony Ive and Apple’s retail chief Angela Ahrendts. You can expect to see some of the same ideas spread to other Apple Stores in the future, though the company hasn’t announced specific plans for upgrading its other locations yet.