I have been an Apple fan ever since I bought my first Mac laptop in 2001. Every computer I’ve owned since then is an Apple and I bought my first I-Phone in 2008.
Besides their superior products, I’ve always liked their consistent minimalist and streamlined design, which their stores clearly reflect. They are more like tech laboratories than a retail Store.
A few months ago a new store on the Champs Elysees opened and it’s the most beautiful and unusual Apple store I’ve ever been in.
What’s unusual about the store is the fact that it’s located in a former hotel Particulier with a corner rotunda. Inventor and aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont, who was one of the first men to fly an airplane, once owned it.
Instead of one vast open space like most Apple stores, there’s an assemblage of smaller scale rooms on three floors. The centerpiece is an ornately carved staircase stripped to its original finish with stairs in chocolate brown veined marble, and landings of black and white diamond shaped tiles.
Walking through the lobby entrance though a portal of swirled wrought iron, you arrive at the spectacular atrium reaching up three floors capped by a mirrored kaleidoscope ceiling. The atrium, lined with newly potted trees, serves as an event space. There’s a massive screen where videos and news of product updates are shown. Customers can sit on wood cubes to watch.
On the second floor is a series of salon-like rooms, which are still recognizable as rooms of the original apartment with wood parquet floors and painted over fireplaces and moldings.
The Genius Bar is discreetly located down a long hall with no sign on it and if one has to wait on line, they are visually rewarded with a series of Art Nouveau stained glass panels.
My favorite room was the semi-circular with curved glass paned windows overlooking the Champs Elysees filled just with I-Watches. The Hermes double strap one has my name on it.
Another room, which is beautifully decorated with mid-century style furniture and black and white vintage style photos, appears to be a screening room (there’s a large screen on one wall) and also features a long light wood table, perhaps for dining or reading.
The store is definitely a destination and you can add it to your must see places in Paris.
114 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008
Metro: George V
Links Eye Like
Checkout an article about new crystal fountains being installed on the Champs Elysees in the N.Y. Times
Congratulations to Michele K. who was the first person to make a comment about The Empire and the Five Kings and has won a copy of the book. Thanks to the others who submitted their comments.
If you haven't already seen my Eye Prefer Paris exhibit, it's on until March 31.