One of the most recognised tech giants in the world opened its doors to its first wholly-owned store in Mumbai, India and its subtle colour bitten-off fruit logo turned multi-hued for the same. This comes as Apple celebrates over two and a half decades in this vibrant country of ours. “India has such a beautiful culture and an incredible energy, and we’re excited to build on our long-standing history — supporting our customers, investing in local communities, and working together to build a better future with innovations that serve humanity,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. Located in the midst of Mumbai’s financial, art and entertainment district, the Bandra Kurla Complex, within Jio World Drive.
Apple has dominated the Indian premium electronics market and carved a niche for itself in the last 25 years, one that will truly be cemented sooner rather than later. Apple BKC is an impressive and immaculate store and a true reflection of the city that never sleeps. “Apple BKC is a reflection of Mumbai’s vibrant culture and brings together the best of Apple in a beautiful, welcoming space for connection and community,” said Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail.
In line with Apple’s 2030 goal of carbon neutrality, both the Mumbai and New Delhi stores are powered entirely by renewable energy; the Mumbai store runs through a colossal solar panel outside the facility that powers it making it the most sustainable store yet. Furthermore, it also has zero reliance on fossil fuels. The staff for the Mumbai store has also been handpicked from across the country and speaks over 20 languages including over 15 dialects with half the workforce being women. Moreover, to cater to Indian customs, the store also has a doorman which is something unheard of in most of Apple’s stores globally.
Designed by Foster + Partners, the store draws inspiration from the city’s ‘kaali peeli’ taxis and includes a vast array of Indian design elements. “Apple BKC embodies the creative spirit of Mumbai,” he continued. “The design incorporates finely crafted elements, locally sourced materials and lush greenery – to stimulate the senses and lift the spirits” said Stefan Behling, head of studio at Foster + Partners. Designed by Foster + Partners, the store draws inspiration from the city’s ‘kaali peeli’ taxis and includes a vast array of Indian design elements. “Apple BKC embodies the creative spirit of Mumbai,” he continued. “The design incorporates finely crafted elements, locally sourced materials and lush greenery – to stimulate the senses and lift the spirits” said Stefan Behling, head of studio at Foster + Partners.
The handcrafted timber ceiling extends beyond the store’s geometry, mimicking the shape of the glass frontage. Each of the 1,000 lattice-woven-styled tiles in this roof is made from 408 pieces of sustainably sourced oak timber, forming 31 modules per tile. The 450,000 individual elements were assembled first in India’s capital, New Delhi before being brought to Mumbai whilst the walls have been made from stone sourced directly from Rajasthan. These walls have a consistency of fine grain to it which evokes the texture of the Georgette fabric and is inspired by the iconic Hawa Mahal.
Inside the store is a large open space called ‘The Forum’ that acts as a learning and event space and features a large wall. A large white acoustic fabric adorns the space that looms over the guests as a remembrance of Apple’s product boxes. The New Delhi store on the other hand welcomes its customers through its uniquely designed storefront with white Oak tables that display all of Apple’s products. Moreover, they also have a feature wall which was manufactured completely in India. Built with 52 fire-proof panels, each being 8 metres wide, and each of these tiles have been brought in from German firm Casablanca whilst the white tables have been brought in from a company called Tessa.