Apple’s newest store is more of a step back in time than the usual step into an all-glass box.
The tech giant proudly gave a sneak peek into its Washington D.C. outlet, a former Carnegie Library where Ive and Beaux-Arts styles blend for a refreshing feel to the Apple retail experience.
Of course, there’s a staircase.
Pictures released today show employees putting final touches on the Apple Carnegie Library in preparation of Saturday’s opening.
Apple Carnegie Library a ‘synergy between old and new’
The building, once D.C’s Central Public library, was constructed in 1903 and Apple worked with conservation experts to “revitalize” the architecture, which features columns, sculptures and a facade of Vermont marble.
Apple will share the space, located on Mount Vernon Square, with the new DC History Center, which can be found on the second floor by walking up a new grand entry staircase.
While Apple has brought stores to historic buildings, especially in Europe, the company called Apple Carnegie Library its most ambitious restoration work.
“I love the synergy between old and new, the juxtaposition of the historic fabric and contemporary design,” Apple design chief Jony Ive said in a written statement. “In its ‘new’ phase of life, Apple Carnegie Library will be a way for us to share our ideas and excitement about the products we create while giving people a sense of community and encouraging and nurturing creativity. It has been a significant honor to restore the Carnegie Library for the people of Washington, D.C.”
Apple restored the original interior footprint of each room and located the Genius Bar (which Apple calls the Genius Grove in this space), in the space that once housed the library’s book stacks.
Apple redesigned the skylight over what was once the library’s circulation desk. This space is called the Forum and was designed to host “Today at Apple” sessions, free workshops focusing on photography, music, coding, and design.