New Apple Store in Seoul opens Gangnam style! | Cult of Mac

New Apple Store in Seoul opens Gangnam style!


The distinctive glass facade of the new Apple Gangnam store in Seoul, South Korea.
Just look at that gradient frit!
Photo: Apple

The new Apple Store that opens Friday in South Korea looks a little different than your typical sparkling shrine to the empire that iPhone built.

The new Seoul store’s striking facade features a “completely new gradient frit and mirrored coating treatment that blurs the transition from top to bottom,” Apple said Tuesday in a press release previewing Apple Gangnam. The building’s unique face also “shifts in appearance during different times of day or seasons.”

Fritted glass — which is “printed with ink that contains ultra-small particles of ground-up glass – a.k.a. ‘frit,'” according Dip-Tech — proves popular with modern architects. (To me, it just looks cool.)

Apple Gangnam is the shiny new Apple Store in Seoul

Apple turned the retail industry on its ear with its stores, which blend impeccably minimalist architecture with cheery staffers ready to help customers with their every need. After some false starts and a failed partnership with CompUSA, the first Apple Store opened in 2001. The distinctive approach fueled great success for Apple’s retail operation. While giant chains like Walmart and Costco generate more cash overall, Cupertino’s retail formula drove Apple to the top of the charts for revenue per square foot.

As with other Apple Store locations, Apple Gangnam doesn’t skimp on raw materials. The store “is designed with materials sourced from the region,” Apple said, “including the tables, wood feature wall, logo, façade glass, stone walls, and flooring.”

Apple also said the new store in Seoul’s glitzy Gangnam district — which Apple describes as a “historically rich and fast-moving neighborhood” — will be greener than green.

Using fritted glass probably makes the building more energy efficient in addition to giving it a distinctive look. Plus, that sort of specially treated glass can “help reduce glare, cut cooling costs, and lower the danger to birds,” according to Architectural Digest.

And, “like all Apple facilities, Apple Gangnam and Apple’s operations in South Korea run on 100 percent renewable energy and are carbon neutral,” Apple said.

Bubbly customer service and a special K-pop event

Today at Apple sessions will take place at two tables inside Apple Gangnam.
Today at Apple sessions show customers how to take advantage of Apple gear.
Photo: Apple

Aside from that, Apple Gangnam will offer the usual mix of high-end products and helpful customer support. Nearly 150 staffers will handle that last bit. And rest assured, they are just so excited to “share the best of Apple with even more people in Seoul,” said Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of retail, in the PR.

That means a typical lineup of free (and actually quite helpful) Today at Apple classes that offer instruction in everything from getting started on a Mac to directing a portrait photo shoot.

There’s also a special event for K-pop fans:

Beginning April 1, music fans will be able to experience the magic of Spatial Audio in a limited-time Pop-Up Studio, featuring rising K-pop group, NewJeans, from ADOR. On Friday and Saturday evenings — on the hour, every hour from 5-7 p.m. — attendees will be treated to a special listening session featuring their hit track “OMG (Apple Music Edition).” During the 15-minute session, participants will experience the industry-leading sound quality of Spatial Audio. The version of the song will be available only on Apple Music.

The company even put together a custom Apple Gangnam playlist on Apple Music.

Apple describes it like this in the Apple Music app:

To celebrate the opening of Apple Gangnam, Apple Music has selected music full of creative inspiration that is in line with the space. Listen to the upbeat tracks of domestic and foreign artists who are loved in the colorful music world, and envision Apple Gangnam to shine together. This playlist is carefully selected by Apple Music editors to match Apple Gangnam’s slogan, ‘Creative Inspiration’, and will be played within Apple Gangnam.

Shockingly, this track’s not on the list:

Register for the Apple Gangnam grand opening

Apple Gangnam will welcome its first visitors at 5 p.m. local time on March 31. Registrations for the reservation-only grand opening start March 29 at 8 a.m. And you can sign up for Today at Apple classes on the Apple Gangnam site.

Source: Apple


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