Here’s the inside of the new Brisbane MacArthur Chambers Apple store.
The store is super open and airy, with large arch windows. It’s going to a welcome relief when the masses of people swarm in.
The front entrance.
Lots of press. Cameras, interviews, the whole shebang.
The store leader Johnny Walker who was interviewed by the press in attendance. He spoke at length about what Apple has done to restore the building. The marble mosaic in the front entrance. The restored original railings on the mezzanine floor. Lots of other bits and pieces too; they went all-out to make this store special.
One thing about the mezzanine floor pictured above; it’s disappointingly inaccessible. Unfortunately there’s no famed glass staircase, or any way to get up there. No plans at this point to make it publicly accessible. It’s just for show.
The long benches and tables are made of oak, but the staff members couldn’t confirm that the wood was locally sourced.
These screens are LED-lit, printed and have been custom made to fit the wall arches. They look very nice.
The entrance with the marble mosaic. Apparently they dug up the entire thing, polished the hell out of each piece and then relaid it.
This is what you see as you walk in.
This post on the Mac Pro. Meta.
There are white acoustic dampeners everywhere (those little white boxes inlaid on the walls). Otherwise the crowd noise would be deafening. The place is so open echo would be a real problem if not for measures like this.
Replica light hangings. Not originals, but sourced to fit the style and decorum of the original building. You can also see the restored railing on the mezzanine floor.
This is the iPad mini I posted most of this feature from (which was a really bad idea). Anyway, a Mac Pro is approximately 1 + 1/4th of an iPad mini high.
More acoustic dampeners.
A sea of MacBook Pros.
The ceilings are marvelous. Really detailed, beautiful and charming.
The genius bar bench at the rear of the store.
I’m not going to mince words, it’s the nicest Apple store I’ve ever been in. Super white, clean & tastefully done. I spoke at length with a staff member about how Apple is trending toward these restoration-style stores, and everyone seems to agree they’re among the best stores in the world.
Staff are excited too, lots of them are Chermside staff who can now look forward to a much shorter commute.
They’ve got everything too, lots of accessories, endless rows of tables with devices. They’ve got a Mac Pro too (probably one of the very few in the country).
The only thing I left a little disappointed with was that I couldn’t get up to that mezzanine. That would’ve made a nice shot.
The opening is tomorrow. Almost all the press will be back then. As always, it’ll be a big spectacle.
Got me thinking about why I actually give a damn about this store.
Well here’s the thing; there is a ton of Brisbane that is built and built over again. I’ve been here my whole life. Old shit is torn down and new shit is constructed. This city has scarce little history like Sydney or Melbourne has. And the bits that are historical are not respected; they’re skeezy like the casino, or dilapidated, or tucked away from the public.
This is a beautiful, accessible, historical piece of Brisbane. It’s a monument to consumerism, sure, but it’s gorgeous & respectful, you can walk right in and see it. The Apple parts are light; it doesn’t impose itself on the building in a heavy-handed way.
So I say keep up the good work Apple. Retailers should be working to aspire to this standard; not an alien store slammed down in the middle of a city, but a meshing of old and new, of modern and historical, of place and time.