Apple Store at Marina Bay Sands

Apple’s new store at Marina Bay Sands has drawn headlines everywhere with its stark, spherical design. Try hard as you might to find an analogue, you simply can’t – especially not in the blazing tropical heat of Singapore.

It’s not setting records for the largest, tallest, or even the deepest structure of any kind, anywhere, but the new Apple Store at MBS still manages to draw throngs of spectators with its stark design.

VR Zone had the chance to get a sneak peak in the store, and here’s our in-depth review:

Exterior of the MBS Apple Store

The link bridge with the Apple Store in the background. Image: Ian Ling/VR Zone

Located just off the promenade area of the Shoppes at MBS, the Apple Store glistens in the afternoon sun. Both the top and bottom hemispheres feature a dark finish, while a crystal clear band of glass extends around the circumference the show floor, or, the Forum.

We’re told the glass used has one of the lowest refractive indexes, and even in the bright surroundings, it’s easy to see right into the store from the outside. The higher layers of glass are specially coated with a solar film to keep the internal temperatures low.

The view of the Apple Store at Marina Bay Sands with the promenade in the foreground. Image: Ian Ling/VR Zone

Without setting any records, the worldwide attention the Apple Store has managed to captivate is likely due in large part to its location. The commercial hub of Downtown is to the Northeast, the ultra-modern and luxurious MBS to the South, with arts and heritage sites like Fullerton, the Esplanade and Clifford Pier within eyeshot.

A stark contrast to those buildings and structures big and small, angular and curved, the perfectly spherical Apple Store commands attention despite its scale.

Rating: 4/5. Iconic ball shape, but setting records is the only way to a Singaporean’s heart.

Entrance to the Apple Store via B2 of the Shoppes at MBS

It’s unclear if customers will be allowed to enter via the promenade level link bridge, but it’s safe to say that high-traffic events like its opening on 10th September 2020 at 10 am will necessitate crowd control measures. The larger portal from B2 of the Shoppes at MBS is the likely candidate to serve as the entryway.

Crowd control measures or otherwise, that’s the best way to experience the Apple store.

The view from the escalator toward the entrance. It’s a long way away. Image: Ian Ling/VR Zone

While it’s one of the most symmetrical, aligned stores sure to inspire calm feelings and mindful thoughts, it’s simply a trek to get from the entrance to the real destination: the escalator.

Don’t take it from us – according to Google Maps, it’s a 100-metre walk.

There’s plenty to keep you entertained along the way – product displays adorn the meticulously laid-out tables, while product displays flank both sides of the MRT tunnel Apple Store for you to get all handsy with.

Rating: 3/5. It’s a long hike in, wear comfortable shoes.

Edit: Designers Foster + Partners say it’s a 45-metre tunnel, but you be the judge.

The Forum & Dome

Ah, the crème de la crème of the Apple Store at Marina Bay Sands experience. Sure, the dome is all well and great, but you’ve got to experience it yourself, emerging right beneath its apex while on the escalator.

The dome, with concentric sun-shading rings. The Pantheon-inspired oculus sits in the middle, casting a beam of light on the floor that moves throughout the day. Image: Ian Ling/VR Zone

The escalator itself is just like any other 2-storey diagonal human conveyor belt, but array of mirrors nearing the top circumvent the visual limitations of a tunnel.

Even before the whole carapace comes into view, mirrors on both side serve to complete the concentric rings in an oddly surreal way.

Tables radiate out from the centre with more products on display, while 10 trees line the circumference of the Forum. Image: Ian Ling/VR Zone

There’s an area for events like for Today at Apple, a glistening lift tube, and more product showcases and serving areas. Come when the Sun is high to catch the Pantheon-like beam of light.

Of course, don’t look directly at the Sun. Image: Ian Ling/VR Zone

Rating: 5/5. Watch out Paris & Rome, Singapore’s right on your tail.

Should you visit the Apple Store at MBS?

With a respectable 12/15 score roughly equating to 80%, it’s an overwhelming show of force from the geniuses (Geniuses?) at Apple. To some, it might seem like just a retail store with some facilities for servicing, events and B2B, but dig deeper and it’s quite a bit more.

Our skyline is dominated by structures built, owned and inhabited by corporations – corporations who have over the decades called Singapore its home. For Apple, their third store at Marina Bay Sands marks its 40th anniversary from humbler beginnings of chip manufacture for the Apple II at Ang Mo Kio.

Sure, it’s just another outlet for an MNC, but they’re here to give you a ball of a time.

Image: Ian Ling/VR Zone

Ian Ling
http://uncommontragedy.com
Ian is the resident Tech Monkey and Head of Content at VR Zone. His training in Economics and Political Science is at the basis of his love for journalism and storytelling. A photographer by passion, and an audiophile by obsession, Ian is captivated by all forms of tech that makes enthusiasts tick.

2 thoughts on “Apple Store at Marina Bay Sands Review: Have a Ball of a Time

  1. Pman

    No i will not go near either, it is a brand and geographical parts of SGP i have absolutely no interest in.
    But lots of other stuff in SGP i would like to see / see again.

  2. I can’t help but notice that innovative ceiling! Nice article by the way.

    Peter from https://roofingtustin.com/

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