Located in the cultural and commercial center of Barcelona, this project involves a major rehabilitation of a post-Spanish Civil War building. Situated along the high-end shopping boulevard Passeig de Gràcia across from Plaza Catalunya, the new three-story retail store is a careful balance of embracing the formal reality of the existing fabric in conjunction with the introduction of a new, innovative presence.
The charge of the project was to create a modern response to the brawny nature of the building while establishing a subtle rigor in keeping with Apple’s minimalist aesthetic. On the exterior, the existing granite base was replaced with a sand-colored Spanish limestone to match the upper floors, unifying the building's façade. The new limestone was also carried to the interior as the predominant finish material for piers and walls.
Oversized bronze storefront doors along Passeig de Gràcia and at the corner entry lead visitors from the busy pedestrian promenade into the retail space. The volume and adjacent full-width staircase form an ad-hoc gathering space, with customers and tourists resting on the stair. The main floor frames numerous views to the plaza through a series of storefront windows.
At the rear of the space, a linear glass stair ascends the 22-foot floor-to-floor height. Service and training tables surround the floor opening, while south and east facing windows provide natural light. New light wells carved out of the existing ground floor slab bring light into the basement.
Through selective structural modifications, leading-technology glass fabrication, and reorganized circulation, the space is a serene volume within the cosmopolitan fabric of Barcelona.