Project Specifications

  • Architects: Foster + Partners
  • Year: 2021
  • City: Los Angeles
  • Country: United States
Apple Tower Theatre Foster Partners

Premier of the Apple store was seen in its newest retail location being a historic theatre since 1927since the year 1927. This store in downtown LA is Apple’s one of the most significant projects that have been restored and rethought. The design intent was to inspire more creativity in the downtown area by merging high-tech with historical symbolization. 

people inside of  Apple Tower Theatre Foster Partners

At today’s Apple Creative Studios launch, which is a global initiative that will provide hands-on mentorship and experience for young creatives to kick start their careers, thecareers the showcase was a spectacle in itself. It is Apple’s 26th location in LA. 

“At every corner, Los Angeles bursts with creativity across the arts, music, and entertainment, and we are thrilled to build on our relationship with this special city,” said Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail + People. 

He Continues, “Apple Tower Theatre honours the rich history and legacy of this entertainment capital.”

Preserving The Old, Recreating The New

Recreating The New Apple Tower Theatre Foster Partners

Originally this theatre was wired for a film with sound and was designed in 1927 by a renowned motion-picture theatre architect called S. Charles Lee. This historic legacy of the advent of technology is continued by adding the Apple store that will focus the full line of its products like iPhone, iPad and Mac, each product that has been a crucial transformer in the technological and creative era of the 21st century. Apple products have transformed modern filmmaking, photography, motions, etc, and what better location to launch a store than the historic legacy of a theatre in LA itself. 

Earlier, the theatre had closed around 1988 and was unused for many years later. Apple then collaborated with many leading preservationists, artists and of course the city of Los Angeles to preserve this location with a thoughtful eye, or let’s just said Apple’s eye!

 ceiling of Apple Tower Theatre Foster Partners

They aimed to preserve the history and ornate grandeur of this space by ideating the store around it, rather than revamping its entire existence. Every element of the building was carefully restored and also went under an entire seismic up-gradation. 

Apple Tower Theatre Foster Partners

Unveiling the Apple Tower Theatre is a crucial part of the urban regeneration in downtown LA which is envisioned to strengthen urban retail as well as communal life by adding it to the city. The design is an active result of a close collaboration between Apple and Foster + Partners to create a thoughtful outcome that celebrates technology by respecting history. 

Restoring The Old To Brand The New

chandelier hanging from the ceiling of Apple Tower Theatre Foster Partners

The design intent was to restore the clock tower and the exterior ornate terracotta facade to enhance the interior experience even more. The idea was also to improve the marquees and Broadway street elevations. The building was restored precisely to survive the test of time while surviving the community through urban regeneration. 

A group of people sitting in a large room of Apple Tower Theatre

The design aims to be a centrepiece on Broadway with the visitor entering the generous lobby at a street level, the design further opens up to the grandeur. An ornate and grand staircase is carefully restored to be placed as an ensemble to take the visitors on the further upper levels. The lobby then further opens up to a large volume of the main hall which was before a theatre lobby, which is now entirely transformed to be a large display area. The monumental design of the lobby is inspired by the Paris Opera House by Charles Garnier with its grand arched staircase with corinthian columns and bronze handrails. 

a group of people check apple products in Apple Tower

The plaster and detailing on the walls as well as the ceilings go back to the 1920s, where they have been carefully restored and enhanced. The central dome has been rethought to create a fresco that adds colour as well as an eccentric vibe to space. 

Keeping the references of the cinema days intact, a large screen is still intact under the proscenium arch reminiscing the golden era of the talkies. Apart from the main staircase, there is a discreet one that takes the visitors towards a balcony level which previously hosted the best seats within the theatre. This balcony acts as the perfect viewpoint towards the entire forum.

A brown leather seats on top of a set of stairs in Apple Tower Theatre

Moreover, the theatre-style seats with data points are the ideal blend of the theatrics with Apple’s technology for visitors to relax. Two new elevators have been installed within the theatre for better vertical access apart from the grand staircase. 

Apple Tower Theatre with a sky view

The upper floors can be transformed into a theatrical event space. Foster + Partners has previously worked with Apple and design director Doo Ho Lee in the palazzo restoration for Rome. By using 3D Scans and forensic analysis, the firm could successfully restore and preserve the original theatre hidden in these walls. 

Final thought

Truly one a kind, the Apple Tower Theatre is an experiential store that merges the rich history of the talkies and cinema in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles.  Foster + Partners and Apple have created a timeless piece of architecture that not only provides an exciting retail experience but also helps in thriving the Downtown through urban regeneration. 

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