Take a look at Apple’s first ‘Town Square,’ its most beautiful retail store yet

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Take a look at Apple’s first ‘Town Square,’ its most beautiful retail store yet

This weekend, Apple took the wraps off of its first “Town Square” retail store in Chicago.

The location marks Apple’s 497th retail store. The new space replaces the company’s flagship North Michigan Ave store which opened in 2003. TechCrunch took a tour with Apple’s senior VP of retail, Angela Ahrendts, and saw the ins and outs of the company’s latest redesigned vision for retail.

The new store is a beautiful one, crafted with massive slabs of glass beneath a roof that seems to float solemnly above. The space meets the Chicago river on one side and a plaza outside the Chicago Tribune offices on the other with a massive amount of underground square footage devoted to showing off Apple’s latest products.

In September, Ahrendts announced a series of moves that are aiming to build a more tight-knit relationship between the company’s retail spaces and the communities they sit inside. The “town squares,” as Ahrendts referred to them, include redesigned Genius Bars, rotating product displays and “boardrooms” built for local businesses to meet and learn more about the company’s services.

Click through to take a look at our tour.

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The new Apple store sits on the Chicago River right across the street from Trump Tower.

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Visitors can exit the back of the store and walk along the river.

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The main entrance to the store sits across from the Chicago Tribune offices with a large plaza separating the two.

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The Apple logo shines brightly towards Michigan Ave.

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A healthy amount of the store’s real estate is dedicated to outdoor space facing the river.

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The store is filled with stairs (and a glass elevator) taking visitors down to the lower level retail area.

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The massive screen may obscure the view of the Chicago River a bit, but it displays upcoming events and promotional items at a glorious size.

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Apple senior VP of retail Angela Ahrendts introduces a group of reporters to the space.

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Our first look at the waves of iPhones in the retail space.

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New Apple Watch areas let visitors take a closer look at the hardware.

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Ahrendts discusses what distinguishes a “town square” from a retail store.

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The wide variety of available Apple Watch bands was on full display.

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From the heights of Chicago skyscrapers, many have remarked that the new store’s roof looks a lot like a giant MacBook shell.

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The familiar tables with familiar glass tablets.

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Apple showcases the fitness smarts of the Apple Watch and iPhone with one of its rotating product displays which will be a new look for stores.

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Apple showcases HomeKit tech.

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Natural light and indoor foliage.

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The store may appear to have a small footprint but can easily hold hundreds of guests.

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Ahrendts and the store’s lead architect riff on design ethos.

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The “boardroom.”

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This is how 2017 Apple would design your living room.

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Business meeting at Apple stores are a bit more stylish than they are elsewhere.

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Lots of little boxes and leather balls add to the seating options for guests.

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The mirrored back of the massive display makes for a less ominous sight for viewers across the river.

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A pretty solid skyline sits across the river.

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More pretty shots of outdoor greenery and steps.

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