Apple plans Milan flagship store at historic Piazza del Liberty

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Apple is planning to build a new underground flagship retail store in Milan's historic Piazza del Liberty, or Liberty Square, that will involve the construction of an outdoor amphitheater and stunning water features.

Milan's planning committee approved preliminary guidelines for the store's construction in December, according to the Italian city's municipal website.

To be located in a space currently occupied by the Apollo Spazio Cinema, Apple's upcoming outlet calls for a drastic exterior redesign city planning official Pierfrancesco Maran calls "ambitious and truly international."

In addition to a complete interior renovation of the Apollo cinema site, Apple will lower the central area of Piazza del Liberty to make way for an outdoor amphitheater with broad terraced stairs. The space will serve as both an entrance into the store and a public space for hosting cultural events, the report said.

Acting as the store's grand entryway is a tall glass waterfall and water bowls that anchor one end of the amphitheater. Stairs and an elevator lead down into the showroom floor below.

The store is designed by Foster + Partners, the same firm late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs tapped to work on the company's Campus 2 headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

As part of the agreement to use Piazza del Liberty, Apple must pay the city a one-time fee of 768,732 euros to offset costs the administration incurred during a renovation of the square in 2013. In addition, Apple will pay an annual usage fee of 127,435 euros.

Apple currently operates a single store in Milan located in the Fiordaliso mall. It is not yet known when the company plans to break ground on the Milanese flagship.


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