Apple's latest store is a hip Chicago riverside meetup spot

This is the latest of Apple's 'Town Square' concept stores and is perhaps the most impressive

Apple's always had a reputation for making its official retail stores more than cold inventory displays. Hanging out at an Apple Store is an actual thing, and the latest Michigan Avenue one in Chicago is a most effective display of what Apple calls its 'Town Square' concept.

Light, space and water

Apple loves its glass walls and wood furnishing, and you see more of that in this spanking new location. But more than that, this store is an ambitious attempt to connect North Michigan Avenue, Pioneer Court and the Chicago River.

What's evident in the store is the effort put into making it emulate the feel of a traditional town square. There are seats aplenty and the space is linked to Pioneer Court via granite staircases on both sides. The entire building, with its 32-foot glass walls, is supported by four interior pillars, and topping it all is a 111 x 98 foot carbon fibre roof, engineered to be as thin as possible.

The store officially opens its doors 20 October, 5pm PST (that's 21 October, 8am KL time). If you're lucky to be in the vicinity, a special Chicago Series of events will be held from Monday onwards, incorporating everything from introductions to Swift and slam poetry. Check out the listing here.