Crowds of customers started gathering overnight at Taipei 101 for the grand opening of Apple’s first store in Taiwan on Saturday. The curved, sliding glass doors opened at 11 a.m. as employees welcomed customers to come together, explore the store and get hands-on with Apple’s latest products.
Like other recently opened Apple outlets, Apple Taipei 101 features the company’s next-generation design philosophy. Images of the store’s interior, shared by Apple earlier this week, revealed a high-flung lighted ceiling canopying a large salesroom floor outfitted with custom-built wooden display furniture.
The new design language also accommodates a central gathering area with special wooden seats positioned in front of a gigantic television. Dubbed the Forum, the space serves as a meeting place for “Today at Apple” sessions covering a range of topics including art, video and photography, app coding, music production and more. Special events like performances by local musicians and artist demonstrations are also hosted at the Forum.
Apple often invites local artists to showcase their work — sometimes created using iPhone or iPad — at or prior to store openings. In Asia, and especially China, the company turns protective construction barriers into art installations. For Taipei 101, Apple invited local paper cutting artist Yang Shiyi to create a large mural that covered the store’s glass windows. The piece depicted a forest full of woodland creatures, some of which with Apple products in hand, in a wistful scene meant to invite customers in to the store.
Following Saturday’s grand opening, Apple Taipei 101 will hold normal operating hours from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday, and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.