Gallery: Striking new Apple store in Seattle’s University Village features indoor garden, terrazzo porch

This morning in Seattle, Apple welcomed customers to a striking new store in the heart of University Village, an upscale shopping center near the University of Washington. 9to5Mac reader Kim Ahlberg stopped by the store and snapped some photos of the new design elements on display.

With a low-slung roofline and intensely contemporary architecture, the new Apple University Village stands in stark contrast to the company’s outgoing location next door. We previously detailed the shopping center’s history and how Apple has the opportunity to cultivate a warm, community atmosphere through friendly and accessible design.

This morning at 9:30 a.m., customers streamed onto the store’s breezy porch, where visitors can stop to sit and chat. The Seattle Times detailed some of the project’s impressive new design elements, including the custom teak Adirondack chairs set outside. 9-foot wide glass panels let fresh air and customers inside, where sound dampened, wood-lined ceilings are split only by aluminum bands running to structural columns.

Perhaps the most impressive parts of the new store are two planting beds, one inside, where Japanese maple trees have been planted. Skylights above provide even more natural light inside. Natural elements are a key design element at University Village. A green wall nestled between two Avenue displays provides a quiet place to relax and wirelessly charge your iPhone. Above, the roof is planted with sedum. Saddle brown leather upholstered benches provide a view of the indoor garden. Seattle’s store is only the second to receive the new style of seating. The first was Apple Cotai Central in Macau, which opened yesterday.

Another highlight is the store’s massive video wall, a staple element in new stores, but critically important to Today at Apple, the educational and community-driven series of sessions Apple rolled out worldwide last year. According to SVP Angela Ahrendts, retail strategies must evolve beyond selling in order to remain relevant.

Behind closed doors lies the store’s new Boardroom, a private place for business meetings and collaborations. These spaces have traditionally been reserved for only the largest stores, but have recently made their way to more and more new projects.