Apple's highly-anticipated new flagship Chicago storefront will open to the public this week.
Sitting along the Chicago River, with the words "where ideas sing" slapped on the side of it, the building has remained in part a mystery for weeks.
But on Friday, shoppers will be able to go inside the new downtown storefront.
The store's opening was first announced during Apple's most recent product event.
The store aims to create more than just a retail space for shoppers, but rather, an experience, designers have said.
The store has been under construction for months, replacing the food court at 401 N. Michigan Ave.
When it's complete, shoppers will enter the store from the plaza level through a tall, sleek glass enclosure with a grand modern staircase to match.
To celebrate its grand opening, the shop said it partnered with local artists to create “Where Ideas Sing.” A series of live performances and events aiming to inspire the next generation of photographers, musicians, artists and app developers, according to its website.
“This city anthem was written and performed by hip-hop artist Saba, and his lyrics were brought to life by public artist Matthew Hoffman,” the store’s website says. “The spirit of this collaboration, like Apple Michigan Avenue itself, was inspired by the creativity and energy of Chicago.”
The retail shop will take up approximately 20,000 square feet inside the former food court, with a 6,500-square-foot sales area.
"It's all about creating a public space," said James McGrath with Foster + Partners, the architectural firm designing the new store. "People will be able to sit on these stairs here. It's about getting access down to the river. We will have trees, maple trees, planted on these steps."
At the upper Michigan Avenue level, “an ultra-thin carbon-fiber reinforced roof structure without rooftop utilities” will overhang the glass structure.
Materials scheduled for use have been designed to utilize solar shading to reduce cooling loads during the summer, the plan says, and heating loads in the winter.
"The roof structure is actually made up of a steel structure with these composite panels that sit on top," McGrath said. "These panels are made up of a material called F.R.P., fiber reinforced polymer. It's the same material that's used for the hulls of yachts and we chose this because it's very strong and very light weight."
First Look: Renderings for New Apple Store on Chicago River
The entire structure was designed in a way to provide nearly unobstructed views of the Chicago River.
"We wanted this to be not just a place for retail but a place where people can come and gather," McGrath said. "And so, one of the main parts of the design was to work with the landscape."