UK architects Foster + Partners, the company designing Apple's new 'spaceship' campus, may be given the contract to design Apple Stores.

Marketing sources claim that the companies are collaborating on designs for future Apple Stores.

The article has no official comment, with Apple refusing to comment on "rumours or speculation", and a Foster + Partners spokeswoman saying: "Any project for Apple is confidential and therefore we are unable to comment."

Apple Stores including the Fifth Avenue and Regent Street stores were designed by 8 Inc.

Apple owns patents for its Apple Store designs, including the all-glass storefronts and rectangular tables.

Apple has the most profitable retail store chain in the US, about 400 stores worldwide. Apple's stores earn the more per square foot than any other US store, by a wide margin. At $6,050 per square foot, Apple earns more than double what Tiffany manages (at $3,017 per square foot). According to the figures, Apple sees an average of 100 million customers every three months and each of those customers spends an average $45 (£28).

Apple's ex Retail guru Ron Johnson explains the Apple Store philosophy in a video from 2011. He describes the process that Apple goes through when selecting a location for a new store, and how Apple lets the location dictate the look and feel of the store.

"It's about getting out into the street", says Bridger. "Feeling what the locals feel and trying to unlock what they miss."

Once Apple has found the right location the company decides what kind of store to create. This could be "something very modern, like Fifth Avenue…" or "something very historic, like our store in Regents Street," says Johnson.

The result will be: "Something specifically created for that location, for that market, for those customers" adds Bridger. You can watch the video here.

Who are Foster+Partners?

Foster + Partners, headquartered in London, describes itself on its website as "one of the most innovative architecture design practices in the world." The practice has "pioneered a sustainable approach to architecture" with work ranging from "urban masterplans, public infrastructure, airports, civic and cultural buildings, offices and workplaces to private houses and product design."

Foster + Partners projects range from the Wembley Stadium, Canary Wharf Underground Station, Stansted Airport, London's Millennium Bridge, HBSC HQ at Canary Wharf, the McLaren Technology Centre and Hearst Tower in New York, and the as yet to be commenced Ruskin Square scheme in East Croydon which has been planned since 2004. 

Apple's Spaceship campus, over budget

The budget for Apple’s planned new spaceship-like campus headquarters has ballooned in price to almost $5 billion and is being attacked as wildly extravagant by angry shareholders. Since 2011 the budget for gigantic Apple’s Campus 2 has risen from less than $3 billion to close to $5 billion – more expensive than the $4B new World Trade Center complex in New York.

Apple is now working with the architects to cut as much as $1B from the budget before work begins.

Originally planned for a 2015 move-in date Apple now expects that won’t happen until at least 2016. The Apple HQ delay is due to possible cost-cutting and legal challenges. Apple is unlikely to be able to begin construction of its 176-acre campus until 2014. 

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