apple atrium Exclusive Spy Shot   Apples first “atrium designed” retail store being built in Sydney?A spy pic, exclusive to The Next Web Australia (below) shows a new Apple retail store being built in Sydney, Australia, and evidence points to it being the first “atrium-designed” store in the world.

The new store, which Australian site MacTalk discovered was advertising for positions earlier this year, is being built in Bondi Junction (just up the hill from iconic Bondi Beach) and  is part of the Westfield shopping centre.

It has been shrouded in black board and cloth for months since construction started and is manned by security around the clock.

This weekend, however, the workers let their guard down for a few short minutes and we’ve managed to get our hands on a pic, which lets you see inside and a bit of the façade.

Click on the pic below to see a larger version.

apple store1 Exclusive Spy Shot   Apples first “atrium designed” retail store being built in Sydney?

While the picture we received isn’t super clear (our source said they tried to get closer to take pics but were told to move on), there are a few things to note:

  1. Check out the size of the trees inside the building. We’re told those trees are about 5-6 metres inside the front door –so they’re definitely going to be a key part of the shop. Also, using the scale of the dude at the front door you’d say the trees would have to be at least 15-20 feet tall.
  2. Our source tells us that the trees are covered in natural light (not coming from the street if the darkness of the pic is any evidence) which suggests that there’s glass roofing
  3. Looks like it’s going to be glassed faced (the framing around the door and the the nature of the material covering the front door suggests that it will be replaced by glass)
  4. It will probably be one floor (if the height of the trees is any indication) but then again if I remember correctly, the old ‘Surf Dive n Ski’ (an action sports retail chain) that was on that spot had a mezzanine level over half the floor, so there may be a small second floor
  5. Speaking of the old Surf Dive n Ski, there was a courtyard out the back, so that would fit in well with the new atrium style design if that’s what they decided to go ahead with.
  6. Rumour has it that a limited edition, “Bondi Blue” version of the new iMacs will be available on the launch day (…OK… I made that one up…)

There’s no opening date announced yet but my prediction is that the shop will open in line with a product launch. May 28 (when iPads drop in Australia) is probably a little too soon, but July for the rumoured iPhone 4G release sounds about right.

What do you think?