Highly innovative glass drum that redefined the parameters for large-scale curved glass.
IFC Shanghai shares a common format with the 5th Avenue store, New York. The retail space is below ground under a plaza in the shadow of the Pearl Tower. In this case however, the plaza was circular, which immediately suggested a circular form of the 5th Avenue cube as a means of drawing the public into a subterranean store.
The result is a 13-metre-tall glass drum. However, not content with the inherent challenges of this, the design team worked intensively with fabricators in china to develop a production facility to make 13-metre-tall curved, toughened and laminated panels of glass in one piece, far exceeding anything of this nature previously made, either flat or curved.
The glass fin columns that stiffen the structure and run full height internally are also made in one piece, with laminated-in fittings for tying to the curved wall panels.
The roof is supported by radial glass beams, spanning onto a curved glass central beam.
A spiral glass stair cantilevers from a second glass drum in the centre of this structure to access the retail space below.