Major structural transformation of Apple's first retail store in Europe to realise a vast double-height space.

Eckersley O’Callaghan carried out major structural interventions to transform Apple Regent Street in just 10 months on site. Five floors of live offices above were temporarily supported while highly loaded columns were removed to open up the retail space. Working with Foster + Partners, the project followed a new design concept that had recently been revealed at Apple stores in San Francisco and Brussels. We were the engineers for the original scheme in 2004, which was Apple’s first flagship store in Europe.

The new works involved significant structural changes to the primary building frame. These included recessing second floor beams to provide greater ceiling height, relocation of primary structural columns, installation of new transfer structures, removal of the existing mezzanine level and support to new stonework walls and staircases, all within the fully occupied commercial building.

To minimize the downtime of the store, the client introduced a temporary retail facility in the basement space while allowing the more significant structural works to progress behind the scenes at the upper levels. This required the strategic sequencing of structural enabling works, which had to adapt the continually changing construction envelope. The office floors above remained fully operational and undisturbed throughout the process.

Location
London, UK

Client 
Apple

Architect
Foster + Partners

Photography
Paul Raferty | Eckersley O'Callaghan