Newly-developed technology allows a stone interlayer within laminated glass to give the walls of this flagship Apple store a beautiful translucent quality. 

A former casino has been transformed into Apple's new two-storey flagship store in Macau, featuring a floor-to-ceiling glass facade.

Eckersley O'Callaghan designed a pioneering facade, which features two layers of stone within the glass build-up to provide a translucent effect. This stone layer begins at the height of the first floor, allowing transparency into the store only at ground level.

A stone layer in the inner panel face is a known element, however through our close collaboration with glass manufacturer Glas Trösch, we were able to develop the technology to enable a stone layer to be fitted as an interlayer within the laminated glass for the first time.

The fin-less facade spans 16 metres in height, restrained only at the top and bottom, with a requirement to withstand high wind loads in the typhoon area.

This presented additional challenges to ensure that the laminated stone layer would not affect the structural behaviour of the glass.

We performed very refined finite element modelling (FEM) and continuous laboratory tests on glass and stone samples, alongside precise coordination with the glass manufacturer to develop the technology able to achieve the panels.

We also engineered the roof skylight design and staircase.

Location
Macau, China

Client
Apple

Architect
Foster + Partners