Apple’s first store in China. Fast programme and new hung, long span, straight glass stair with laminated-in connectors.

Apple's first flagship store in China was conceived, designed and constructed in eight months, so that it could open in time for the 2008 Olympic Games. Such an aggressive schedule required total commitment from design partners and contractors, which was particularly challenging given that it was the first Apple project in the region.

We were tasked with designing a new type of hanging, straight glass stair. We used this opportunity to develop new stair connection fittings born out of the metal laminating technology established on previous facade projects in New York and Sydney.

The facade specification required the use of insulated glass. With panels 8m tall and using two layers of 19mm glass, this meant searching for a contractor in China not only capable of manufacturing the giant insulated units, but also one who could handle and install them. The design required these panels to be restrained by laminated, annealed glass fins with perfectly crisp edges.

Location
Beijing

Client 
Apple 

Architect
Bohlin Cywinski Jackson / The Buchan Group