Apple Kunming

A pavilion and staircase for the new Apple store combining unconventional construction materials; glass, carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP), and acrylic.


Images: Eckersley O'Callaghan,  IDA , Hufton + Crow

Eckersley O’Callaghan has engineered the pavilion and staircase for the new Apple store located in the Shuncheng Mall Plaza in Kunming, China. The pavilion combines glass, CFRP, and acrylic – unconventional construction materials – to interact and perform together as an efficient and elegant structural system.

The unique challenge of the project was incorporating the 24 opening glass doors around the perimeter of the structure. The structural system includes 8 sets of 5.4m high glass ‘U-columns’. These are laminated, fully tempered glass with SentryGlas interlayers.

The ‘U-columns’ support a carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) roof (20.9m diameter) with a central oculus of clear acrylic (8.3m diameter) above a glass spiral staircase leading down into the subterranean store.

The 24 glass doors (16 swing and 8 pivot) are located between the fixed ‘U-columns’ and are mechanically operated. When the doors are open, the arrangement enables customers to enter the store from all directions.

Detailed consideration, technical analysis and testing was required to justify new innovations including the titanium fittings for the doors. The sensitivity of the structure to the movements of the supporting concrete slab is accommodated by careful detailing which responds to the exact performance requirements.

Apple Kunming

Xinwen E Alley

Kunming Shi




Project TitleYearLocationType