Highly innovative glass drum that redefined the parameters for large-scale curved glass.

2011 American Institute of Architects SF, Merit Award

Eckersley O’Callaghan has provided the glass design of a revolutionary new Apple retail store standing at 13m tall in the form of a cylindrical glass tower. With a 5m radius, the pavilion illuminates the entrance to the store inviting the customer onto a spiral glass staircase which leads down to the subterranean retail experience.

The design team worked intensively with fabricators in china to develop the first of it’s kind production facility to make 13m 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 which 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.

Glass ribs were designed to form a “skeleton” from which the gravity loads are taken down to the plaza slab. Full height, curved, external glass elements form the “shell” which transfers stability loads. Steel fittings were carefully detailed to connect the ribs to the external glass elements at each interface. The roof is supported by radial glass beams, spanning onto a curved glass central beam.

We have designed the spiral glass staircase to cantilever from a second glass drum inserted into the centre of this structure which appears to float down to retail space below.

Shanghai, China


Bohlin Cywinski Jackson