Engineering transparency for Apple’s flagship store in San Francisco, featuring 13-metre-tall sliding glass doors.

For Apple’s Flagship Store located in San Francisco’s Union Square, Foster + Partners envisaged an open monumental space that blurs the line between the public and retail program, transforming the store into a civic space. This was achieved by incorporating single sheet glass facade panels 45 feet tall and two epic central sliding doors 20 feet wide and 45 feet tall.

Eckersley O’Callaghan acted as Engineer of Record for the design of the structural glass and moving door elements, which are required to sustain heavy seismic loads and building structure movements.

The store also contains two interior structural glass staircases that utilize 40-foot-long single sheet laminated glass stringers with embedded tread fittings to achieve an elegant all-glass aesthetic.

Extensive dynamic analysis of both the facade and stair systems was required to ensure the seismic performance, with particular attention paid to the rolling door mechanisms, which are required to support net vertical seismic uplift forces.

San Francisco, CA


Foster + Partners