Saturday, 21 May 2011

Apple Store in Shanghai and how to make the most of membrane stresses (Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Architects, 2010)

The author of the Blog in front of the Apple Store in Shanghai

Apple Store in Shanghai contributes to the design of buildings considered icons of structural glass achievement today. The store, inagurated last July 2010, is located in the Pudong financial district, situated between the Oriental Pearl Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Center, one of the tallest skycrapers worldwide.

The authors of the design are Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Architects, a prominent american architecture studio, who already designed another Apple stores, such as those in New York and in London.

The glass cilindrical envelope is formed by tempered curved glass panes of 12 meters in height. The design achieves the best integration between aesthetic and functionality through its structural system, because structure and envelope are formed by glass.

The facade resists wind loads through acting all the glass panes together as a shell. This is achieved through the stainless steel conectors that link all the glass panes together. This structural system develops less stress in each glass pane, decreasing the glass thickness accordingly and making the design happen.

The glass panes are supported by a glass laminated fins, forming a frame with the glass roof beams that support the top of the cylinder.

In order to obtain a 12 meters curved tempered glass, an customised oven was built for this project to manufacture the largest pieces of curved tempered glass.

Through this design and materials, Apple communicate perfection, innovation and passion for being the best.

Internal view of the glass roof of the Apple Store in Shanghai

Apple Store in Shanghai