Apple Patents Incredible Glass Architectural Design. Apple has found a new niche in the world of architecture. The company secured a patent Tuesday for the cylindrical glass entryway to its Shanghai store. The patent includes the design, method of construction and materials used.
Glass has always been a staple in the construction of Apple stores, but the Shanghai locationtakes that to a whole new level. Sitting atop the entryway, the glass cylinder — which the patent is intended to cover — twists down into the actual store. A spiral staircase wraps along the cylinder, leading patrons inside.
The cylinder itself is built from curved glass slabs, which are designed to meld into a circle when placed side by side. Additionally, glass beams strengthen the interior and unique glass fins hold up the circular roof. Apple’s patent details the shape and placement of each of these pieces, as it breaks from conventional architecture techniques to accomplish the design.
Clearly, there is more to the design than simply attaching glass panels together. A special laminating process is required to clamp the metal joints to the rest of the pane, ensuring stability as people move across it all day. Also consider the curve of each panel of glass — not an easy feat to accomplish on such a large scale.
This isn’t the first trademark request from the tech giant. In 2011, the company unveiled a glass cube to accompany its Fifth Avenue location in New York City:In addition to the Broadway location in New York City, it’s clear to see how influential glass components are in the design of Apple buildings.Those that can’t make it to China, however, need not worry that the Shanghai entryway will be Apple’s only glass cylinder. The company said the design can be modified for similar structures in future buildings.