Inside the cube, the all-glass staircase from the original 2006 building has been retained. The self-supporting staircase in Apple’s 5th Avenue store had to comply with two special requirements: Firstly, the structure is located in an earthquake zone and, secondly, there is a lift integrated into the well of the spiral staircase. The glass cylinder in the middle is the structural part, also carrying all the dynamic loads of the lift situated inside the cylinder. Three cylinders, each made up of six 60° panes, are securely joined together and held in position with horizontal stainless steel H-sections. The treads of the stairs are suspended between the glass cylinder and the glass outer stringer, with the latter supported on so-called hockey sticks – rigid, cantilevering glass fins.
Maximum transparency and lightness dominate the appearance of the Apple Store in New York like never before. During the day, the subterranean retail zone is bathed in sunlight. At night, the impression is reversed: New York’s spectacular skyline is refracted in the glass surfaces like a starry sky, while the glass cube is illuminated from inside.