seele realised the Apple Cube for the Apple Retail Store on 5th Avenue, New York, USA, designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Architects as well as an all-glass stair-case.

10.3 x 3.3m


apple retail store 5th avenue new york

Apple’s cube on 5th Avenue in New York is a true highlight in terms of its glass technology and architecture. Bohlin Cywinski Jackson had already created a remarkable icon acknowledged worldwide with the first cube of 2006. And seele had already redefined the boundaries of the technically feasible in structural glazing even for that glass structure. Some five years later, seele was able to push back the boundaries again with a new glass cube. Exploiting the latest developments and innovations in structural glass, the transparency of the design realised in 2011 is unprecedented, and the cube appears as a perfectly minimalistic glass enclosure.

Each façade (previously made up of 18 panes) now has just three panes of five-ply laminated safety glass with the astonishing dimensions of 10.30m x 3.30m. The titanium fittings that connect the panes to the continuous glass fins at the two vertical joints in each façade have been laminated into the panes for the first time and are therefore hardly visible. Likewise, the rigid self-supporting roof is also now made up of just three and no longer 36 individual elements.

  • 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.


Client Apple Computer Inc.
Architect Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Architects
Engineer Eckersley O’Callaghan
Date of completion 2011
Scope of seele supply


  • Production and installation of façade
  • Minimization of the number of glass panes with the help of technical innovations
  • Size of glass panes: 10.30m x 3.30m

All-glass staircase

  • Production and installation of the staircase (from the original 2006 building)
  • Middle situated glass cylinder