Apple Retail Store, Boston, USA

apple retail store boston

Almost all Apple Stores feature an all-glass staircase and are situated in city centres, directly on the most frequented high streets. This is also true of the store in Boston which, besides the obligatory (all-glass) staircase, boasts a unique façade construction. Situated on Boylston Street, the three-storey shop has a roof garden and stands right next to a Mandarin Oriental Hotel and is, therefore, in exquisite company. After the old building was demolished, architect Bohlin Cywinsky Jackson created a highly transparent glass façade for the front of the new building, which is set back. The façade forms a bridge between the two neighbouring buildings and appears to be floating in mid-air. 

  • An all-glass staircase is also the focal point of the Boston store and comprises a glass construction double-coiled around a glass cylinder, with beams placed diagonally through the cylinder in order to hang the external glass stringer. Acting as load-bearing structural elements, semi-transparent glass steps with an etched, slip-resistant surface hang on fittings between the cylinder and the glass stringers; the construction made of four-ply laminated glass is common to all Apple stores.

    The unique glass façade runs from the first floor to the roof terrace. Fashioned entirely of glass, only a few stainless-steel point fittings pierce the precisely set joints. Inside, they sit on “hockey sticks” – façade-high glass fins supported above by means of glass struts set back and running via brackets onto the parapet of the roof terrace. Below, the whole façade leans back against the roof of the first upper floor and is propped up via two horizontal LSG panels. The hanging construction enabled an extremely filigree design of the shop façade to be created and affords an excellent view onto the sales floors that reach deep into the building. Self-supporting and spanning the gap between the buildings with hardly any supports, the architecture forms an ingeniously designed contrast to the existing constructions.

Client Apple Computer Inc.
Architect Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Architects
Engineer Eckersley O’Callaghan
Date of completion 2008
Scope of seele supply

All-glass façade and double coiled all-glass staircase

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