Apple Retail Store, Sydney, Australia

apple retail store sydney

George Street lies in the heart of the Australian metropolis, close to the world-famous opera house designed by the Danish architect Jørn Utzon. It’s almost as if the site had been created for an Apple Store: an extraordinary concept by Bohlin Cywinsky Jackson, with a large-scale shop façade and single-run, all-glass stairs which are generously laid out and elegantly link the sales floors.

In order to achieve the highest degree of transparency, a three-storey, all-glass façade was built using panels of 13.5m x 3m, which were set in one piece from bottom to top. Such large panel formats had never been laminated anywhere in the world before; however, the logistics proved far more difficult than the production. The linear distance of 16,000km that separates Gersthofen from Sydney had to be covered with highly breakable goods that no container would hold. 

  • Similar to the Apple Cube in New York, multi-layered glass fins, which are used for anchoring the panels via joint fittings through the joint, sit behind the frontal glazing. The street had to be cordoned off in order for the construction to be assembled. The deadline for delivering and setting up the panels was tight and, owing to the increased breakage risk, the work required a particularly high level of concentration. Special equipment was produced for the task, including a vacuum lifting pad with the requisite suction power and a flexurally rigid framework construction to counter the sag of the panels as they were lifted up. The result is an extremely puristic glass façade whose elegance could hardly be surpassed. The all-glass stairs suspended between two steel stair stringers with stainless-steel panelling loom in the background. Their clear form and steadfast eschewal of anything superfluous lend the building that special Apple Store touch: design of the highest order.

Glass façade with panes in sizes up to 13.5m x 3m

Client Apple Inc.
Architect Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Architects
Engineer Eckersley O’Callaghan
Date of completion 2007
Scope of seele supply
  • Glass façade with glass panes; dimension: 13.5m x 3m
  • Single-run, all-glass stairs through two floors

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