A signature feature of the most prestigious Apple stores is the internal glass staircase.
The complexities of the design in the brief were linked to the need to produce curved glass panels featuring high mechanical strength, joined together with metal elements housed in through-holes in the glass. Before we tackled the project, there were no existing glass fabrication technologies that could deliver on both structural and aesthetic fronts.
We leveraged our expertise in hole surface machining, in ion-exchange chemical strengthening, in the complex bending of large surfaces, and in laminating glass with structural interlayers. A strict qualification and inspection protocol was put in place to ensure the highest safety standards.
The project culminated in the production of a series of staircases spanning two floors or more in various corners of the globe, stretching from Japan to the US, with Europe and China along the way. Those early staircases have been in use for over 15 years and have passed with flying colours the most demanding test of being climbed by millions of users, in addition to extraordinary events like earthquakes.