Contributing Monkie Sarah Backhouse
Published on May 21, 2008
What is about Apple stores that make them so irresistible? Obviously, the Buddhist mantra of eliminating all desire came well before the creation of the iPhone, iPod and MacBook Air. But awesome products aside, there’s something about the user friendly yet high design of the layout that whispers: “Come on in… and bring your credit card.”
London design firm Eckersley O’Callaghan was enlisted to help Apple transition from hardware supplier to global retailer with “the creation of spaces that matched their pioneering brand values and providing a fitting showcase for their cutting edge design.”
Eckersley O’Callaghan specializes in the transparent — creating unique glass features in Apple stores in the UK, Japan and the U.S. The staircase designs have “evolved from simple straight-runs up to the second floor, and now include free-standing and wall-mounted, angled turns and spiral designs, and most recently a three-story version” with every project moving forward the “technology and language of structural glass”.
It’s no surprise that Apple CEO Steve Jobs is super psyched about the potential of glass; he patented his glass stair case back in 2002. Bringing the idea to fruition demanded much of the design team. As the staircases are made from 3-ply glass treads, minimum weight loads, seismic protection and vibrations had to be taken into conisderation. From the spiral staircase of the Osaka store and the hanging glass walls of L.A.’s store at The Grove and the 10 meter glass cube of 5th Avenue digs in NYC to the glass stairs of the 20,000 square foot store in London’s Regent Street, the end result is both eye catching and experiential.
And, of course, it might just nab Apple a few more sales.