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Oversized laminated glass applied in Apple store

If you think that iPhone and mac book are the most valuable things in the Apple store, then you are wrong!On the contrary, the mobile phone on the shelf is the cheapest.The oversized laminated glass,are usually the most expensive investment of the apple store.

The Apple Store is another important legacy that Jobs left behind at Apple. Now it is not only a symbol of a city’s prosperity, but also the most profitable offline retail store. How did this happen?

At the beginning, Apple did not have its own independent store, but “resident” in a large electronic retail store like Best Buy.In the era when windows dominated the world, Apple’s booths were always arranged in the corners. They were expensive and not well-known, so naturally they were even more unpopular.

But Jobs was not convinced. In order to allow customers to better experience the difference between mac and windows, in 2001, Apple opened its first retail store.

But the following built apple store use large scale glass panels and the glass used became bigger and bigger,why?

The architectural design propose of Apple Store

What does “Future Technology Sense” look like? The imagination of most of us comes from science fiction movies: the future city with highly developed technology has two very different styles, one is the chaotic and dirty dystopian industrial city, and the other is the spotless and simple city.

As a mainstream international company, Apple will of course choose the latter. All of their flagship stores are in an almost minimalist modern style.

The style of Apple’s flagship store is minimalist, clean and modern.

With the application of jumbo size laminated glass,Apple’s store facade is more transparent and open, and it feels “clean”, and you can see the inside at a glance; although the glass is used to separate the entities, it really blurs the boundary between the inner and outer spaces. The all glass facade with structural glass solutions will offer more transparent interior areas.

Apple store glass is becoming bigger and bigger

In the past decades when laminated glass processing capability was limited and cannot make oversized laminated glass,Apple store used smaller glass,with the development of glass technology,new bigger and thicker glass are used and make the modern style more obvious.

In addition to the material, the size of the glass division and the structural system of the combination method are also very important. The technical craftsmanship of different eras also have a great influence on the visual effect.

Glass used in Apple Store Watford (UK) is oversized  low iron heat strengthened laminated glass ,size is 6082*2500mm.

In 2006, when the flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York was just opened, although Apple had achieved the ultimate in transparency and color of glass, due to the technical limitations of the curtain wall glass and structure at that time, it was impossible to make such a large and complete glass. Glass can only be divided to a certain extent; the structure is also more complicated and exposed.

After being refurbished in 2011, this Apple Store only used 3 pieces of glass on each side, and adopted seamless connection technology.The glass height used in this project is 9800mm.

The store in Shanghai used curved laminated glass,the glass combination is 12 +1.52SGP+12+1.52SGP+15+1.52SGP+ 12 +1.52SGP+12, 5 layer low iron curved tempered glass,sizes reach 12800*2600mm and glass radius is 5000mm.This extremely big curved glass can be finished by only 1-3 glass factories and Apple used the most advanced glass processing technology.

The largest store in Asia Hangzhou ,built in 2015, the glass height reach 15000mm.Unit glass price over USD150,000.Moreover, there are no columns on the ground, and there are only 11 glass panels on the façade, each with a width of about 3 meters, from the ground to the ceiling without any gaps.

As for choosing 11 pieces of glass instead of 9 or 12 pieces, it is to ensure that Apple’s LOGO can be placed on a complete piece of glass in the center; while ensuring that the use area is sufficient, the entire building ratio is about 1:2.Modern architecture pays more attention to practicality, standardization and visual personality, so it will not deliberately pursue the golden ratio. Instead, 1:2 is a more economical and suitable ratio for commercial spaces.

Apple chose to divide the suspended ceiling vertically, 11 pieces, and the seams between each piece corresponded to the division of the facade one-to-one, visually extending from the facade to the interior, increasing the sense of depth and rhythm of the interior space .

So we can get below summary of apple store design and location:

First, the appearance of buildings piled up with money, such as the patented glass curtain wall; Second, occupy the core position of urban landmarks; 

finally, The design priority is adjusted to the highest, and the cost and everything have to be leaned back.the simple, stylish and uniform decoration is still the highest standard.

Other technology companies,are also simulated Apple’s idea when designing and building their stores:

The application of jumbo laminated glass,means high costs,both in construction and maintenance.

How expensive the glass is used in Apple store?

In 2007,the built of Beijing apple store,unit piece glass price was USD30000/PCS.thanks god that the glass was made in China,if glass made in German or Janpan,price will be 2-3 times higher.

As we mentioned before the glass used in 5 Avenue (NY) ,was replaced from 90pcs to only 15pcs,costs was USD6.7 million.Unit glass price is USD450,000.

Apple hired Glass Polish Ltd., a British glass polishing company, to maintain the glass. The company said that sometimes Apple will leave the work to them without even asking for the price, as long as they are in a perfect state at all times.

before the opening of the Covent Garden Apple retail store in the UK, they maintained the glass of the store. At that time, the glass was damaged during the construction process, and it cost $41,000 to replace the glass, but it only cost $8,500 when it was completed by them. They also cleaned up graffiti on a $15,000 glass at the Apple Store in Higuera Street, California. Before the opening of the Ridge Hill Apple Store in New York in 2012, Apple also needed a large-scale maintenance of the glass in the store.

 Why the glass is so expensive?

The main reasons for the high price is the laminated glass size and thickness.

Typical jumbo glass used in modern all glass facade

The main glass used are low iron tempered glass.The low iron glass(or ultra clear glass) is relative to normal clear glass. The color of pure glass should be colorless and transparent like white crystal (the main components of both are silica), due to impurities in the glass ( iron inside will cause the color of the  glass to be greenish. The so-called ultra clear glass is to use some method to reduce the iron content in the glass so that the color of the glass is close to transparent and colorless. Its price is several times more expensive than normal clear glass.

Ultra long sizes: Typical standard glass panels are 2440 *3660mm, and glass manufacturers produce bigger panels ,for example 4580*3300mm, 4880*3300mm.For special application,especially Auto 4S stores, the hotel lobby which size over 5000mm,need to customized and produce specially.With the development of glass producing technology,glass manufacturers is able to produce 20 meters ultra long glass.

As glass is fragile materials, ultra long glass means glass easier to get damaged or broken,whether it’s during logistics,handling,processing, this will cause price increase.

Ultra thick glass panels: The ultra long glass panels for all glass facade means glass cannot be hanged but to be installed on the ground and rely on the glass itself to withstand its self weight ,as well as the huge wind load.The longer glass,the bigger risks,glass breakage will cause disasters ,especially in the city center areas.To ensure the glass safety,the glass must be made into multi layer SGP laminated glass.

The tearing strength of SGP interlayer is 5 times higher than PVB film,even if the glass breaks,the SGP can also stick the glass and form a temporary structure while keeping small bending deformation,it can withstand a certain amount of load and whole piece laminated glass won’t fall or deform.SGP interlayer has good edge stability, and low water content.The film is translucent and has good weather resistance,after years installation and application,the SGP film will keep translucent and won’t change to yellow color.The SGP yellowing coefficient is less than 1.5 while the PVB interlayer ones is 6-12,so SGP laminated glass is widely used in low iron laminated glass.

Multi layer SGP laminated glass will Maximum keep the glass safety and offering the most clear appearance.

High processing difficulty:The ultra long and ultra thick laminated glass means high processing capability, unit piece glass areas varies from 10sqm- 40sqm per piece,to ensure the 40sqm multi layer laminated glass perfect is really difficult and challenging works for every factory.

Every small problem may cause the processing failed,for example glass edge problems, dusts and bubbles after laminating process,glass flatness problem,and potential breakage during transportation and installation.

Lucily, with new advanced glass processing equipment,China Morn now is able to supply jumbo laminated glass for special glass application,our processing capability is:

Tempered glass: Max Size:13000 *3300mm.

Laminated glass:Max Size:13000 *3300mm.

Insulated glass:Max Size:13000 *3300mm.

Curved glass: Max size 5000*2700mm.

Jumbo size laminated glass is no longer monopoly industry,with our joining, oversized laminated glass can be much cheaper than world class glass manufacturers,it can be applied on more and more symbol projects.Kindly contact us if you got any projects that require oversized laminated glass tempered glass.

Contact us:

Qingdao Morn Building Materials Co.,Ltd

China HQ: Room A304,Shengxifu Road,NO.209 Weihai Road,Shibei District,Qingdao,China,266024

Sales Email: marketing@cnmorn.com

Technical support: han@cnmorn.com   Mobile/Wechat: 0086-17705464660 https://www.mornglass.com/

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