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New Apple Store Gets 'MacBook Roof'

Thursday, July 6, 2017

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Eagle-eyed Chicago residents recently got a glimpse of the final touches on the new Apple store’s roof—and it looked familiar.

The design, which included the infamous white apple, mimics the company’s MacBook Air: sleek, silver and thin.

While the logo was only temporary (it’s expected to come back when construction is final, which has an estimated timeframe of October), the rest of the outer skeleton of the $27 million project is wrapping up.

Design

James McGrath, a part at Foster + Partners, the London-based architectural firm that’s designing and working on the store, gave the Chicago Tribune a rundown of some materials that are being used for the indoor-outdoor split project.

"We wanted the building to be as light and transparent as possible," McGrath said. “There are just four points that support the whole roof and then everything else is glass.”

The walls of glass, ranging from 14 to 32 feet high, are made of four layers of half-inch-thick glass that are joined with layers of laminated glass with the goal of ensuring visibility looking in and out of the store.

The roof is made of fiber-reinforced polymer—the same material that’s used in yacht hulls, McGrath noted—and the ceiling panels are American white oak. The roof is 4 feet thick at its widest, and 4 inches thick and its narrowest.

The store will connect to a plaza in its prime riverfront real estate, with granite stairs connecting the two, an aesthetic that is currently only being used at the Chicago location.

The combination of the store’s design and the goal to bring the outside in (and vice versa) has led some to draw comparisons with Frank Lloyd Wright, calling the design a “high-tech take” on his Prairie-style homes.

   

Tagged categories: Building Envelope; Commercial Construction; Design; Design build; Glass; North America; Polymers

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