Hangzhou 2016 – Foster+Partners design Hangzhou’s Apple store as a white see-through glowing cube by in the Chinese metropolis’ West Lake. The project combines an understanding of the local context with the aesthetics and values of the American brand.
“Every aspect of the store has been optimised, minimised and de-cluttered” say at Foster+Partners to ArchiPanic. The white ceiling, which appears as an opaque surface during the day is dramatically illuminated at night: custom-made lighting panels emit a pure, even glow, as well as absorbing noise.
The 15-metre-high volume creates a sense of space and calm within the busy store and city. It is divided horizontally by a dramatic cantilevered floor, which extends 12 metres from the rear wall like a diving board to create a 9-metre-high piano nobile.
The extremely thin floor structure was possible only thanks to tune mass dampers to eliminate vibration, and it tapers from 1.2 metre to just 10 cm. This gives an impression of a floating stage in the centre of the space.
“The miniaturization of architectural elements demanded the highest level of technical innovation and integration” comment at Foster+Partners. Glass staircases on either side of the space are held in place by a discreet bolts embedded in the into the glass to give an impression of a floating glass steps. “An appearance of of effortless simplicity” explain at Foster+Partners.
“Apple has always been at the forefront of technological advances in the use of glass”. The Facade comprises 11 double-glazed panels, each risign 15 metres. The space is shaded by a series of blinds which respond to the path of the sun and, when retracted, are concealed with the ceiling.
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All photos: courtesy of Fosters Partners.