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DM 2007 11 20070055

Marc LaFrance
Interview of USDOE official Mr. Marc LaFrance

Energy Code of window and door officially initiated

Pearl River Tower First zero energy super tall building in the world

An all glass cube in New York City

Associate Eckersley OCallaghan Structural Design Keywords 1=structural glass 2=connections 3=lamination 4=innovation 1= 2= 3= 4=

James OCallaghan BEng (Hons), CEng, MIStructE Director & Graham Coult BSc (Hons),


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The author describes the development of the feature glass structures that have been the focus of the architectural design of the high profile Apple Computer stores in the USA, UK and Japan between 2001 and 2006, culminating in the design and construction of an all glass cube on 5th Avenue, New York City . The authors have been the principle designers for these structures throughout the world and this paper briefly summarizes the innovations in glass stair design developed through the retail store roll-out over the last five years. The paper then gives a detailed account of the design of the glass cube along with the challenges it faced through its development and construction including the design of the feature glass stair and elevator within the glass cube.

20012006 2001 -Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Seele GmbH

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Apple Store,
Image 3 Osaka circular glass stair


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2001 -- Bohlin Cywinski Jackson 2003GPD 2.2 4.5kN/m2 ionoplast (SentryGlas Plus) ionoplast PVB bolt block puck ionoplast ionoplast

PVB ionoplast PVB Gersthofen Seele GmbH 33 11x10 55 lamellar 10 10 11 10

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Image 2 Typical glass tread connection to glass walls

Image 5 Internal view of staircase

Apple Store, SOHO, NY

BGTSeele 2x1/2 PVB Circusa 21010 5x1/2

Strand 7 175x1/2 19 5 11 10 Seele GmbH Glazing Bischoff Glass Technologies


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Figure 1 Lamellar structural unit

Figure 2 Beam layout diagram

Seele GmbH 33 Seele GmbH 45 x 10

- Steve Jobs Bob Bridger, John Hillegass, Matt Hayes Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Berkeley, CA Peter Bohlin, Karl Backus, Christopher Orsega, Nicholas Andersen, Brian Padgett Seele GmbH & Co.KG Seigfried Gossner, Thomas Geissler, Nelli Diller, Ingo Stelzer, Bruno NeumannHenneberg, Holger Krueger, Dieter Schnell, Tripyramid Structures Inc Tim Eliassen, Michael Mulhern

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Figure 3 Fin/Facade connection /

This paper summarizes the history of the glass stair design and the evolution of the connection technology that facilitated their continued advancement.It then goes on to describe the detailed design of a glass cube and how the earlier glass stair design innovations informed its structural design. This portfolio now represents some of the most significant, glass structures around the world today. The ambition of the project team and the design and detailing techniques that have been capitalized on has been fundamental to their success. History In 2001 the authors were introduced to Apple computer through the architect, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson with the purpose of developing the design of a glass stair for their forthcoming retail store in SoHo, New York. The initial concept was to create a structure that would allow maximum transparency through the space and not detract customers views of the products displayed. At the same time the importance of design to Apple led them to strongly want a series of structures that were not only functional but also magical, structures that had a major wow factor and would grab the fascination of the customers in the store, and pedestrians passing by.These magical structures would be augmented by

Introduction Apple Computer Inc embarked in 2001 on worldwide retail expansion plan. These types of stores have been so far located in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and London. An innovative design, and a clean, crisp aesthetic being at the core of Apples product development, it

was seen that the high profile store design should reflect this. Through a close working relationship with the architects Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Apple and the specialist glass contractors, Seele GmbH, a series of highly innovative glass stair designs were developed and built as these stores around the world progressed.


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structural principle of these being simple, a series of glass treads would be connected to a load bearing glass panel or plate beam.The subtlety to the design came in the refinement of the connection of the treads to their associated load bearing glass elements. Annealed glass treads spanning 2.2m on average were designed to resist typical loads of 4.5kN/m2 with the post breakage performance enhanced by the use of an ionoplast interlayer (SentryGlas Plus). The ionoplast interlayer also has the advantages of stiffness over PVB which resulted in minimizing deflections for the given the relatively thin depth to span of glass tread. The connection between the glass treads and glass walls was the focus of the early design and scrutiny. It also set a precedent for subsequent connection design for the glass cube, discussed later in the paper. The tread connection is composed of a small block of metal laminated within the body of the tread during fabrication. This bolt block, or puck as it came to be called, is used to screw a housing assembly to, which in turn is hung on a bespoke bolt hub. The bolt transfers the forces through to the perpendicular

supporting glass walls. The idea of laminating metal within the body of the glass has been possible by the use of an ionoplast interlayer which has superior flow characteristics to PVB in the lamination process ensuring that all areas of the insert are covered during lamination. Furthermore, the stiffness and bond are significantly greater than that of PVB giving the insert a pull-out strength which can be compared to that of a fully bolted connection. The technique of laminating metal with glass since this early concept has been tested and developed intensively over the last few years and we have adopted the technique for many connections since. A lot of the research and testing on this subject has been carried out by Seele GmbH in Gersthofen, Germany. The next adaptation of the stair came at the second store in Japan, in the city of Osaka. The layout of the store suggested a more compact stair rather than a straight stair so a hung spiral stair was envisaged. The required tolerance of curvature for the guardrails was not achievable with curved fully tempered glass. We therefore explored, and eventually used curved chemically tempered glass, which gave us the required lamination tolerance,

Figure 4 Facade panel shear connection

an interior with highly refined architectural design and palette of contemporary materials finishes. The high profile stores all have at least two retail levels and for this reason it was suggested by the authors that an all glass stair would be feasible with only discrete stainless steel parts for the fittings. The glass would be used for all the spanning elements. This original format was the blueprint for the first four US stores in New York,Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles which had a hung stair rather than the typical ground supported. Glass Stairs and Bridges For a detailed description of the glass stair structural design and development for these store refer to GPD 2003 Paper entitled Apple Computer Inc Retail Store All Glass Staircase and Bridge. The first store was in SoHo, New York and set the theme for all the other stores. The focus of these stores is an all glass stair case and a glass bridge between the upper retail zones. The first forays in glass structures for Apple resulted in a glass bridge and staircase. The

Figure 5 Exploded view of layers of glass fins prior to Lamination

Apple Store, SOHO, NY

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strength and also visual clarity. The Glass Cube An entirely new challenge developed as a response to a proposed New York site on Fifth Avenue. The store design required the development of a totally clear structural glass cube to create an imposing vestibule while simultaneously creating a landmark for the plaza. The vestibule formed over a square opening in the plaza leads to a spiral glass stair descending to the store level and encapsulating a circular glass elevator. The cube measures 33ft (10m) on edge, with the 11ft x 10ft door opening centrally placed leading onto a glass bridge to the spiral stair. Similar in layout to the Osaka stair with the outer guardrail, but here it wraps around a central glass elevator shaft. Vertical loads are transferred to the outer guardrail then onto cantilever fins and onto the internal glass shaft. Structure and Analysis The glass cube structure is simply formed from vertical glass fins at 5ft 5 centers on all four sides. These fins support a lattice of intersecting glass beams on a grid arrangement. The roof structure is based on a lamellar principle whereby each 10ft beam section across the grid is supported via a pin connection to another 10ft glass beam section. This pattern repeats across the grid from the center out to the support fins where a simple pin connection collects the reactions of the overall roof structure. The lamellar structure used by the Chinese in ancient roof and bridge construction lends itself perfectly to this application because of the elimination of the need for moment connections through the glass and longer spans with shorter beams. The performance of complex moment connections are difficult to predict in glass structures and when they can be avoided it is wise to do so. The principle of the Lamellar roof structure can be seen in Fig 1 and the actual roof diagram Fig 2. The wall panels are a three ply laminate of

Figure 6 Exploded view of roof beam connection and roof panel support

Image 7 Roof under construction


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Image 9 Within Cube looking out

Apple Store, SOHO, NY

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Image 8 Roof beam saddle

heat-strengthened glass panels that are one bay width and are 11ft high, splitting the facade height into thirds. The fitting from the fin to the wall panels allows restraint to the fin and transfers direct loads such as wind. The fitting also provides shear transfer within the plane of the facade so that the walls act as a shear wall to give lateral stability. Fittings on the horizontal joint of the facade panels complete the shear transfer action. To transfer the wind loads, the facade transfers the force to the fins which moves it to the base fitting and up to the roof plane. At the roof plane it is transferred thought the

beams and roof panels into the adjacent wall, and back down to the plaza. For the 10ft wide door opening it was necessary to stop one of the vertical fins above. The load from this fin is transferred via the fin fitting in shear to the facade allowing the face panels to arch over the entrance shedding the load to the adjacent panels. A complexity of this detail is the interaction of this hanging fin with entrance canopy, which relies on the hanging fin for vertical restraint. The analysis of the cube and stair was carried out using Strand 7 software package.

Fabrication Challenges Fins The vertical glass fin columns are fabricated from 5x1/2 thick heat strengthened glass layers at a depth of 1ft 7. At the time heat treatment of glass was typically limited to 19ft and as a result of this the initial concept was to splice the 5 plies with a central overlap of 11ft with the fins only bolted together. It was considered that this could be improved by laminating all the panels together along with the bolts. The possibility of laminating all 10 sheets (Fig 5) of the fin together at was discussed with Seele GmbH, the Glazing Contractor, who was investigating this with the glass supplier Bischoff Glass Technologies. It was considered technically feasible, but required an autoclave of a size that was not available within the usual industry sectors. BGT and Seele solved this by finding an autoclave that is typically used for aircraft wings. After initial test (Image 6) the quality of lamination and alignment was good enough to be used in the final construction. The result of this fabrication development is truly ground breaking in terms of opportunities for large scale structural glass elements, where size is limited only by that of the autoclave. The success of the previous Apple glass structures in utilizing the technique of laminated metal within the laminate body was employed with the fins to achieve a tolerance joint while minimizing any visual misalignment. A stainless pocket was laminated into the middle ply thus allowing for the bracket from the facade fitting to be inserted into this pocket as the structure is erected and then fixed in place. The pocket is slightly oversized to allow the inserted bracket to rotate freely about its mounting pin to accommodate site tolerance and differential movement between the fin and facade glass. Roof Panels The roof panels are constructed of 2x1/2 heat strengthened glass lites laminated using PVB interlayer. These are generally supported by fittings located at the corner of each panel which fix to the saddle fitting below that connects the roof beams. The corner fitting is designed as a key thus developing a stiff


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ple Store, HO, NY

diaphragm across the roof to distribute lateral forces. In order to ensure the roof was free draining a slight pitch is built into the roof it is shaped as a shallow pyramid. The corner panels along the diagonal therefore needed to be folded along their diagonal length to accommodate the ridge. These folded and laminated panels were produced by Circusa in Spain. Roof Beams The roof beams are fabricated from 5x1/2 heat strengthened glass typically in 10ft 10 lengths as shown in Fig 2. In each end of these beams is laminated a thin stainless steel shoe insert that allowed the post connection of a fin plate. See Fig 6. The fin plate is connected to the vertical legs of a saddle fitting that loops over the supporting beam, transferring the load in bearing. This had the advantage of eliminating the need for bearing hole in the middle of the supporting beams where moment is greatest and allowed for a simple form of construction. Image 7 & Image 8. Silicone Joints All the external glass panels of the cube are sealed to one another with a silicone joint. The client wanted to keep the joint as another very crisp detail, showing as little misalignment as possible. This was achieved by recessing the silicone joints from each face of the glass panels, partly exposing the polished edge of the outer glass ply. This proved to be a very effective detail and does a great deal towards cleaning up the often irregular nature of a typical flush tooled silicone joints. Future opportunities for concepts developed The key developments in the design and fabrication of the glass cube come down to a drive towards the refinement of the fittings, their interaction with the glass and the development of large scale monolithic structural laminates. We have found that by laminating steel inserts within glass member we can clean up the previously plated fitting designs and generally reduce the number of connectors needed between structural glass elements. We continue to strive to find new ways of refining connections by the process of laminating steel to glass on many projects worldwide. This technology is new and has needed significant testing, primarily carried out by Seele GmbH. Their new fabrication facilities in Germany and their extensive testing has lead to some very exciting details being developed based on this concept of glass and steel marriage The concept of splicing and laminating glass sheets into single monolithic structural members has been a very exciting. The fins at 33ft tall are the largest single monolithic glass structural elements ever created in the world. These have lead to the idea of creating even larger members and even facade panels; only being limited by skill, experience and fabrication infrastructure. A new facility at Seele GmbH provides the ability to manufacture single monolithic spliced glass laminates of up to 45ft tall x 10ft wide. Summary; The design and development of the glass stair and bridge for the various high profile Apple stores throughout the United States effectively sponsored the development of structural glass lamination and connection technology. The techniques used in laminating material into glass in such a manner as to allow direct connection of adjacent structural glass elements is a first on such a large scale commercial project. The success of the project and the development in technology has opened up the manner in which we approach glass design. We believe this has significantly broadened the horizon and possibilities of structural glass in many different applications and will result in more refined pure glass structures

worldwide. Acknowledgements; Apple Computer Inc. Steve Jobs, CEO, Bob Bridger, John Hillegass, Matt Hayes Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Berkeley, CA Peter Bohlin, Karl Backus, Christopher Orsega, Nicholas Andersen, Brian Padgett Seele GmbH & Co.KG Seigfried Gossner, Thomas Geissler, Nelli Diller, Ingo Stelzer, Bruno NeumannHenneberg, Holger Krueger, Dieter Schnell, Tripyramid Structures Inc Tim Eliassen, Michael Mulhern Bischoff Glastechnik Gerhard Bischoff Isoclima Glass

Image 1 Apple Store, SoHo, NY.Glass Stair

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