by Joe White
October 2, 2013
Apple has been granted a patent for the glass cylinder building which constitutes the entrance to one of its Apple Retail Stores in Shanghai, China. As a reminder, much like Apple's Fifth Avenue store in New York, the Pudong, Shanghai store building is made up, in part, of huge pieces of monolithic glass slabs. These form a cylinder which, in turn, formulates the above-ground entryway to Apple's underground store. However, the Shanghai store is significantly innovative, and as such Apple chose to patent the techniques used to develop the building. The patent was originally filed in 2011, and was granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently. AppleInsider explains:
The Chinese build [sic] is more complex, however, as the specifications required the glass pieces required be curved to form arcs. These panels were then joined to create a circle and ultimately a cylinder. Apple notes that conventional glass laminate technology at the time was insufficient to create panels that could withstand the structural requirements for supporting loads and forces over long spans. The lack of structural support prevented architects from crafting large buildings out of glass, especially those with curved walls.Apple's patent goes on to explain how its team developed new techniques in order to ensure that the glass structure could withstand the elements, while also detailing how the glass panels were properly shaped and curved in order to fit with the Apple Retail Store's design. Inventors listed in the patent include David Andreini, Karl Backus, Jon F. Cooksey, Tim Eliassen, Scott David Hazard, Holger Krueger, Peter Lenk, James O'Callaghan, and Yutang Zhang. See also: Sing! Karaoke Developer Smule Launches New Web-Based Music Social Network, Sources Claim Apple Is "Unable" To Launch Retina-Equipped iPad mini This Fall, and Find iPhone 5s Stock Closest To You With This Handy Tool.