The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has awarded a new patent to Apple that covers the design and construction for the glass cylinder staircase that sits atop Apple’s Retail Store in Shanghai, FastCompany reports. The cylindrical design made from curved glass slabs, is comprised of a glass tube and has stairs that snake around.
The patent titled “Glass building panel and building made there from” details the unique design of the cylinder. To achieve the structure’s cylindrical design, that comprises of huge glass panels united by metal joints, the glass panels had to be manipulated to curve precisely into the right shape.
“It looks like something that James T. Kirk might have used when he wanted to get changed after a hard day on the bridge of the U.S.S.S. Enterprise. It is beautiful.”
According to the source, the whole look of the store, conceived by Steve Jobs, with its blond wood, glass storefront, and amazing Jobsian glass staircase, is now covered by the USPTO. Here’s how Apple describes the technology in its newly awarded patent:
“A building panel and a building formed therefrom, where the building includes a plurality of building panels arranged to form a cylindrical shape, where each panel comprises a single, or monolithic, glass piece, where each glass piece is substantially rectangular and includes two opposing long sides extending in a height direction and two opposing short sides extending substantially in a width direction, and where each glass piece forms an identical circular arc when viewed from either of the two opposing short sides.”
Here are some more pics of the amazing staircase at Apple’s Store in Shanghai: