Computer giant Apple opened its latest store in Singapore yesterday, capturing attention with a shape and location that is unusual even by Apple’s eye-catching standards.
The Foster + Partners-designed building is a giant glass orb with a black glass base that appears to float in the harbour off the Marina Bay Sands complex.
"Visitors entering the store encounter a dramatic reveal into the massive volume of the dome," said Apple of the store, which it called its "most ambitious retail project".Â
The 30-metre-diameter dome is made of 114 pieces of glass connected by 10 narrow vertical mullions.
Inspired by the Pantheon in Rome, it has an oculus at the apex emitting a constant shaft of light while a series of baffle-rings progressing upward protect shoppers from the intense Singapore sun and provide acoustic damping.
Inspired by the Pantheon in Rome, it has an oculus at the apex emitting a constant shaft of light (Apple)
Foster + Partners said the dome is a hybrid steel and glass shell, where the grid of steel sections support the weight of the glass and shading. The curved structural glass panels restrain the steel elements laterally and stiffen the overall form against lateral loads.
"The dome appears ephemeral," said Foster + Partners’ senior executive partner Stefan Behling.Â
"The effect is very calming, and the changing intensity and colour of the light is mesmerising. It is not only a celebration of Apple’s incredible products, but a celebration of light."Â
Each of the 114 glass panels was selected to meet glazing indices prescribed by BCA Green Mark, Singapore’s sustainability rating system.Â
Top image: The Foster + Partners-designed building is a giant glass orb with a black glass base (Apple)
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