• 10.03.13

Apple Wins Another Architectural Patent For Its Glass Cylinder Staircase

Fins, curved sheets of glass, complicated lamination processes. It’s not just a staircase, it’s an Apple Store staircase.

Apple’s rather magnificent staircase in its Shanghai store has won a patent. The cylindrical design, made from curved glass slabs, is comprised of a glass tube and has stairs that snake around. 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.


It’s not the first time Apple has trademarked something to do with its retail spaces–pardon me, “the environment we inhabit.” In fact, 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. What architectural patents will the firm’s upcoming new “spaceship” campus throw up? We should prepare to be amazed and delighted.

About the author

My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.