Apple Soho Store

Why would a technology company that game-changed entire industries bother itself with the intricate design of a glass staircase, and then go ahead and patent the beautiful thing?

Because it’s Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), that’s why!

Looking at a staircase in Apple’s newly revamped SoHo store in New York Apple’s, you may be reminded of the Led Zeppelin number, Stairway to Heaven – only this one’s made of glass.

The staircase is composed of flat glass slabs that make up the steps, while its sides are each made up of a single, 30-feet long, seamless glass pieces cut in a zig-zag manner to match the staircase contours.

How, you may ask, do the sides have the structural strength to make the design viable and safe?

The answer is typically Apple – simple but robust: that side is not one but five identical pieces that have been laminated together.

What is with glass and Apple? In its drive to be the game changer in everything it does, the retail landscape did not escape the company’s attention. It approached the design of its retail spaces with the same design aesthetics and attention to detail that it lavishes on its ‘must-have’ gadgets. The only difference between the gadgets and the stores is the retail stores become “must-go” for everybody, simply because they are so totally different, and so totally enjoyable to while away some time in.

Don’t forget that Apple similarly created design history with the famous glass cube in its 5th avenue store when it spent $6.5 million, and many months of design and execution work, changing the 90 glass panes in the original design, to a simple and minimal 15 panes – with just three long panes making each wall.

Here’s a thought. These futuristic stores are actually great advertising for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), because they reinforce so well the impression of Apple being at the forefront of technology and design, and more importantly, the belief that what Apple does, it does well.