Glass Staircase Tread Crashes at New Store

October 25, 2013

Just 23 hours before the Saturday morning grand opening of the Shanghai iapm (China) Apple store, a glass staircase tread from the spiral staircase linking the store’s two levels broke and damaged the floor underneath. According to people waiting for the grand opening, the tread fell out of its mounting at about 10 a.m. and crashed in pieces on the stone flooring.The huge store is set to open tomorrow at 9 a.m. in west-central Shanghai, the city’s fourth store. Within 30 minutes of the incident, workers erected a black curtain over the front windows to prevent a view of the repair work. Meanwhile, representatives from the glass supplier, Seele GbbH (Germany), worked with local craftsman to retrieve spare glass treads that all stores have ready for such emergencies. The spare treads were laid out on Genius Bar stools while the shattered glass was swept up. The tread was eventually replaced, but it was unclear if damage to the store floor would be repaired before the store opened. There have been periodic repairs and replacements to the glass stair structures at 25 stores over the years due to broken parts and delaminations, but none has resulted in any reported injuries to employees or visitors.

Construction workers gather at the location where a glass tread fell out of its mounting at the Shanghai iapm store before the grand opening. The arrow points to the outside attachment points where the tread is missing.

Thanks to Henry for the photos!

A worker sweeps up pieces of the glass tread after it feel out of the staircase.

Seele GmbH and other workers moved Genius Bar stools together so they could set down the spare glass treads for the replacement.

Workers move to erect a black curtain over the front glass window of the store to prevent a view of the broken tread and the repair work.

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