Apple is constantly adding patents to its portfolio of intellectual property, many of which are not directly associated with the design or operation of the consumer electronics products the company makes. Patently Apple reported today on a patent awarded to the company and late founder and CEO Steve Jobs for the design of the Apple Store, Pudong in Shanghai, China.
Like the 5th Avenue store in Manhattan, the Shanghai store is primarily underground, with a clear glass structure above ground. Instead of a giant glass cube a la 5th Avenue, the Shanghai store features a large glass cylinder.
The store was designed by architectural firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Architects, but Apple and specifically Steve Jobs were singled out for the idea of the giant curved glass panels that make up the cylinder. Other Apple notables listed as inventors on the patent include senior director of Real Estate and Development Benjamin Fay and ex-VP of Retail Operations Ron Johnson.
Steve's fascination with large curved glass panels in architecture is also reflected in the design of the still-to-be-constructed world headquarters in Cupertino.