Foster + Partners’ Apple Store Opens in Sanlitun Quarter, Beijing

Foster + Partners has completed and reimagined the Apple store in Sanlitun, an urban quarter in Beijing, China. Originally built in 2008, Apple’s first store in China has relocated, in proximity to the older building, taking on more social aspects, and generating a “new dialogue with the surrounding pedestrian streets, addressing the large open square that is a social focus for the district”.

© Chaoying Yang© Chaoying Yang© Chaoying Yang© Apple+ 5

Reimagined by Foster + Partners, Apple Sanlitun has just opened in Beijing, with collaborative design, the result of a close partnership between Apple and the architectural firm. As Stefan Behling, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners stated, “Apple Sanlitun is all about being open and inviting – visually, physically and metaphorically”, the store draws inspiration from the energy of the area, connecting inside and outside spaces.

The architecture puts in place “a porous building envelope that opens out onto all four sides and connects to the multi-layered circulation network”. In fact, the main façade, facing the square, is the ultimate source of natural light for the interior space, while the rear glazed façade is lined with trees. On each side, large staircases lead the visitors towards the Genius Grove.


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A backdrop, the forum on the upper level, holds integrated upholstered leather seating, and creates “a viewing gallery for the lively square outside”. In addition, a large overhanging roof provides shelter, and includes “390 square-meters of integrated photovoltaic panels”. Other energy-saving measures comprise advanced façade design, optimized air conditioning, and efficient lighting systems.

Featuring a unique structural system that has been used for the first time in China, Apple Sanlitun introduces a Special Truss Moment Frame that resists to seismic forces, while generating a column-free interior space. “Tuned mass dampers reduce excessive vibration in the cantilevered upper level and Buckling Restrained Braced Frames minimize the structural impact on the existing basement”.

These Are the Tallest Buildings in the World Right Now

Humanity has become obsessed with breaking its limits, creating new records only to break them again and again. In fact, our cities’ skylines have always been defined by those in power during every period in history. At one point churches left their mark, followed by public institutions and in the last few decades, it’s commercial skyscrapers that continue to stretch taller and taller.

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has developed its own system for classifying tall buildings, stating that the Burj Khalifa (828 m.) is the world’s tallest building right now. These are the tallest buildings in the world [Latest Update: August 2020]

25. 432 Park Avenue

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432 Park Avenue. Image © Marshall Gerometta/CTBUH

432 Park Avenue. Image © Marshall Gerometta/CTBUH

City: New York
Height: 1,397 ft (425.5 meters)
Floors: 85
Architects: Rafael Viñoly Architects
Building Function: Residential
Completion: 2015

24. Wuhan Center Tower

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Wuhan Center Tower (render). Image © ECADI

Wuhan Center Tower (render). Image © ECADI

City: Wuhan, China
Height: 1,437 ft (438 meters)
Floors: 88
Architects: East China Architectural Design & Research Institute
Building Function: Hotel, Residential, Office
Completion: 2019

23. Guangzhou International Finance Center

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Guangzhou International Finance Center. Image © wyliepoon [Flickr] under license CC BY 2.0

Guangzhou International Finance Center. Image © wyliepoon [Flickr] under license CC BY 2.0

Location: Guangzhou, China
Height: 1,439 ft (438,6 m)
Floors: 103
Architects: Wilkinson Eyre Architects
Building Function: Hotel, Office
Completion: 2010

22. KK100

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KK100 / TFP Farrells. Image © Carsten Schael

KK100 / TFP Farrells. Image © Carsten Schael

Location: Shenzhen
Height: 1,449 ft (441,8 m)
Floors: 100
Architects: TFP Farrells
Building Function: Hotel, Office
Completion: 2011

21. Willis Tower

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Willis Tower (former Sears Tower). Image © TonyTheTiger [Wikipedia] under license CC BY 2.0

Willis Tower (former Sears Tower). Image © TonyTheTiger [Wikipedia] under license CC BY 2.0

Location: Chicago
Height: 1,451 ft (442,1 m)
Floors: 108
Architects: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)
Building Function: Office
Completion: 1974

20. The Exchange 106

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The Exchange 106. Image © NikNajmuddin Photography / Shutterstock

The Exchange 106. Image © NikNajmuddin Photography / Shutterstock

Location: Kuala Lumpur
Height: 1,460 ft (445,1 m)
Floors: 95
Architects: Mulia Group
Building Function: Office
Completion: 2019

19. Zifeng Tower

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Zifeng Tower. Image © Tomchen1989 [Wikipedia] under license CC BY 2.0

Zifeng Tower. Image © Tomchen1989 [Wikipedia] under license CC BY 2.0

Location: Nanjing, China
Height: 1,476 ft (450 m)
Floors: 66
Architects: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)
Building Function: Hotel, Office
Completion: 2010

18 Suzhou IFS

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Suzhou IFS. Image © Milkomède [Wikipedia], under license CC BY-SA 4.0

Suzhou IFS. Image © Milkomède [Wikipedia], under license CC BY-SA 4.0

Location: Suzhou, China
Height: 1,476 ft (450 m)
Floors: 95 
Architects: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF)
Building Function: Hotel, Office, Serviced Apartments
Completion: 2019

=16. Petronas Twin Tower 2

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Torres Petronas. Image © Hadi Zaher [Flickr] under license CC BY 2.0

Torres Petronas. Image © Hadi Zaher [Flickr] under license CC BY 2.0

Location: Kuala Lumpur
Height: 
1,489 ft (451.9 m)
Floors: 
88
Architects: 
Cesar Pelli & Associates
Building Function: 
Office
Completion: 
1998

16. Petronas Twin Tower 1

Location: Kuala Lumpur
Height: 1,489 ft (451.9 m)
Floors: 88
Architects: Cesar Pelli & Associates
Building Function: Office
Completion: 1998

15. Changsha IFS Tower T1

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Changsha IFS Tower T1. Image © Chonnakun Tabtong / Shutterstock

Changsha IFS Tower T1. Image © Chonnakun Tabtong / Shutterstock

Location: Changsha, China
Height: 1,483 ft (452.1 m)
Floors: 94
Architects: Wong Tung & Partners
Building Function: Hotel, Office
Completion: 2018

14. Vincom Landmark 81

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Vincom Landmark 81. Image © ngoc tran / Shutterstock

Vincom Landmark 81. Image © ngoc tran / Shutterstock

Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Height: 1,513 ft (461.2 m)
Floors: 81
Architects: Atkins
Building Function: Hote, Residential
Completion: 2018

13. Lakhta Center

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Lakhta Center. Image © Ninara [Wikipedia] under license CC BY 2.0

Lakhta Center. Image © Ninara [Wikipedia] under license CC BY 2.0

Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Height: 1,516 ft (462 m)
Floors: 87
Architects: Gorproject
Building Function: Office
Completion: 2019

12. International Commerce Centre

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International Commerce Centre. Image © Isaac Torrontera [Flickr] under license CC BY 2.0

International Commerce Centre. Image © Isaac Torrontera [Flickr] under license CC BY 2.0

Location: Hong Kong
Height: 1,588 ft (484 m) 
Floors: 108
Architects: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF)
Building Function: Hotel, Office
Completion: 2010

11. Shanghai World Financial Center

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Shanghai World Financial Center . Image © Ferox Seneca [Wikipedia] under license CC BY 3.0

Shanghai World Financial Center . Image © Ferox Seneca [Wikipedia] under license CC BY 3.0

Location: Shanghai
Height: 1,614 ft (492 m)
Floors: 101
Architects: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) + Mori Building + Irie Miyake Architects and Engineers
Building Function: Hotel, Office
Completion: 2008

 10. TAIPEI 101

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TAIPEI 101. Image © Chris [Flickr] under license CC BY 2.0

TAIPEI 101. Image © Chris [Flickr] under license CC BY 2.0

Location: Taipei
Height: 1,667 ft (508 m)
Floors: 101
Architects: C.Y. Lee & Partners Architects/Planners
Building Function: Offices
Completion: 2004

9. CITIC Tower

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CITIC Tower. Image © bonandbon / Shutterstock

CITIC Tower. Image © bonandbon / Shutterstock

Location: Beijing
Height: 1,731 ft (527.7 m)
Floors: 109
Architects: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (Design Architect) + TFP Farrells (Land Bid Concept)
Building Function: Office
Completion: 2018

8. Tianjin CTF Finance Centre

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Tianjin CTF Finance Centre. Image © BD2412 [Wikipedia] under license CC BY-SA 4.0

Tianjin CTF Finance Centre. Image © BD2412 [Wikipedia] under license CC BY-SA 4.0

Location: Tianjin
Height: 1,740 ft (530 m)
Floors: 97
Architects: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)
Building Function: Hotel, Serviced Apartments, Office
Completion: 2019

7. Guangzhou CTF Finance Center

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Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre. Image © K11 / New World Development

Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre. Image © K11 / New World Development

Location: Guangzhou
Height: 1,739 ft (530 m)
Floors: 111
Architects: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF)
Building Function: Hotel, Residential, Office
Completion: 2016

6. One World Trade Center

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One World Trade Center. Image © James Ewing

One World Trade Center. Image © James Ewing

Location: New York
Height: 1,776 ft (541.3 m)
Floors: 94
Architects: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)
Building Function: Office
Completion: 2014

5. Lotte World Tower

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Lotte World Tower. Image © zjaaosldk, under license CC0

Lotte World Tower. Image © zjaaosldk, under license CC0

Location: Seoul
Height: 1,819 ft (554.5 m)
Floors: 123
Architects: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF)
Building Function: Hotel, Office, Residential, Retail
Completion: 2017

4. Ping An Finance Center

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Ping An Finance Center. Image © Terri Meyer Boake [via CTBUH]

Ping An Finance Center. Image © Terri Meyer Boake [via CTBUH]

Location: Shenzhen
Height: 1,965 ft (599 m)
Floors: 115
Architects: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF)
Building Function: Office
Completion: 2017

3. Makkah Royal Clock Tower, the tallest building with a clock face in the world

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Makkah Royal Clock Tower. Image © Samira [Flickr] under license CC BY 2.0

Makkah Royal Clock Tower. Image © Samira [Flickr] under license CC BY 2.0

Location: Mecca, Saudi Arabia
Height: 1,972 ft (601 m)
Floors: 120
Architects: Dar al-Handasah Shair & Partners + SL Rasch
Building Function: Mixed Use
Completion: 2012

2. Shanghai Tower, the tallest twisted building in the world

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Shanghai Tower. Image © Gensler/Shen Zhonghai

Shanghai Tower. Image © Gensler/Shen Zhonghai

Location: Shanghai
Height: 2,073 ft (632 m)
Floors: 128
Architects: Gensler
Building Function: Hotel, Offices
Completion: 2015

1. Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world

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Burj Khalifa, el edificio más alto del mundo. Image Cortesía de SOM

Burj Khalifa, el edificio más alto del mundo. Image Cortesía de SOM

Location: Dubai
Height: 2,717 ft (828 m)
Floors: 163
Architects: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)
Building Function: Hotel, Residential, Office
Completion: 2010

In August 2020, the tallest buildings in the world are:

  1. Burj Khalifa
  2. Shanghai Tower
  3. Makkah Royal Clock Tower
  4. Ping An Finance Center
  5. Lotte World Tower
  6. One World Trade Center
  7. Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre
  8. Tianjin CTF Finance Centre
  9. CITIC Tower
  10. TAIPEI 101
  11. Shanghai World Financial Center
  12. International Commerce Centre
  13. Lakhta Center
  14. Vincom Landmark 81
  15. Changsha IFS Tower T1
  16. Petronas Twin Tower 1
  17. Petronas Twin Tower 2
  18. Suzhou IFS
  19. Zifeng Tower
  20. The Exchange 106
  21. Willis Tower
  22. KK100
  23. Guangzhou International Finance Center
  24. Wuhan Center Tower
  25. 432 Park Avenue

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