Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Battle For Ground Zero, Part 205

Pouring of concrete for the new foundation "bathtub" is set to begin today at Ground Zero. The foundations will support the skyscrapers designed by Richard Rogers, Norman Foster, and Fumihiko Maki. Gothamist has more details on each of the skyscrapers and also notes that DNA testing on recently discovered remains have yet to yield results.

Details on the Norman Foster design (200 Greenwich St), with an angled diamond shaped skyline include the following:
The tower will consist of a central concrete core—steel encased in reinforced concrete—and an external structural steel frame. Safety systems will exceed New York City building code and Port Authority requirements. Designed to the highest energy efficiency ratings, 200 Greenwich Street will seek to achieve the gold standard under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) by the US Green Building Council.
The Richard Rogers design (175 Greenwich St.) will also have a reinforced concrete core and meet the LEED standards. Other features include a design that :
... uses a structural load-sharing system of diamond-shaped bracing which helps to articulate the building's east-west configuration. All corners of the tower are column free to ensure that occupiers of the office levels have unimpeded 360 degree panoramic views of New York.

The upper levels of the tower appear to straddle the lower levels—the 'podium building'—that help to reduce the impact of the building's high volume and emphasize the interlocking nature of the base with the upper part of the building.
The Maki design also has the reinforced concrete core and LEED standards and incorporates the following design features:
The facades are clad in floor to ceiling windows that sandwich perforated meshed metal material at the spandrel areas and portions immediately below the ceiling to provide shading on the interior and a certain lightness and transparency on the exterior. The tower embraces an abstract quality - minimal, light, cool in color and ephemeral, changing with the light of day. Seen from a distance, the tower presents a unique angular profile at the crown acknowledging the spiral composition formed by the group of four towers, in keeping with the World Trade Center Master Plan.

The two obtuse edges of the tower on the southwest and northeast corners are articulated with dramatic indentations to appear slender and sharp. Inside, a single edge forms two offices with a window from the open office to allow for uninterrupted views at the corner tip of the floor.

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