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1 WTC's 20-story base gets new glass design

Post Time:Nov 16,2011Classify:Industry NewsView:443


A new plan to clad the base of 1 World Trade Center in glass was approved Tuesday by the building's owner, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, after technical problems forced the redesign of a previous scheme earlier this year.

 

Crain's reported this month that the Port Authority had reached a new design after the plan to enclose the 185-foot-tall concrete base in prismatic glass panels designed to reflect light were too difficult to make and shattered easily.

 

The Port Authority's board authorized $37.2 million towards project and contract costs. Permasteelisa North American Corp. will engineer, fabricate and install the new facade, which will consist of stainless steel slat panels around the building's concrete base, covered with glass fins. The glass fins will reflect light during the day, giving the building's base a distinctive look, the Port Authority said.

 

The new design is significantly less expensive than the original. In 2008, the Port Authority awarded an $82 million contract to manufacture and put up the glass, but it was unclear how much of that money was ever dispersed.

 

Installation of the redesigned façade will begin in 2013 and is expected to keep pace with the scheduled completion of the tower by the end of that year.

 

"The World Trade Center site continues to progress at a historic pace and approving this design is a cost-effective solution to a complex problem," Port Authority Chairman David Samson said in a statement. "It provides a practical way to cover the tower's secure base, and give it an innovative, inviting look for the thousands of workers who will be employed there and the millions of tourists who will visit it."

 

The design is the latest chapter in a saga to design the signature skyscraper at the World Trade Center site so it will be among the safest in the world because of its allure as a potential terrorist target yet at the same time be distinctive enough to symbolize the city's rebound from tragedy.

The massive concrete base is one of the building's major safety elements but it means that office space in the 1,776-foot tower doesn't start until the 20th floor. The challenge was to create a facade that did not look like a bunker and suggested movement, life and light where none existed. However, the panels of prismatic glass broke too easily. In an interview with Crain's earlier this year, tower architect David Childs, a consulting design partner at Skidmore Owings & Merrill, said, “It had to be a proud gesture to our resilience.”

 

Mr. Childs had to redesign the building back in 2005 when the New York Police Department voiced concerns about whether the tower could withstand a blast from a car bomb. A year later, Mr. Childs presented the plan with the glass-wrapped concrete base.


Source: http://www.crainsnewyork.comAuthor: shangyi

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