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Old May 30th, 2015, 03:22 AM   #581
Vertical_Gotham
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Images: DeSimone Consulting Engineers.

How Engineers Are Building Skyscrapers That Seem Physically Impossible
http://gizmodo.com/how-engineers-are...urce=SFTwitter


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Stephen DeSimone, president of DeSimone Consulting Engineers in New York, is engineering a new kind of skyscraper. He’s working on structures unlike anything else in the world: Supertall buildings with unusually small footprints.

A huge building boom is underway along a few blocks of Midtown Manhattan. A perfect storm of economic circumstances are producing very tall buildings that are also very, very thin. And this year has felt like a race to see which outrageously pricey supertall building could sell the most expensive penthouse. DeSimone is one of just a few firms that are working to engineer these strange specimens, each the result of a complex series of negotiations involving setback laws, air rights deals, and market forces.

Right now, the firm is focused on a building designed by the architect Robert A.M. Stern: 220 Central Park South. Its penthouse could become the most expensive penthouse ever sold in New York, at $175 million, while $1.1 billion-worth of condos have already been sold in the unfinished building.

For DeSimone, what’s really incredible about 220 has nothing to do with the ridiculous economics of the market forces that created it. Because if you look at the footprint of the 950-foot-tall building, you’ll notice that it’s only 53 feet wide. That's an aspect ratio of 18:1, a structural challenge that is pretty much unprecedented except along this stretch of real estate.

Building in a Wind Tunnel

On buildings this tall and thin, the way the wind reacts to the design of the facade is just as important as anything else about the structure. “What people don't understand is that buildings don’t want to be aerodynamic,” says DeSimone. When most of us think of tall buildings, we imagine air flowing around sleek glass facades. But buildings that look like sails or wings have the tricky tendency to act like them too, generating lift and dangerous structural forces. On tall, thin buildings like 220, the goal is to break up the wind—catching it on nooks, crannies, and ornaments to slow it down.

That means that DeSimone and his team actually build prototype pieces of the building and then test them in a wind tunnel. There, in the intense rush of wind, architects can simulate the forces that will pummel their creations every day. “We’ve done projects before where we sit there at the wind tunnel with the architects and a glue gun,” he says. This is where the architectural designs actually meet reality. At that point, the engineers have to take the lead. “It’s not necessarily about what the architects want,” says DeSimone. “It’s about: listen, this is how we’re going to make it work.”

When you look at the neoclassical limestone facade of 220, wind tunnels aren’t the first thing that spring to mind. But that’s where this staid building began its life. “That was a process we started before we even put pen to paper,” DeSimone says.

Everything's a Prototype

The architects DeSimone works with are often pejoratively referred to as “starchitects.” They’re celebrity designers who run small shops, more boutique than department store. DeSimone’s job is to take their fanciful images and ideas and turn them into math. What’s tough is that every building is unique. “In our business, everything we do is a one-off prototype,” DeSimone says. “A lot of the things these architects are trying to do have never been done before — they’re using materials in a way that may not have been used before.”

Take Frank Gehry’s IAC Building on the west side of Manhattan—a building where every single column is sloping at an angle. This novel design actually made the structure more sturdy. “We learned quickly that by sloping all these columns, you create a tremendous amount of horizontal force,” says DeSimone. Then there’s Neil Denari’s HL23, a residential tower that literally hangs over the High Line. To make that work, DeSimone’s team had to build spindly steel skeleton of cross-bracing on its face, thus cantilevering it over the park.
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Hudson Yards mega development Map: June 2015
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Old May 30th, 2015, 03:26 AM   #582
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That view from the west is astonishing. 111 may have the overall highest "slenderness ratio" given its soaring height, but my god 220 looks thin when viewed side-on. Bravo to these engineers if they can actually pull this off.
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Old May 30th, 2015, 06:52 PM   #583
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220 is a much more attractive.
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Old June 1st, 2015, 03:01 AM   #584
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vertical_Gotham View Post


Looks good, but when both this and Nordstrom are up side by side they are going to "tower block" each other.
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Old June 1st, 2015, 11:26 AM   #585
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Not entirely. This is one of the reasons why Norstrom is cantilevered over its neighbor.
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Old June 1st, 2015, 08:08 PM   #586
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Yes, you can see the cantilever which benefits both towers.

I also think it was wise for Vornado /Stern to design 220 CPS wider on the North and South sides than making it wider on the West and East sides to give their units a wider viewing angle.

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http://i.imgur.com/FVrYwpy.jpg
(click again once inside to enlarge the map)
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Old June 1st, 2015, 11:54 PM   #587
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This might have been posted before, but here it is anyway.

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Hudson Yards mega development Map: June 2015
http://i.imgur.com/FVrYwpy.jpg
(click again once inside to enlarge the map)
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Old June 7th, 2015, 12:51 AM   #588
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can't wait till it's visible from the park.


Metropolitan Museum of Art by Cheryl, on Flickr
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Old June 8th, 2015, 05:36 AM   #589
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Went by the site today. This is now at street level. Got yelled at by security guard for taking pictures through the fencing window. But soon this will be above the fencing and pictures will be easy. Definitely making progress
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Old June 8th, 2015, 03:35 PM   #590
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^ Long time, no see 600W. We missed your photo updates.
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Old June 8th, 2015, 11:34 PM   #591
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The sign looks really nice, to tell you the truth. This is the closest I could get.

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Old June 27th, 2015, 09:59 AM   #592
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update?
Photos ?
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Old June 27th, 2015, 03:35 PM   #593
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06.24.15



Tectonic
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Old June 27th, 2015, 07:49 PM   #594
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Thanks !!!
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Old June 27th, 2015, 08:45 PM   #595
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Old June 27th, 2015, 11:32 PM   #596
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Great.
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Old June 28th, 2015, 10:07 PM   #597
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That's not the tower, it's the shorter building. But still nice to see it rising. We'll see the tower soon enough!
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Old June 28th, 2015, 10:09 PM   #598
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PROGRESS!! (KERMIT ARM FLAIL)
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Old June 28th, 2015, 10:30 PM   #599
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMCYB View Post
That's not the tower, it's the shorter building. But still nice to see it rising. We'll see the tower soon enough!
I actually believe this is the tower. The shorter building will be facing 59th street, this building is facing 58th street, which is where the tower part of the building will be.
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Old June 29th, 2015, 02:24 AM   #600
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghostface79 View Post
I actually believe this is the tower. The shorter building will be facing 59th street, this building is facing 58th street, which is where the tower part of the building will be.
Yes, the 950-foot tower will rise on the north side of 58th street (behind those low buildings immediately facing Central Park). The part of the site on CPS will host the "annex" (a structure that will probably be about 250 feet tall).
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