One Bryant Park, New York by Cook + Fox
One Bryant Park by Cook + Fox is probably the first really “green” tower I’ve heard of. What I mean by “green” tower is that the tower has implemented a number of techniques to lower the amount of materials wasted in constructing the building as well as creating the least amount of impact on the usage of city power and water resources. In effect, the building comes as close as it can to sustaining itself without outside city services.
That’s pretty big talk for a two million square foot tower, but after you here a number of items the tower has implemented, it may seem more impressive. To begin with, all the concrete in the building is made with 45% recycled slag which dramatically cuts down the energy used to build the structure. As well, the building will have a number of systems, such as an extremely clean energy co-generation plant which means less waste in transmitting energy to the site. A rainwater system will collect all the rainwater flowing off the building and will be recycled to feed all the toilets and landscaping in the building. Another ingenious device generates ice at off-peak hours which is then used to cool the building at peak hours saving tons of money and reducing taxing power plant loads.
There’s actually quite a few more “green” implementations, but one of the greatest assets of the building is it completely changes perceptions on the aesthetics of green buildings. The structure looks as if it was a carefully cleaved crystal. It has a Dallas quality to it, a skyline known for its all-glass energy wasting monstrosities. This shows that the aesthetics of excess are possible without actually having to waste nearly as much.
A recent walk by this structure revealed a couple of neat things going on with the construction. First, it appears that the columns in the first few floors of the building are inset quite deeply which leads me to believe that the ground facade may be built to appear as if the tower above were defying gravity. And speaking of defying gravity, Check out the shots of the tower under construction posted on Flickr (link below). The contractors have built this wild contraption. Basically, there is no space to put a crane because of the location of the sidewalk. What the contractor has done is to build a temporary set of massive steel beams about 20 feet above the sidewalk that cantilever out far enough to support the crane which brings all the materials to the site. It’s quite impressive.
To learn more, check out these resources:
- The Wikipedia Entry
- The Durst Organization (co-developer)
- Cook + Fox (architects)
- Flickr photos of One Bryan Park
- YouTube video of the site