One World Trade Center

April 23rd, 2014 | General, Intelligent Buildings | No Comments »

One World Trade Center © - Joe Mabel/cc-by-sa-2.0

One World Trade Center © – Joe Mabel/cc-by-sa-2.0

One World Trade Center is the primary building of the new World Trade Center complex in New York City‘s Lower Manhattan and is the tallest building in the United States. The 104-story supertall skyscraper stands on the northwest corner of the 16-acre (6.5 ha) World Trade Center site, on the site of the original 6 World Trade Center. The building is bordered to the west by West Street, to the north by Vesey Street, to the south by Fulton Street, and to the east by Washington Street. Construction on below-ground utility relocations, footings, and foundations for the building began on April 27, 2006. On March 30, 2009, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey confirmed that the building would be known by its legal name, One World Trade Center, rather than the colloquial name, Freedom Tower.

The tower’s steel structure topped out on August 30, 2012. On May 10, 2013, the final component of the skyscraper’s spire was installed, making One World Trade Center the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the fourth-tallest skyscraper in the world by pinnacle height. Its spire reaches a symbolic height of 1,776 feet (541 m) in reference to the year of the United States Declaration of Independence. It has been the tallest structure in New York City since April 30, 2012, when it surpassed the height of the Empire State Building. The new World Trade Center complex will also feature three other high-rise office buildings, located along Greenwich Street, and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, located just south of One World Trade Center, where the Twin Towers once stood. The construction is part of an effort to memorialize and rebuild following the destruction of the original World Trade Center complex during the attacks of September 11, 2001.

One World Trade Center’s top floor will be designated as 104. The building will have 86 usable above-ground floors, of which 78 will be assigned as office space (approximately 2,600,000 square feet or 240,000 square meters). The base will occupy floors 1–19, including a 65-ft-high (20 m) public lobby. The office stories will begin at floor 20, and run through floor 63. There will be a sky lobby on floor 64, and then office floors will resume between floors 65–90. Meanwhile, floors 91–99 and 103–104 will be designated as mechanical space. The design also includes a three-story observation deck located on floors 100–102, as well as broadcast and antenna facilities, all supported by both above- and below-ground mechanical infrastructure for the building and its adjacent public spaces. Similar to the arrangement at the Empire State Building, observatory visitors are segregated from the users of the tenant floors with their own separate entrance next to the museum, descending down to a security screening area at mall level. Like the other buildings of the rebuilt World Trade center complex, One World Trade Center includes a number of sustainable architecture features. One World Trade Center is expected to receive a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification, making it one of the most environmentally sustainable buildings of its size in the world.

David Childs of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, the architect of One World Trade Center, said the following regarding the tower’s design:

We really wanted our design to be grounded in something that was very real, not just in sculptural sketches. We explored the infrastructural challenges because the proper solution would have to be compelling, not just beautiful. The design does have great sculptural implications, and we fully understand the iconic importance of the tower, but it also has to be a highly efficient building. The discourse about Freedom Tower has often been limited to the symbolic, formal and aesthetic aspects but we recognize that if this building doesn’t function well, if people don’t want to work and visit there, then we will have failed as architects.

Read more on One World Trade Center, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey – One World Trade Center, Silverstein Properties – One World Trade Center and Wikipedia One World Trade Center. Photos by Wikimedia Commons.

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Ankara, the beginning of modern Turkey

April 19th, 2014 | General | No Comments »

Turkish Parliament Building © T.C. Büyük Millet Meclisi

Turkish Parliament Building © T.C. Büyük Millet Meclisi

Ankara (historically known with the names Ancyra and Angora) is the capital of Turkey since the Ottoman Empire‘s fall in 1923 and the country’s second largest city, Istanbul being the largest. The city of Ankara has a population of 4,340,000 and its metropolitan municipality 4,960,000.

Centrally located in Anatolia, Ankara is an important commercial and industrial city. It is the center of the Turkish Government, and houses all foreign embassies. It is an important crossroads of trade, strategically located at the centre of Turkey’s highway and railway networks, and serves as the marketing centre for the surrounding agricultural area. The city was famous for its long-haired Angora goat and its prized wool (mohair), a unique breed of cat (Angora cat), Angora rabbits and their prized wool (Angora wool), pears, honey, and the region’s muscat grapes.

The historical center of Ankara is situated upon a rocky hill, which rises 150 m (492 ft) above the plain on the left bank of the Ankara Çayı, a tributary of the Sakarya (Sangarius) river. The city is located about 450 km (280 mi) to the southeast of Istanbul. Although situated in one of the driest places of Turkey and surrounded mostly by steppe vegetation except for the forested areas on the southern periphery, Ankara can be considered a green city in terms of green areas per inhabitant, which is 72 m2 per head.

Ankara is a very old city with various Hittite, Phrygian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman archaeological sites. The hill which overlooks the city is crowned by the ruins of the old castle, which adds to the picturesqueness of the view, but only a few historic structures surrounding the old citadel have survived to the present day. There are, however, many well-preserved remains of Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine architecture, the most remarkable being the Temple of Augustus and Rome (20 BC) which is also known as the Monumentum Ancyranum.

Read more on City of Ankara, Ankara Esenboğa International Airport, Wikivoyage Ankara and Wikipedia Ankara. Photos by Wikimedia Commons.

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Schwanenwerder in the Havel river

April 16th, 2014 | General | No Comments »

Boatshouse © Times/cc-by-sa-3.0

Boatshouse © Times/cc-by-sa-3.0

Schwanenwerder (English: “swan ait”) is an island in the Havel river in Berlin. It is in the locality of Nikolassee in the borough of Steglitz-Zehlendorf, and is located in a wider stretch of the river, close to the eastern shore. On the opposite side, on the western bank, lies Kladow, to the south, the Wannsee. Schwanenwerder is an expensive residential area, despite a summer camp for children being located on the island.

Schwanenwerder was originally known as Sandwerder (“sand ait”) or Cladower Sandwerder. In the 19th century, it was a deserted place, overgrown with shrubs and a few trees. In 1882, the island was bought by Wilhelm Wessel, a wealthy industrialist. He ordered extensive landscaping, subdivided the area and offered the lots for sale. The intention was for wealthy buyers like himself to build cottages with access to the river. He himself had a mansion, called Swan Court, erected in the center of the isle. Its continued existence makes it the oldest building on the island. For convenient access, a small bridge was built. It remains the only way onto the island.

In 1896, a charter was drafted that banned inhabitants from setting up disturbing venues like factories and shops. Even a pier for river steamers was inhibited. In 1901, Emperor Wilhelm II granted the official use of “Schwanenwerder”, a more illustrious name than the old “sand ait”. Schwanenwerder was the most expensive street in the interwar German version of Monopoly.

In the second half of the 20th century, old houses were torn down to be replaced with new private buildings. A ringroad circles the island. A column of the Tuileries in Paris was bought by Wessel and placed on Schwanenwerder as part of a mock ruin, typical of the spirit of Romanticism in late 19th-century Germany. It is still on the island and protected as a historic monument.

Read more on – The island of Schwanenwerder (PDF file) and Wikipedia Schwanenwerder. Photos by Wikimedia Commons.

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