New Building Planned for 5th and 42nd Street in Midtown’s Heart

New York Times, July 30, 1992 Giant, 3-D Billboard Planned For Hole at Midtown’s Heart

On a vacant lot at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street – yes, there is a vacant lot at one of Manhattan’s busiest cross-roads – an 85-foot-high, three-dimensional, multimedia, walk-through billboard would rise next year, under plans announced yesterday. Continue reading “New Building Planned for 5th and 42nd Street in Midtown’s Heart”

[architecture] Building Safer Buildings against Attack

At this time in our human history it is imperative that we give the ‘Super High-Rise’ a chance of survival. Survival means, re-establishing the public confidence that the new generation of Super High-Rise buildings will be the safest place on earth to be, in case of any human-made or natural emergency.

Because of a High-Rises inherent redundancy, most of these features can be incorporated without additional cost or at a minimal cost. Many of these features will also create a high-rise building that looks great which will increase its value and longevity.

It is time for the development of a new set of priorities for the ‘Super High Rise Buildings of the Future’ now, which will increase the successful egress of all tenants safely in cases of fire. Deal with issues of smoke evacuation, fire suppression, the role of the fire fighter, redundant structural issues, increased weight loads, structural partitioning, egress systems, personal protective measures, structural protective systems, fire control center systems and capabilities, etc.

    • 1 GENERAL FEATURES:
    • 1a Off-Site Command & Control. To protect control center from any on-site emergency. In case of an emergency all personnel should be allowed to exit, the building itself should direct people to the exits.
    • 1b Evacuation and Emergency Access Elevators at perimeter to help install Fire Fighters & evacuate people. Fully sensored for safety.
    • 1c Partitions: Tenant space separated by concrete partitions to prevent smoke, fire, flying debris from entering other tenant spaces.
    • 1d Sensors: Heat and Smoke Sensors will be placed throughout so that at the Command & Control Center, officials can actually engage the danger with remote control of vents, air pressure, announcements offering direction to individuals their best plan for egress, and fire suppression.
    • 1e Egress: Egress stairs should always bring people to the perimeter, away from the site and directly to the exterior, never to the lobby. This can easily be accommodated within high lobby ceilings (suspended corridors) and with the use of building platforms.
    • 2 FIRE/HEAT:
    • BASIC ATTRIBUTES: Heat rises causing ceiling systems to become vulnerable and potential increased spread of fire.
    • 2a Hollow columns w/ vents to keep air cool inside steel.
    • 2b Sensors in columns to display temperatures.
    • 2c Sprinklers throughout plus remote controllable foam hoses nozzles to spray suppressant directly on hot areas.
    • 2d No Dropped Ceilings, instead decorative concrete ceiling with integrated lighting/control systems.
    • 3 SMOKE:
    • BASIC ATTRIBUTES: Smoke rises, working with this fact can help eliminate smoke from a floor allowing more people safer egress.
    • 3a Depressed Typical Core Floor Area: Ramping/Stepping down from the typical tenant space into the elevator core area.
    • 3b Lower ceilings at Core to keep smoke at perimeter of floor.
    • 3c Directing Smoke: Vents at high points of perimeter to evacuate smoke from interior of floors. Sloped and/or stepped ceiling towards perimeter. Using Stair Wells and Core area to supply air pressure to push smoke to perimeter vents.
    • 3d Smoke Break at Exits: Stepping down 6 steps to a Egress Stair before opening the exit door will lower the top of the door preventing more smoke from entering into the stairwell.
    • 3e Seals around Exit Doors: will prevent more smoke from entering stair wells.
    • 3f Change of Visual/Tactile Clues at Exits: Change of floor material (from carpet to tile); addition of floor lights; change of wall material. All will help people find the nearest exit in a heavy smoke condition.
    • 4 STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY FEATURES:
    • 4a Circular Concrete Core to prevent explosions from entering core area, double core section with sand/water/foam interior to absorb impact.
    • 4b Double Exterior Structure on 2 faces of Tower.
    • 4c Arches: Either implied or actual to redistribute load around a catastrophic opening in facade. Inverse arches to redistribute load back to structural members below catastrophic opening(s).
    • 4d Dam Form: Convex facade form to resist impact of Airplane by distributing load to other members.
    • 4e Tensions Wires: on exterior, tension wires to ‘cut’ planes’ impact on structure.
    • 4f Tension Wires: Connected to opposite facade to ‘mass dampen’ any loss of structure on opposite side of tower.
    • 5 FALLING DEBRIS:
    • 5a Stepped exterior to catch all types of falling debris
    • 5b Tower sits on platform like Empire State building. Platform protect pedestrians. Open space plaza setback to protect pedestrians.
    • 5c Roof Structure of platform uses Arch form: Barrel Vault, Dome. Will better withstand impact of falling debris.
    • 5d Stepping and/or platform does not have to be used where the building sits on something that is inaccessible to pedestrians, like a pool, water feature, vegetation, etc.
    • 5e Fire-fighters need to be able to get safely into a burning structure without fear of losing the battle even before they get started.
    • 6 STAIR EGRESS CONFIGURATIONS:
    • Right-hand orientation of turn; Tunnels; Shortening Distance; Larger widths at lower floors; Signage location; Smoke refusal and elevations of landings; Independent floor to floor heights for stairs.

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