In Lower Manhattan, bounded by Spruce Street to the North and Beekman Street to the South, near City Hall and the Brooklyn Bridge and just a few blocks from the World Trade Center site, Eight Spruce Street rises high into the urban sky with its wavy façade, a combination of Frank Gehry’s genius and the verticality we have come to expect from Manhattan architecture.
265 m / 869 ft
76 stories tall
While complying with the rigid NYC zoning regulations, Gehry has managed to convey the sinuous nature and unpredictability of his geometries. He started from a basic volume upon which he projected his design; he designed from the inside out, from the views out over the city and a desire to make the most of the residents’ visual relationship with the surrounding panorama. It is an unrivaled view, not impeded by any nearby skyscrapers, offering extraordinary possibilities to look out over vast distances. The bay windows that open out from façade conjure up the idea of flying, of being suspended over the void. Gehry offset the floors from one another, creating a voluble and soft series of cresting waves enveloping the building. A metallic drapery that rises up to a height of 265 meters (870 ft), decorating Manhattan with a brand-new silhouette that manages to be both solid and elusive, light and thrilling.
What I wanted to do was to resurrect the bay window… When you walk to a window that’s flat, you’re there and you can see on either side of the window; but if there’s a bay window you walk two more feet forward and you’re in an outer space, so that the window surrounds you. And that experience on the 40th, 50th, 60th floor is unique. There’s nothing like it in New York .
Frank Gehry, Gehry Partners LLP
40,000 sqm (427,000 sq ft) of stainless steel and glass curtain wall for this complex skin shape.
A free-moving curtain wall
The design that characterizes the façade’s substructure was conceived to make it possible to carry out the segmentation envisaged in the architectural design. By separating the internal air/water barrier and the external metal cladding, it was possible to engineer and manufacture the components separately, bearing in mind that they would work together as a single system, manufactured in the form of unitized units, with all of the benefits associated with this type of system.
Different on every floor, the unit-based steel and glass skin required the design, engineering and manufacturing of 10,911 rectangular panels, of which just 1,900 are exactly the same, in an architectural envelope that spans a total of 40,000 sqm (427,000 sq ft). A total of 3,746 cladding units were made to create the stunning and impressive stainless steel contours, of which 1,568 are curved and 2,178 flat; a further 5,177 shaped spandrel units incorporating glass were also manufactured. The 3 m (9.8 ft) tall units vary between 1.07 m (3.5 ft) and 2.3 m (7.5 ft) in width.
903 residential units, of which more than 350 ‘uniquely unique’
A free-moving curtain wall
Free form created out of a complex double envelope
10,911 units, of which 9,000are different to one another
CTBUH ‘Best Tall Building Award’ Americas Winner 2011
OWNER & DEVELOPER: Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC)
ARCHITECT: Gehry Partners, LLP
CONTRACTOR: Kreisler Borg Florman General Construction Company
The fact that cladding engineering was optimized right from the start of the process made it possible to complete every level at Eight Spruce Street in four or five consecutive working days, fully bearing out owner and developer’s initial vision that, given the size and scale of the project, a unitized system would be needed to construct this albeit highly-complex envelope.
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