Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat: Cities in the Third Millennium

By Council On Tall Buildings And Urban Habitat | Go to book overview

PLANNING AND ARCHITECTURE


Two Towers

Phil Castillo

Two towers, Duetsche Post in Bonn and the MAX in Frankfurt, rethink the typology of the high-rise tower in relation to function, technology and user comfort. The primary material used in the expression of these towers is glass. Both buildings use glass with differing results. It is the one material that offers the opportunity for technological advancement, primarily in the development of the façade and the resultant effect on the energy systems and user comfort. Its qualities of transparency, opacity, reflection and refraction, allow for a varied architectural expression.

Duetsche Post is a 42 story, 162-meter tower sited as an extension of the Rheinauenpark forming an edge to the city. The plan is conceived as split, shifted oval with its primary orientation towards the Rhine. In addition to facilitating views toward the city, the aerodynamic shape minimizes negative wind effects

In plan, the split oval halves are separated by a 7.20-meter space. Connecting glass floors at 9 story intervals form skygardens that serve as communicating floors and elevator crossovers. The glass elevators of the low and high zones run in the center of the skygarden, providing views and orientation.

The typical floor plate of 1818 SM has a lease span of 6.80 m, allowing for the typical layout of cellular offices. Column spacing is nominally 5.80 m. Concrete cores provide lateral stiffness. The two halves are tied together with X-bracing at the skygarden levels so that the tower behaves as one structure.

The building has a twin shell façade. The outer shell is completely out of glass, enabling natural ventilation especially in the spring and fall. The outer shell protects from rain, wind and noise and allows for placement of the sunshades. Glass from floor to ceiling optimizes daylight. The blinds in the interstitial space further protect the inner façade from direct solar gain. The inner shell is double-glazed with a low-e coating on the number 2 surface and has a series of operable windows allowing for natural ventilation of the offices. The result is the creation of two channels for air, the inner for ventilation and the outer to exhaust heat gain. Solar gain heats up the outer shell creating a convection current that draws the air up through the cavity

The concrete structure has an integral heating and cooling pipe system, taking advantage of the low energy characteristics of water and the thermal storage capacity of the concrete.

If comfortable temperatures cannot be achieved at the high and low exterior temperatures of summer and winter, an air displacement system along the façade mechanically assists in creating a comfortable environment.

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