The Typology of the Skyscraper Reconsidered: Integration of
Elevator Rails and Structure
Advanced Studio 5 . Fall 99
Critics Reiser + Umemoto
Project Partner Megumi Tamanaha
…while the high-rise has been understood as a seemingly monolithic building type, it is in fact a vertical nexus of systems and material flows. this view combines with the use of dynamical models for material and spatial organization makes possible a renewed exploration of the relations between the various and disparate elements constituting the high-rise typology.
The skyscraper typology has been understood to be a homogeneous and repetitive structural and organizational frame which in the most successful examples shifts according to modulations in the building’s economy. We would take up this ethic of responsiveness but follow a fundamentally different course: instead of attuning the given to a local difference, we will assume conversely that the system itself could have the capacity to differentiate while maintaining a complex integrity… (excerpt from studio brief)
One-to-one relationship of core to floor plate is questioned.
Mosler Telelift package delievery system borrowed and reinterpreted.
the circulation system is designed before building structure. limitations of the single-core model is challenged by connecting multiple cores, creating a field condition.
Elevator rails borrow and modify the rail-road track ‘switch’ technique.
orientation becomes vertical. the grafted steel members both route
elevator cabs and diagonally brace the building.
the layers of elevator rails build up in density to function as structure where needed.
building envelope becomes structural. the steel of the elevator rails and the
corrugated metal membrane together perform structurally.
The elevator organizes program. The static distance between zones is made dynamic by the speed of the elevators.
The elevator connects related programs.
The speed of the transportation system collapses the distance separating program elements. For instance, a
horizontal/vertical transportation system links the hotel rooms scattered around the building periphery to capitalize on views. The sidewalk on 1st Ave is extended via an express elevator to the roof-top public zone
taking advantage of open air and sun.
The elevator disconnects private zones from the public.
The route of the transportation system restricts access. The public circulation route bypasses hotel rooms for the UN delegates which is serviced by a separate elevator.