The following is an analysis of a high-rise structure for a proposed mixed-use, office/residential building in New York City. We shall focus on the structural and ventilation designs, as both present radical alternatives to typical high-rise buildings.
The structure, rather than exhibiting the traditional idea of a steel frame stiffened by a rigid core, instead follows the circular geometry of the building and employs two rings of columns. As can be seen in the plan, one set is at the perimeter, and the other is offset 30 feet towards the center. However, only one ring of columns, the latter, meets the ground. In addition, the entire cylinder is raised 80 feet from ground level. Such a proposal presents certain unique physical challenges.
Unlike traditional tall buildings which expend tremendous amounts of energy for cooling, we propose the use of natural ventilation. The strategy is to provide for a semi-enclosed space defined by the perimeter of the circle, and employ stack effect through the use of a central atrium. The residences, on the left side of the plan, and the offices, on the right, will both have opportunities for cross-ventilation as the air passes from the outside, through the building, and up the chimney. The prevailing questions are, will such a stack effect work, and could it be too strong?