Tower One’s Super Strength – How We Invented The World


Tower One is the crowning glory of the Ground
Zero redevelopment. 104 floors high, it’s the tallest structure
in New York City – and one of the safest skyscrapers on earth
Great buildings respond to their circumstances. Tower One of course has very, very unique
circumstances. It is the replacement building to the fallen Twin Towers and as a result
of that it has to be extremely robust, extremely safe.
The challenge of building this super-strong tower goes to architecture firm Skidmore,
Owings & Merrill. After 9/11, after all those events, we ripped
up the book. We started working with the building department officials, and the fire department
officials, a whole plethora of engineers to come up with a new and better innovative system
of designing high-rise buildings. Gottesdiener comes up with a big new idea….
that’s based on a very old one: concrete They take William Jenny’s familiar steel
frame… And add the strongest concrete core ever constructed
in a skyscraper. The walls of the core are three feet thick.
And the concrete contains chemicals called super- plasticisers which reduce its water
content – making it the strongest ever poured in New York City.
It can take 14,000 pounds of pressure– the weight of a school bus — on every square
inch. You’ve never really had a situation where
a tower has a perimeter steel, very, very strong structural frame combined with a very
thick, robust, concrete core. So you really have a building with another building inside
of it, kind of wrapped in a bulletproof vest. The concrete we use here is some of the strongest
concrete that I‘ve ever seen used in the industry. This is more advanced than a nuclear
reactor concrete.

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