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Simbha

One World Trade Center - Spire Alteration

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The developer overseeing the construction of One World Trade Center has announced that it may remove a component of the building's design relating to its spire, which may affect its ranking against the tallest skyscrapers in the US. At the heart of the debate is an ornamental white shell designed to encircle the base of the 408-foot antenna. The developer argues that the structure does not make economic sense and is structurally unneeded, while the architect (SOM) and some others argue that this piece is a "key architectural element."

In the image below, the original design is shown on the left and the altered design is shown on the right:

OB-SX363_SPIREl_G_20120509212310.jpg

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304543904577394473619775032.html?mod=e2fb

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I wonder how much money omitting that would save the developer.

In the article (or maybe another I saw), it's quoted as USD 20 million.

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The thicker spire looks way better. The thinner one looks like

@$$

I agree, it's skeletal and unfinished. The one on the left looks like art, the right, like an antenna.

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I don't disagree with you all - that's why I posted this - but one counter-perspective is that this is at the top of a very tall building. The only people who would actually see this would be those watching the NYC skyline through a TV/film or overhead in an airplane. The street-level view wouldn't likely be affected, I think.

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I don't disagree with you all - that's why I posted this - but one counter-perspective is that this is at the top of a very tall building. The only people who would actually see this would be those watching the NYC skyline through a TV/film or overhead in an airplane. The street-level view wouldn't likely be affected, I think.

Well the number of people viewing if from a distance would vastly outweigh those directly underneath it. Also I'm fairly sure the distance to be able to see the spire would at most be around a hundred feet away. It's not my money, but it seems silly to sacrifice the aesthetics to save $20 million on a $3.8 billion tower.

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The builder's other point was that there was no way to safely maintain the proposed covering over the antenna.

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Seems like the better debate should be why a covered antenna counts as building height, whereas an uncovered antenna doesn't. It is a pretty definitive view of the silliness of those who define "building height", as well as those who debate it.

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The silliness here runs much deeper than that. One reason for the covered antenna was that it would make it the tallest building in the US, whereas an uncovered antenna would not. Also, it was designed so that if the antenna were covered the building would be 1776 feet tall, which is supposed to symbolize independence or whatnot. Personally, I think that engaging in architectural numerology of this sort has to be one of the stupidest trends to come down the pike in a long while. I would vote to leave the antenna uncovered, if for no other reason than to discourage this sort of trite, cheap symbolism.

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The silliness here runs much deeper than that. One reason for the covered antenna was that it would make it the tallest building in the US, whereas an uncovered antenna would not.

Hmmm...what other physical objects can be erected, measured, and compared in a "covered" or "uncovered" state? And what sort of person takes the time to do so?

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The least they could do is paint it white. The rendering on the right could be from the late 80's. This is NYC, how could they let it get so cheap looking?

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The least they could do is paint it white. The rendering on the right could be from the late 80's. This is NYC, how could they let it get so cheap looking?

You answered it yourself. It's NY. It's the Port Authority.

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The silliness here runs much deeper than that. One reason for the covered antenna was that it would make it the tallest building in the US, whereas an uncovered antenna would not. Also, it was designed so that if the antenna were covered the building would be 1776 feet tall, which is supposed to symbolize independence or whatnot. Personally, I think that engaging in architectural numerology of this sort has to be one of the stupidest trends to come down the pike in a long while. I would vote to leave the antenna uncovered, if for no other reason than to discourage this sort of trite, cheap symbolism.

just change the definition.

Pluto didn't seem to mind, I doubt the towers will mind either.

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