Thursday, January 10, 2013
Superhero developer Jack Matthews might save Museum Tower from itself
His buildings are like Lululemon for the environment.
As I backtracked research on Jack Matthews yesterday, I discovered something really cool: Matthews’ building in Calgary, The Bow. Like Lululemon work-out gear, it is like perfectly made to fit the Canadian environment. I glanced at the Matthews Southwest site quickly over the weekend, yes, but when I dug deeper I found so much cool stuff on that building I just had to share. This building seems to make Matthews the perfect choice for taking on the Museum Tower eco challenge.
The Bow is a part of a distinguished list of office towers world-wide that have redefined the modern office tower. The building incorporates several notable design features that make it unique in North America.
Now here’s the cool stuff: “the Bow’s aerodynamic crescent shape significantly reduces exterior wind resistance, ‘down draft’ and the urban venturi effect. (Translation: the artificial funneling of wind between buildings which causes localised wind velocities to increase.) A pleasant, south-facing urban plaza experience is created at the tower’s base.”
Sounds familiar, we’ve got Klyde Warren Park. It also sounds like these architects really knew what they were doing. And look at the building, it’s gorgeous! The configuration of the floor plan maximizes access to views — they have those gorgeous mountains there — and scads of natural light.
Further, the website tells us how the Bow is designed for Calgary’s climate:
The atrium face extends the full height of the south west face. It will passively harness the sun’s energy in all seasons. In the summer, the atrium will reflect or exhaust excess heat before it reaches office space. During the remaining seasons, the sun’s heat energy will be absorbed and recycled throughout the building to augment heating requirements for the north and east faces.
Are you thinking what I’m thinking? It sounds like these folks know a thing or five thousand about dealing with intense sunlight and reflective surfaces.
There’s a sort of grid system I would almost have to see to understand, but it (this diagonal grid (diagrid) system) “provides superior structural efficiency. This diagonal and vertical steel frame significantly reduces the overall steel weight, as well as the number and size of interior columns and thickness of the elevator shaft walls. Visually, the diagrid pattern is repeated every six stories, and a single unit of the pattern is referred to as a node. This is the first time a triangular diagrid system has been applied to a curved building design in a North American skyscraper.”
Maybe Museum Tower will be the second?
Then there are lushly landscaped sky lobbies, and well-designed elevators that occupy the same shaft and reduce elevator wait time. Don’t think that is a problem at Museum Tower.
Also, the building was designed by Foster + Partners, out of London, England, but interior design was by a local company, Gensler, from Dallas.
That’s all, no biggie. But how cool that digging gave me more insight into the kind of experience this company has with tall (the Bow is 58 stories tall) glassy reflective buildings. That’s something we could really put to good, positive use in Dallas.
Also, I was wondering if Matthews Southwest buys the building, will homeowners at Museum Tower get a special deal on skiing Calgary?
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