Immortal skyscrapers

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Storz, Sonja A.
Overbey, Daniel
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Thesis (B.?)
Honors College
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All things come to an end. As our cities age, underutilized and outdated skyscrapers are entering their last stages of life. In spite of the enormous material, labor, and economic investment in these structures, the decision to demolish them and begin again from the ground up has become increasingly common in the past decade. Demolition not only chips away at the character of place, but it also destroys the material, time, and monetary investment that makes up a structure. This thesis investigates methods of reinvesting the embodied carbon of these towers as they transition into the modern era, standing as an alternative to razing and beginning anew. Immortal Skyscrapers tests this principle of adaptation and reuse by applying them to the 270 Park Avenue tower, currently the tallest voluntarily demolished building in the world. The project embraces the necessary changes to the tower, namely expanded usable floor space and updated systems, while building upon the building’s existing structural core. The reimagined 270 Park Avenue expands programming to connect to the rich cultural landscape it occupies while also connecting to the environmental context through mechanical screening arrays. While the program, facade, and systems might all change through time, the heart of our urban megastructures must endure to break the waste cycle that dominates architecture.