Day 148/365 of Steel – Neil Denari

Revealed in 1989 with his project for the Tokyo International Forum, Neil M. Denari is one of the main representatives of what is sometimes referred to as “machine architecture” or “high-tech.” A sort of poetry of tempered steel can be read in the architect’s projects, which draws its sources from new procecess of industrial fabrication and new materials: metallic skins, glass surfaces, exposed structural frames, ramps, complex organisation, etc. All these elements are characteristic of the vocabulary Denari uses in his projects.

High Line 23 (NY)

High Line 23
Fig 1: High Line 23
Photo: © Hayes Davidson

The HL 23 project is a testament to the versatility and beauty of steel and showcases the ability of the Owner, Architect, Structural Engineer, and Contractors to work together for inventive solutions in a unique site. For the HL 23, Denari’s answer for the narrow construction site was to design a building that widens as it rises, overhanging High Line Park. The homogeneous quality of the metal and glass skin contrasts with the heterogeneous quality of the layout of each apartment. The primary steel structure is clad with a mega-panel glass and stainless steel curtain wall system.

High Line 23
Fig 2: High Line 23
Photo: © Hayes Davidson

The building’s dual-lateral support system is the most intriguing element of the structure. A sleek Steel Plate Shear Wall System (SPSW) is located at the elevator and stairs in combination with a full-building, perimeter-braced frame system. As a true sign of synergy between form and function, the architect incorporated the perimeter lateral pipe braces into the final interior aesthetic of the residences.

High Line 23
Fig 3: High Line 23
Photo: © Beyond My Ken

The use of structural steel was driven by three primary factors – minimizing the overall weight of the structure for the capacity of the raft foundation, minimizing the amount of interior columns, and providing the perimeter diagonal architectural expression. With the choice of steel, the SPSW system provided the project with the benefits of increased stiffness and smaller dimension – both tremendous advantages for this site.

About the Author:

Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.

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