Northwest Corner Building Analysis

1127 Words 5 Pages
Yuhao Zheng
Northwest Corner Building

The Northwest Corner building locates on 118 Broadway, northwest of Columbia University Morningside campus. The different scale and material of the building make it easy to identify and hard to forget, however, not every resident and critics have positive opinion of the building. The critic Mark Lamster says: “This is not the building most New Yorkers were expecting from either Moneo or Columbia. I think there was an expectation of something contextual, something maybe in brick or stone, materials Moneo is known for handling with such aplomb. “
What Mark Lamster said is true, Rafael Moneo’s project always respect the context of the site and he like to use the form and material that help the architecture
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The site of the Northwest Corner Building was already taken by the Gymnasium, a huge column free space which used to hold basketball races and indoor ceremonies instead of a vacant lot in the campus. This put a really serious problem on the table, how can architect constructing a new building above the gym without penetrating the existing structure and affecting the function of the gym above? Moneo give us a perfect solution by using diagonal cross-bracing at the perimeter. An enormous steel truss forms the facade envelope of the architecture. From the giant truss spaces around the building base are hung. These large platforms of stone bases house more than 70,000 sq ft of laboratories. This kind of structure prototype not only satisfy the requirement of the gym but also provide an opportunity for the building free from …show more content…
The designers surprisingly apply this diagonal bracing as the basic element of the unitized curtainwall’s design. This might become the main reason why we can see the diagonal pattern from granite in the base to the Aluminum fins on the top. For instance, aluminum fits is mostly occurred on the north and west façade. Both of the façade is face to city. Moneo using the Aluminum to hide the structure of the building and also separate north and west side of the building with its surroundings. With this move, classroom and labs which only open to specific students and teachers from Science College can have more privacy from the public. In another word, those space are non-public. The cover function of the Aluminum fins can also apply to the other part of the building. On the north side of the building, the kitchen of the café is also covered by aluminum fins to maintain its privacy. Moreover, Moneo broke some of the Aluminum fins to introduce the sunlight into the building and to create more complex pattern of the

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