Federal building develops thicker skin...

Friday 04 Feb 2011

Original facade to remain visible as 1960s building is wrapped in second skin

The A.J. Celebrezze Federal Building in Cleveland, Ohio is to be given a makeover over the next three years in a $121m plan by Interactive Design Eight Architects. The designs involve wrapping the existing 1967 building in a second skin, known as a ‘double wall’ in an effort to reduce energy costs and freshen up the identity of the Federal Building on the Cleveland skyline.

Three key elements of the brief set by the General Service Administration were to reduce the energy costs of the building, allow employees to continue working in the building unaffected by construction and to include safety measures to protect the building’s users in order to prevent a repeat of the 1995 disaster, where a bomb attack at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City killed 168 and injured more than 680 – many from flying shattered glass. Principal at Interactive Design, Charles Young confirms: “This is a blast resistant building. You can’t do it by replacing the existing skin.”

Interactive Design’s scheme separates the existing wall and new metal and glass skin with a cavity of air approximately three feet wide, leaving the original facade visible through the new wall. On the south and west faces of the 32 storey tower, projecting aluminium fins, high strength laminated glass and three fixed glass louvers in the cavity will reduce the effect of direct sunlight. The north and east facing facades will not have these louvers as they receive less direct sunlight and therefore need less protection.


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