Report by Marshall Gerometta & Terri Meyer Boake

This tour was kindly supported/organized by:

On October 28, delegates from the CTBUH 2015 International Conference gathered at the south construction entrance of 432 Park Avenue, the future tallest all-residential building in the world and the latest addition to Midtown’s Billionaires’ Row. The tower is currently finishing up construction and is 1396 feet (426 meters) tall with 85 actual floors. Designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects with engineering provided by WSP/Parsons Brinkerhoff, the superslim building has a footprint of 93 square feet (8.6 square meters), giving it a width-to-height ratio of 1:15. There will be a total of 104 residential units. The 79th floor (96th marketing) is the highest residential floor and features an 8,255-square-foot (767-square-meter) penthouse. The symmetrical building features floor-to-floor heights of 15.5 feet (5 meters), 12.5-foot (4.1-meter) ceilings and 10-foot (10.3-meter) square windows. The super high strength reinforced concrete structural system utilizes a central core with a contribution of the exterior perimeter columns and spandrel beams connected by outriggers. The building is also the tallest building in New York excluding spires or antennae.

Spirits were high despite the inclement weather due to the remnants of Hurricane Patricia. Looking up attendees could see that only half of the building was visible due to the low ceiling. The group boarded the exterior construction hoist and began a wet and windy journey up to the 81st floor. At 1318 feet (440 meters) above street level, the 81st floor houses two 650-ton tuned mass dampers (TMDs), quite the highlight of the tour! Wind engineering for the project was done by RWDI. The dampers were being put to through their first real test due to the high winds and were swaying more than a foot in any direction. They seemed to be working very well as no building movement could be felt.

Video of the dampers taken by Terri Meyer Boake

Damping systems are quite critical in enabling the new breed of superslim towers. Watching the TMDs at work more than made up for the lack of scenic views.

After the “damping party” on the 81st floor, the group descended to the 55th floor, which featured one of the five double-floor open spaces with drum cores. These floors allow the wind to pass through the structure and are essential to greatly reducing the overall impact of the wind, working in conjunction with the TMDs.

The group then visited the 14th floor to view a nearly-finished apartment. As expected the rooms were very spacious, assisted by the extremely high ceilings. Here you can see a luxurious bathroom – once the blue protective plastic is removed from the windows, the City of New York will provide a stunning backdrop for space.

The tour was extremely thorough and very informative despite the weather. Special thanks go out to our hosts: Macklowe Properties, Rafael Viñoly Architects and WSP Cantor Seinuk.
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