Brookfield Place Winter Garden Pavilion in New York, New York. Bess Adler / Thornton Tomasetti

Brookfield Place Winter Garden Pavilion



Thornton Tomasetti was the original structural engineer for the Winter Garden at the World Financial Center, built in 1989. Again after the collapse of the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001, Thornton Tomasetti performed repairs to significant portions of the structure. Now the World Financial Center has added a glass pavilion in front of the existing structure on West Street, as part of phase two of an expansive renovation. Phase one included a new dining terrace and a 25,000-square-foot retail area, and phase three affected the courtyard area.

The pavilion structure itself consists of a glazed box supported by two 53-foot columns that are double-layer diagrids of curved pipes with an elliptical shape in plan that shifts asymmetrically as they rise to the ceiling. The complex geometry and changes to New York City Building Code created several project challenges. Newly enacted and more stringent seismic requirements had an impact on the fabrication of the structural steel. The steel used is also covered by intumescent paint which increases visibility of imperfections. Because of this, the project team followed the American Institute of Steel Construction requirements for Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel, which are twice as stringent as standard tolerances to ensure the acceptable appearance of the structural elements. These tight tolerances required particular quality control and an advanced system of dimensional control during erection.

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