Architecture

Proposed timber tower would be a tall drink of water for NYC

Proposed timber tower would be...
The Central Park Tower would rise to a height of 712 ft (217 m), making it the world's tallest timber tower
The Central Park Tower would rise to a height of 712 ft (217 m), making it the world's tallest timber tower
View 7 Images
The Central Park Tower would be made from Glulam (glue-laminated timber), as was used in the Oslo Airport extension
1/7
The Central Park Tower would be made from Glulam (glue-laminated timber), as was used in the Oslo Airport extension
The Central Park Tower would feature a wooden helix structure wrapped in timber lattice
2/7
The Central Park Tower would feature a wooden helix structure wrapped in timber lattice
A vertical axis wind turbine would provide at least some of the Central Park Tower's required electricity
3/7
A vertical axis wind turbine would provide at least some of the Central Park Tower's required electricity
Inside, the Central Park Tower would include a viewing platform offering visitors impressive 360-degree views of NYC
4/7
Inside, the Central Park Tower would include a viewing platform offering visitors impressive 360-degree views of NYC
The Central Park Tower would rise to a height of 712 ft (217 m), making it the world's tallest timber tower
5/7
The Central Park Tower would rise to a height of 712 ft (217 m), making it the world's tallest timber tower
The Central Park Tower would feature stabilizing cables and be anchored to a base structure of pre-cast concrete 
6/7
The Central Park Tower would feature stabilizing cables and be anchored to a base structure of pre-cast concrete 
Inside, the Central Park Tower would include a viewing platform offering visitors impressive 360-degree views of NYC
7/7
Inside, the Central Park Tower would include a viewing platform offering visitors impressive 360-degree views of NYC

New York City's DFA Studio recently unveiled a blue sky proposal for an observation tower in Central Park. If built, it would be the world's tallest timber structure and offer excellent views of NYC. Interestingly, it would also filter the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir and turn it into a freshwater pond for everyone's use.

Looking a little like a throwing dart with its slender form and long lightning rod spire, the Central Park Tower would rise to a total height of 712 ft (217 m). Inside, it would include some retail and restaurant kiosks, as well as a viewing platform offering 360-degree views of the area.

The tower would be made primarily from Glulam (glue-laminated timber), as was used extensively in the Oslo Airport extension. However, the design is actually quite complex structurally and would include a steel core, intricate wooden helix, and transparent PVC skin, and be anchored with a concrete base and stabilizing cables.

The integrated filtration system would be used to filter the currently fenced-off Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir (aka Central Park Reservoir), which non-locals may recognize as the big body of water featured in movies like Breakfast at Tiffany's, turning it into a pond that could be used for all. One example shown is the water being used for sailboats.

Inside, the Central Park Tower would include a viewing platform offering visitors impressive 360-degree views of NYC
Inside, the Central Park Tower would include a viewing platform offering visitors impressive 360-degree views of NYC

"Located in the heart of Central Park, near some of New York's most important cultural institutions, the underutilized 106-acre [42.9 hectare] body of water occupies one-eighth of the park's total area and is 40-feet [12 m] deep, with approximately 1 billion gallons of contaminated water," says the firm. "Aside from supplying water to the pool and Harlem Meer, the reservoir sits stagnant and fenced off due to its current state as a health threat to millions of New Yorkers, tourists and animals."

The filtration system would be located in the tower's lower section, within its steel core. The firm says that the considerable power necessary for running it would be met with a vertical axis wind turbine, which, though we've no figures to look at, seems a stretch.

DFA Studio also reports that thanks to prefabricated construction methods, the tower could be built as quickly as six months, though describes it as a "temporary" structure, so presumably its lifespan would be quite limited. Either way, we'll stick our necks out and say this ambitious idea is unlikely to be built.

Source: DFA Studio

3 comments
Fairly Reasoner
Oh, stop.
BrianK56
It would be a great idea to at least get that water into usable shape. How did it get so polluted?
Silvia
How can this be a "temporary" structure when the tower will have retail and restaurants integrated into the spatial design. The tower seems to be located in the reservoir, what type of access will it have?