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April 16, 2014
by Tim Hayduk
Students examine a super tall, super thin model while visiting the Skyscraper Museum's Sky High exhibit.Credit: Tim Hayduk
A middle school student tests a building's skeleton with weights to determine its strength.Credit: Tim Hayduk
A presentation of final models gives students the opportunity to share their knowledge and field questions from the audience of parents and Center for Architecture staff.Credit: Tim Hayduk

Over a decade has passed since New York City was faced with the wrenching decision of how to rebuild the World Trade Center site after 9/11. Skeptical that we would ever build tall again, the tremendous resolve demonstrated by New Yorkers laid the groundwork for what is now the third tallest building in the world – One World Trade Center. Our magnificent skyline has been restored with a tower that inspires new generations, including the students enrolled in the Center for Architecture Foundation’s Studio@theCenter.

The romance of the skyscraper is alive and well at the Foundation. Elementary- and middle-school students spent their March or April school vacations investigating the art and construction of these awe-inspiring structures. Younger students explored skyscraper design with Design Educator Howard Stern, beginning with drawings, sketch models, and final models using a variety of materials. A visit to the Skyscraper Museum brought to life the historical significance of skyscrapers coupled with cutting-edge structural advances examined in the “Sky High” exhibition.

Middle school students worked with Design Educators Christian Murphy and Ian Harris to explore skyscrapers through the digital design program Trimble SketchUp. These older students also tried their hands at making physical models and working on structural design challenges. We have not lost the desire to reach for the sky. As skyscrapers turn greener in terms of sustainability and profit, we are sure to see continued innovation. Perhaps a few of the Foundation’s young designers will gain a leg up on the competition and build a bigger and better future.

 

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