City and Tall Building Resiliency in Times of Crises

Session: Track B: The Challenge of Context: Towers and the Creation of Public, Walkable Space

Graham BanksProject image

Graham Banks
Associate Principal, Pelli Clarke & Partners
New Haven

Climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic have impacted people and cities on a global scale. In particular, the past two years have been an important moment for people globally to assess their values and reflect on the future of traditional workplaces. It is critical that the design of tall buildings adapt to the changing nature of the world and provide a relevant response. As cities continue to dream of new heights, it is important for architects and planners to see tall buildings as increasingly adaptable in new, highly practical ways while continuing to reflect the highest aspirations of our society.

To consider these issues, they will be evaluated through the LEED Platinum, WELL-Certified, Texas Tower in Houston completed in 2022. The focus will be on the design concepts considered to be essential for the “office of the future” at the outset of the design phase – and evaluated through the lens of a subsequent climate change- related disaster and the global pandemic. Topics will center around the dramatic evolution of the ground-floor experience, the increased demand for access to outdoor space and biophilia, as well as the efficient futureproofing of office spaces for wide fluctuations in density and space-planning needs.