Archive for August, 2007

August 28th, 2007

Wind Tunnel

Posted in digressions, LIC Gnomon, tour by Heidi


Published: February 6, 1994, The New York Times

Citicorp’s tower, an impressive skyscraper, sometimes sweeps people off their feet — literally. Powerful winds sporadically swirling around it actually lift unwary pedestrians off the ground, neighbors say.

“I know it’s hard to believe, but people get blown into midair,” said Susan P. Chetwin, general manager of the Muzak office across the street on Jackson Avenue. Her workers regularly use the tower for its Citibank branch and basement subway stop.

Jean McIntyre, describing a daily bank errand for Muzak, said, “the wind picked me up completely off the sidewalk — this is no exaggeration — and I was just flying through the air.” She was lifted several inches off the ground and flung about 20 feet away, she estimates.

“It felt like I was going 30 miles an hour. I was headed for a glass window, so I managed to throw myself to the ground to prevent that. I hurt my shoulder, hip and head. I was dazed for a while. I could have been killed there.”

Just what is causing the turbulence is unclear. A Citicorp spokesman said, however, that the company took precautions recently by temporarily closing one entrance, posting warnings and putting up a rope railing; further measures are being studied.

Speaking without specific knowledge of the Citicorp situation, experts noted that wind striking skyscrapers can create strong drafts. Irwin G. Cantor, a structural engineer specializing in tall buildings, said that scientists can make a model of a building and its surroundings, then measure air flow in a wind tunnel “to learn where the hot spots are.” Installing planters or trees might help buffer the wind, he said.

Writing to Citicorp on Jan. 4 about turbulence that day, Ms. Chetwin said three workers were swept off their feet, including one who “was blown into a pole and slightly injured and has gone home for the day.” An earlier letter described a woman being hurled beneath a standing car.

Citicorp should erect a covered walkway or handrail, she wrote the company. Citicorp wrote back that the matter was being reviewed.

Although Muzak’s office is only a few hundred feet from the tower, on windy days its staff often ferries people back and forth by car. “Maybe if I had fatter employees,” Ms. Chetwin said, “this wouldn’t be such a problem.” B.L.

August 23rd, 2007

‘Star Axis’

Star Axis is an architectonic earth/star sculpture constructed with the geometry of the stars; earth-to-star alignments built to human scale–at its outside dimensions, Star Axis will be 11 stories high and 1/10th of a mile across.. The sculpture’s name refers to its primary earth/star alignment. It is precisely aligned with Earth’s axis, which now points toward our north star Polaris. The approach to developing Star Axis involves gathering a variety of star alignments occurring in different time scales and allowing them to inform the architecture.

This earthwork has five main elements. The Solar Pyramid marks the daily and seasonal movements of the sun across the Shadow Field. From inside the Hour Chamber one hour of Earth’s rotation can be viewed, and from inside the Equatorial Chamber the stars that travel directly above the equator can be observed. The Star Tunnel is precisely aligned with Earth’s axis. Here the viewer can walk through layers of celestial time, making directly visible the 26,000-year cycle of precession, Earth’s shifting alignment with the stars.

Star Axis is a project by the artist Charles Ross. It was conceived in 1971 and is presently being constructed on a mesa in New Mexico.

Star Axis

August 17th, 2007

8:15 – 8:30 August 15

Posted in eyewitness, Zone02-8 am by Heidi

8:15 through 8:30 is tracked across the baseball field in Murray park.

15 August across the park

August 14th, 2007

5:55 August 13

Posted in eyewitness, Zone11-5 pm, Zone12-6 pm by Heidi

Looking along shadow edge toward tip, which is behind the construction site.

5:55 August 13

August 11th, 2007

4:15 August 11

Posted in eyewitness, Zone10-4 pm by Heidi

Bus stop marks 4:15.

4:15 11 Aug

4:15 11 Aug (2)

August 7th, 2007

Bridge as Sundial

Posted in Sundials of Note by Heidi

The Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay crosses the Sacramento River in the heart of Redding, California. Opened July 4, 2004, the bridge links the north and south campuses of Turtle Bay Exploration Park and serves as a new downtown entrance for Redding’s extensive Sacramento River Trail system. It was designed by Spanish architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava.

Turtle Bay Bridge