Federal Building

This is my new favorite building. It's some kind of crazy Akira technology that dropped from orbit last year. It's going to start sprouting tentacles any day now, I'm sure.

Apparently the mesh panels on the south side are part of a convection system that makes the building use half the power of other buildings its size. This is interesting, too: "The tower also nudges workers to exercise. Most elevators stop only at every third level, forcing employees to use stairs for part of the journey. To make the climb enticing, wide staircases march past collegial atriums and stop at protruding picture windows."

I think it's even cooler looking than the de Young Museum, which is itself a pretty awesome building. That's just weird, that a government office building would even come close.

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36 Responses:

  1. maramala says:

    Looks more likely to house giant war robots inside its superstructure, but to each their own.

  2. korgmeister says:

    "Most elevators stop only at every third level, forcing employees to use stairs for part of the journey. To make the climb enticing, wide staircases march past collegial atriums and stop at protruding picture windows."

    Wow, that sounds just so awesome if you have an injury or a mobility problem.

    (Have admittedly become a bit more sensitive about architects who assume everyone's able-bodied since my Mum had her hip operation.)

    • hexapod says:

      TFA says there's at least 1 elevator that stops everywhere.

    • tfofurn says:

      That could also be solved with differently-phased banks. The trip through the lobby would be a disincentive for the abled to use elevators to move one or two floors. Reading the description of the floor-spanning elevator landings, though, that's not the approach they chose.

    • feyandstrange says:

      Oh, boy, I can't *wait* til I get to visit this building in my powerchair. Ten bucks says everybody is using the one "cripple" elevator instead of the stupid ones, thus the "working" elevator is that much more likely to break down.

    • slimey_limey says:

      A better way to discourage elevator use is to have them go very slowly. That way it's faster to use the stairs.

      • korgmeister says:

        My university discovered this trick a few years ago. I've found it works pretty well. Bonus points for having the elevator make lots of ominous grinding noises without anything serious actually being wrong with it.

  3. tfofurn says:

    I predict that within one year of opening, the modulo of one's floor will be a status symbol.

  4. g_na says:

    Where is it?

  5. gytterberg says:

    Hell I'd settle for staircases that aren't just glorified fire escapes. The stairwells in most buildings make you feel dirty inside.

    • belgand says:

      Indeed, reasonable staircases seem more like a nudge. In this case they admit that they're forcing you to use stairs for at least part of the trip. Perhaps merely having fewer elevators would urge workers to use the centrally located stairs rather than wait for a crowded, out-of-the-way elevator.

      Personally it's not the walking that bothers me, it's the unpleasant similarity of having to transfer between buses. I want to be able to pick one mode of transport and be able to follow it until I reach the end of my journey.

      • jwz says:

        I was told that I could listen to the radio at a reasonable volume from nine to eleven, I told Bill that if Sandra is going to listen to her headphones while she's filing then I should be able to listen to the radio while I'm collating so I don't see why I should have to turn down the radio because I enjoy listening at a reasonable volume from nine to eleven.

    • wikkit42 says:

      For the most part they have to be closed for fire reasons, so they don't act as a big chimney when there's a fire on a lower floor. And since people tend to avoid closed doors, there isn't much incentive to make them normally useful.

      But the buildings where they lock the doors from the stairwell side on every floor except the ground are just dickish.

  6. tjcrowley says:

    Every time I see that building I wonder how many people would be killed by flying glass if a truck bomb went off next to it.

  7. rivetpepsquad says:

    Shamika showed up at practice and said to me, "Uh, I think I just saw Jamie outside taking pictures of the building?!?!?"

  8. uke says:

    Note that the structure on the top prevents helicopter landings.

  9. recursive says:

    For a while, every time I saw that, I thought "When are they going to take the scaffolding down?" But, then I realized it was permanent weirdness.

    However, the encouragement to use stairs reminds me of the US Government in Snow Crash.

  10. ellyjonez says:

    i love it too. i was a little skeptical at first but i've become totally enamored. i love the light up translucent boxes that stick off the sides. good stuff.

  11. ender_wiggin04 says:

    So true. I hadn't noticed how bad US architecture was until you mentioned this. Now you point it out, I've seen so much better in London, Paris and Helsinki. Making buildings for people or the environment or whatever seems to give architects a lot more imagination than just building more pyramid or masonic symbols, which seems to be the thing for so many US buildings.

  12. strangehours says:

    Maybe the lifts should simply have a single button that randomly takes you to another floor. Kind of like an iLift shuffle, really.

  13. notcharming says:

    thats a very cool building! i just moved to melbourne, australia and i'm hoping that i might get a job in ( this) building.

  14. ch_airforce says:

    Looks like a large Faraday cage...