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帝国大厦的前世今生第1张图片

(2005). Image © Wikimedia user robertpaulyoung (licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)

AD经典:帝国大厦
AD Classics: Empire State Building / Shreve, Lamb and Harmon

由专筑网邢子,蒋晖编译

即使在高楼林立的曼哈顿,帝国大厦也比其周边的建筑高出许多。自1931年竣工以来,帝国大厦一直是美国最具标志性的建筑之一,并保持着世界上最高的建筑记录,直到40年后世贸中心双子塔在曼哈顿市中心落成。帝国大厦建设在大萧条的初期,雇佣了成千上万的工人,并且需要大量的物质资源,这不仅仅是商业利益所驱动的:帝国大厦是一座“耸立于天地之间”的美利坚合众国的纪念碑。

Even in Manhattan—a sea of skyscrapers—the Empire State Building towers over its neighbours. Since its completion in 1931 it has been one of the most iconic architectural landmarks in the United States, standing as the tallest structure in the world until the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were constructed in Downtown Manhattan four decades later. Its construction in the early years of the Great Depression, employing thousands of workers and requiring vast material resources, was driven by more than commercial interest: the Empire State Building was to be a monument to the audacity of the United States of America, “a land which reached for the sky with its feet on the ground.”

帝国大厦的前世今生第2张图片

View across Manhattan. Image © Wikimedia user Smithfl (licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)

曼哈顿快速和无限制的发展成为了20世纪早期的一个严重的问题。建设于1915年的公平人寿大楼虽然不是争论的起点,但却是一个清晰的例子——如果建筑的高度和形式继续不受控制,那么纽约市可能会发生什么——公平人寿大楼在曼哈顿占领整个街区,整整40层的高楼却一点也没有退让人行道。由于担心纽约的街道永远被人造的摩天大楼所阻隔,1916年区域规划条例得以通过,这是一份具有里程碑意义的文件——它要求建筑物超过其所在城市指定的高度时必须向后退让。 这些规定使纽约的摩天大楼以及世界各地装饰艺术风格的摩天大楼以其特有的阶梯形式为人所知。

摩天大楼的崛起通常有两个目的:一是作为公司的总部进行展示,二是作为房地产开发商的投机项目。帝国大厦就是后者,它是由前纽约市州长阿尔弗雷德•史密斯(Alfred E. Smith)与他的财务伙伴约翰•雅各布•拉斯科布(John Jakob Raskob)合作策划的。在1929年股市崩盘前不到一个月,史密斯和拉斯科布召集了该市富有的金融家们进行会谈,讨论对即将到来的金融灾难的解决方案——一座前所未有的超高层办公大楼。据拉斯科布所说,这项庞大的工程既能鼓舞美国人民,又能稳定即将崩溃的经济。在会议结束时,史密斯和拉斯科布设法筹集了资金,并买下了古老的华尔道夫——阿斯托里亚酒店(Waldorf-Astoria Hotel),而该酒店将被拆除,为他们所希望建造的大楼腾出空间。

The rapid and unchecked development of Manhattan was a matter of serious concern in the early years of the 20th Century. The construction of the Equitable Life Building in 1915, while by no means the starting point of the debate, provided a clear example of what could happen to New York City should building height and form continue unregulated: the Equitable Life Building, which occupied an entire city block in Lower Manhattan, rose forty stories high without any setback from the sidewalk. Fears of New York streets forever cut off from sunlight by man-made canyons of skyscrapers spurred the passing of the 1916 Zoning Regulation, a landmark document which required setbacks for buildings passing heights specified by their location in the city. These regulations would lead to the characteristic stepped forms for which New York skyscrapers—and Art Deco skyscrapers around the world—would come to be known.
Skyscrapers typically rose for one of two purposes: to serve as showcase headquarters for companies, or else as speculative projects by real estate developers. The Empire State Building was the latter, a scheme concocted by former New York City governor Alfred E. Smith in collaboration with his finance partner John Jakob Raskob. Less than a month before the Stock Market Crash of 1929, Smith and Raskob called together a meeting of the city’s wealthy financiers to discuss their solution to the impending financial disaster: an office tower of unprecedented height. According to Raskob, the massive undertaking would both inspire the American people and help stabilize an economy that was about to fall to pieces. By the meeting’s end, Smith and Raskob managed to raise the funds to purchase the old Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, which would be cleared away to make room for their visionary tower.

帝国大厦的前世今生第3张图片

Image via Wikimedia (Public Domain). ImageLaying of the tower's foundations

从1929年9月的概念设计开始到1931年5月的建成开放,只用了20个月的时间。这20个月是一连串持续不断的活动:一旦设计完成,由3500名工人组成的大军就以惊人的速度拆除了华尔道夫——阿斯托里亚酒店并开始组装帝国大厦。在工程进行的最活跃的时候,这座大楼以一天增加一层多的进度进行建设,这个速度在20世纪30年代是闻所未闻的。

帝国大厦的材料成本和劳动力成本一样高。210根基础柱被埋在曼哈顿坚固的花岗岩基岩中,支撑着上面的36.5万吨的摩天大楼。5万根钢梁被组装起来,用玻璃、砖块和石灰石进行包裹,形成了一座1250英尺(380米)高的大楼。尽管是如此巨大的工程,建设的过程不仅按时完工,而且还提前了45天完工,并减少了500万美元(4,556,016欧元)的预算开支。

Only twenty months passed from the start of concept design in September of 1929 and the building’s opening in May of 1931. Those twenty months were a flurry of constant activity: once the designs were drafted, an army of 3,500 workers tore down the Waldorf-Astoria and assembled the Empire State Building at an astonishing rate. At the peak of activity, the tower rose just over one story in a day – a rate of construction which, while still impressive by today’s standards, was unheard of in the 1930s.
The material costs of the Empire State Building were every bit as high as those of labor. 210 foundation columns were sunk into the sturdy granite bedrock of Manhattan – a measure necessary to support the 365,000 tons of skyscraper above. 50,000 steel beams were then assembled and clad with glass, brick, and limestone to form a tower 1,250 feet (380 meters) tall. In spite of this, the building was not only completed on time, but a full 45 days ahead of schedule and $5 million (€4,556,016) under budget.

帝国大厦的前世今生第4张图片

Image via Wikimedia (Public Domain). ImageUnder construction

该项目的目的是要求帝国大厦提供尽可能多的出租其办公空间。1916年的“分区条例”规定的后退人行道在新的大楼形式中表达出来,但建筑物所在的地块面积大约是周围大部分建筑物的两倍;因此,建筑师威廉•兰姆(William Lamb)为办公空间和电梯设计了一个具有充足空间的主塔,这个难题在之前世界上最高的建筑——1929年的克莱斯勒大厦(Chrysler Building)中还没有得到很好的解决。

由于克莱斯勒大厦在帝国大厦建成之前仅拥有了一年“世界最高建筑”的头衔,所以这两座摩天大楼之间不可避免的会受到过多的比较。从纯粹的尺度来看,后者则更大些:其高204英尺(62米),200万平方英尺(18.6万平方米)的办公面积是前者的两倍之多。然而,关于哪个塔楼更具有美感的争论却很难得到一个确定的答案。

Its speculative purpose required that the Empire State Building provide as much rentable office space as could be built. The setbacks mandated by the 1916 Zoning Regulation, while still expressed in the new tower’s form, were countered by the fact that the lot on which the building was situated was roughly twice that of most of the surrounding structures; therefore, architect William Lamb was able to design a primary tower shaft with ample space for both offices and elevators, a dilemma less satisfiably resolved in the previous tallest building in the world, the Chrysler Building of 1929.
Given that the Chrysler Building had only held the title of “world’s tallest building” for approximately a year before conceding to the Empire State Building, it is perhaps inevitable that the two skyscrapers would be subjected to endless comparison. In pure metrics, the latter is the greater building: it is 204 feet (62 meters) taller, and its 2 million square feet (186,000 square meters) of office space was more than double that of the former. However, debate over which tower is the more aesthetically accomplished is not so easily settled.

帝国大厦的前世今生第5张图片

Image via Wikimedia (Public Domain). ImageUnder construction

帝国大厦尽管采用了装饰艺术风格,但其外观却比克莱斯勒大厦更为严肃。帝国大厦没有那么通透的窗户和装饰着旧塔的摩登石像,但仍令人印象深刻。然而,帝国大厦并非完全没有装饰品:入口的两侧有一对由混凝土雕刻的鹰,闪亮的铝制部分延伸向上,让人联想到塔楼的顶峰逐渐变细。与帝国大厦的安静尊严形成鲜明对比,克莱斯勒大厦金属王冠的繁荣可以看作是一个国家在大萧条开始之前和之后态度的变化——谁更具有吸引力则由观察者决定。

尽管史密斯和拉斯科布最初对这个项目持有乐观的态度,尽管纽约人民看到其最新的地标建筑再向天空增长,但帝国大厦仍旧无法摆脱其深陷大萧条的现实。最初,该建筑的所有者找不到几个租户进入帝国大厦,很快就得到了一个不好的绰号:“空荡荡的大厦”。

The Empire State Building, despite its Art Deco styling, is significantly more austere in appearance than the more ostentatious Chrysler Building. Devoid of the sunburst windows and Moderne gargoyles that adorn the older tower, the Empire State Building is strikingly subdued. It is not entirely without ornament, however: a pair of sculpted concrete eagles flank the entrance, and shining aluminum extensions reminiscent of wings taper up toward the pinnacle of the tower. The exuberance of the Chrysler Building’s metal crown, when contrasted with the quiet dignity of the Empire State Building, can be seen as the changing attitudes of a country before and after the onset of the Great Depression – and it falls to the observer to decide which, if either, is the more appealing.
Despite the optimism with which Smith and Raskob had originally proposed the project, and despite the rapture with which New York had watched its newest landmark grow toward the sky, the Empire State Building could not escape the realities of the deepening Depression. Initially, the building’s owners could not find more than a few tenants to occupy their tower, which soon received an unflattering nickname: the “Empty State Building.”

帝国大厦的前世今生第6张图片

The pinnacle of the tower. Image © Wikimedia user David Corby (licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)

然而历史证明了这座新的摩天大楼是一项伟大的工程。人们给予了帝国大厦赞誉,并宣布帝国大厦为“世界第八大奇迹”。同时帝国大厦也成为了曼哈顿天际线,标志着这座城市最高建筑竞争的结束,直到1972年世界贸易中心最终超越它。该建筑本身也成为了一个盈利的项目,其容纳了超过15,000名工人以及无数的游客,他们希望能从86楼的观景台上看到整座城市。

尽管帝国大厦早已失去了世界最高建筑的地位,但它却从未像1931年那样失去人们对它的崇拜。正如史密斯和拉斯科布所设想的那样,它已经成为美国不朽的丰碑——更确切地说,是美国坚忍不拔和成就的丰碑。尽管摩天大楼的高度在持续增加,打破了帝国大厦曾经创下的纪录,但它对纽约的特殊影响以及对摩天大楼最初的设想仍然存在。Joe Carbonelli年轻时曾在建筑工地当过水工,他说得很好:“尽管现在有很多更高的建筑,但这座建筑仍然是纽约和美国的象征,也是勇气和冒险的象征。”

History would come to vindicate the new skyscraper. Those who did not deride the building upon its completion showered it with acclaim, most notably declaring the Empire State Building the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World.’ Its introduction into the Manhattan skyline would represent the end of the city’s competition for the tallest building until the World Trade Center finally dethroned it in 1972. The building itself also became a profitable venture in its own right, hosting over 15,000 workers and countless more visitors hoping to see the city from the observation deck on the 86th floor.
Although the Empire State Building has long since lost its status as the world’s tallest building, it has never quite lost the adoration which it engendered in 1931. Just as Smith and Raskob envisioned, it has become an enduring monument to democratic—and more specifically American—perseverance and achievement. Even as skyscrapers continue to grow taller, eclipsing the record once set by the Empire State Building, its particular impact on New York and the idea of the skyscraper as a whole will likely remain. Joe Carbonelli, who worked as a water boy at the construction site during his youth, put it best: “Although there are now numerous buildings that are even taller, this one has remained a symbol for New York and America, and for courage and adventure.”


参考

[1] Kingwell, Mark. Nearest Thing to Heaven: The Empire State Building and American Dreams. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006. p5.
[2] Dunlap, David W. "Zoning Arrived 100 Years Ago. It Changed New York City Forever." The New York Times, July 25, 2016. [access].
[3] Curtis, William J. R. Modern Architecture since 1900. London: Phaidon, 1996. p219-225.
[4] Tauranac, John. The Empire State Building: The Making of a Landmark. New York: Scribner, 1995. p38.
[5] Kingwell, p1-5.
[6] Willis, Carol, and Donald Friedman. Building the Empire State. New York: W.W. Norton in Association with the Skyscraper Museum, 1998. p11-12.
[7] Cowan, Henry J., and Trevor Howells. A Guide to the World's Greatest Buildings: Masterpieces of Architecture & Engineering. San Francisco, 2000: Fog City Press. p112-113.
[8] Willis, p17-18.
[9] Cowan and Howells, p111-112.
[10] Willis, p14.
[11] Bayer, Patricia. Art Deco Architecture: Design, Decoration, and Detail from the Twenties and Thirties. New York: H.N. Abrams, 1992. p92.
[12] Cowan and Howells, p113.
[13] Tauranac, p19.
[14] Cowan and Howells, p113.
[15] Kingwell, p12.

建筑师:Shreve、Lamb and Harmon
地点:美国,纽约州,纽约市
负责建筑师:William F. Lamb
面积:2248355英尺2
项目年:1931年
照片:Wikimedia user robertpaulyoung (licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0), Wikimedia user David Corby (licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0), Wikimedia user Smithfl (licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)
制造商:Construction Specialties

References
[1] Kingwell, Mark. Nearest Thing to Heaven: The Empire State Building and American Dreams. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006. p5.
[2] Dunlap, David W. "Zoning Arrived 100 Years Ago. It Changed New York City Forever." The New York Times, July 25, 2016. [access].
[3] Curtis, William J. R. Modern Architecture since 1900. London: Phaidon, 1996. p219-225.
[4] Tauranac, John. The Empire State Building: The Making of a Landmark. New York: Scribner, 1995. p38.
[5] Kingwell, p1-5.
[6] Willis, Carol, and Donald Friedman. Building the Empire State. New York: W.W. Norton in Association with the Skyscraper Museum, 1998. p11-12.
[7] Cowan, Henry J., and Trevor Howells. A Guide to the World's Greatest Buildings: Masterpieces of Architecture & Engineering. San Francisco, 2000: Fog City Press. p112-113.
[8] Willis, p17-18.
[9] Cowan and Howells, p111-112.
[10] Willis, p14.
[11] Bayer, Patricia. Art Deco Architecture: Design, Decoration, and Detail from the Twenties and Thirties. New York: H.N. Abrams, 1992. p92.
[12] Cowan and Howells, p113.
[13] Tauranac, p19.
[14] Cowan and Howells, p113.
[15] Kingwell, p12.

Architects: Shreve, Lamb and Harmon
Location: 350 5th Ave, New York, NY 10118, United States
Architect in Charge: William F. Lamb
Area: 2248355.0 ft2
Project Year: 1931
Photographs: Wikimedia user robertpaulyoung (licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0), Wikimedia user David Corby (licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0), Wikimedia user Smithfl (licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)
Manufacturers: Construction Specialties

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