The Tower of Voices, part of the last major phase of work at the Flight 93 National Memorial located in Somerset County, Penn., where United Flight 93 crashed on Sept. 11, 2001, is conceived as both a musical instrument and a tower.
The 93-foot-tall precast tower comprises 40 custom-made aluminum wind chimes, with each chime producing a distinct musical note. Together, these chimes create a set of “40 voices” to memorialize the 40 passengers and crew who lost their lives when the flight was hijacked by terrorists. The chimes are suspended at variable heights, starting 20 feet above the main plaza and ascending to the top. The customizable features included in the precast concrete will enable the chimes to “sing” even at low wind speeds.
The tower form is designed as an enclosure that cradles the 40 chimes and opens towards the public plaza on which it stands. The precast concrete columns with branch connectors abstractly recall the Hemlock grove near the crash site. Precast concrete was used for the tower to accommodate the complex and unusual shapes of each component and because it had the strength needed to support the tall, slender frame.
The design process included a combination of consultants including a musician, chimes artist, acoustical engineer, and wind consultants. Diagonal column splices allowed the joints to blend in with diagonal beams. At the joints, pockets and splines aligned the column pairs vertically, creating symmetry in a structure with various angles, curves, and heights.
The project acts as a landmark memorial feature near the entrance of the park.
Concrete | Mar 17, 2023
American Concrete Institute releases new guide for shotcrete construction
The American Concrete Institute, through the work of ACI Committee 506, has released ACI PRC-506-22: Shotcrete—Guide. The newly introduced guide provides information on materials and properties of both dry-mix and wet-mix shotcrete and covers most facets of the shotcrete process including application procedures, equipment requirements, and responsibilities of the shotcrete crew.
Student Housing | Mar 13, 2023
University of Oklahoma, Missouri S&T add storm-safe spaces in student housing buildings for tornado protection
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Concrete | Jan 24, 2023
Researchers investigate ancient Roman concrete to make durable, lower carbon mortar
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75 Top Products | Nov 30, 2022
75 top building products for 2022
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Building Materials | Aug 3, 2022
Shawmut CEO Les Hiscoe on coping with a shaky supply chain in construction
BD+C's John Caulfield interviews Les Hiscoe, CEO of Shawmut Design and Construction, about how his firm keeps projects on schedule and budget in the face of shortages, delays, and price volatility.
Concrete | Jul 26, 2022
Consortium to set standards and create markets for low-carbon concrete
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Reconstruction & Renovation | May 4, 2022
AIA course: Concrete buildings — Effective solutions for restoration and major repairs
The history of concrete construction between 1950 and 1970 offers architects and construction professionals a framework for how to rehabilitate these buildings today using both time-tested and emerging technologies. This course, worth 1.0 AIA LU, was authored by Henry Moss, AIA, LEED AP, Principal with Bruner/Cott Architects.
Concrete Technology | Apr 19, 2022
SGH’s Applied Science & Research Center achieves ISO 17025 accreditation for concrete testing procedures
Simpson Gumpertz & Heger’s (SGH) Applied Science & Research Center recently received ISO/IEC17025 accreditation from the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) for several concrete testing methods.
AEC Tech Innovation | Mar 9, 2022
Meet Emerge: WSP USA's new AEC tech incubator
Pooja Jain, WSP’s VP-Strategic Innovation, discusses the pilot programs her firm’s new incubator, Emerge, has initiated with four tech startup companies. Jain speaks with BD+C's John Caulfield about the four AEC tech firms to join Cohort 1 of the firm’s incubator.
Codes and Standards | Feb 28, 2022
Low-cost concrete alternative absorbs CO2
Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute have developed a new CO2-absorbing material that’s a low-cost alternative to concrete.