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CONNIE ZHOU VOLUME 1 SPRING 2016


CONNIE ZHOU

Late last fall I had the pleasure of working with Gensler on their project The Tower at PNC Plaza. While photographing the 32-story skyscraper both inside and out, I was exceptionally ecstatic and particularly anxious about capturing the significance of the tower. With the help of my assistant and the wonderful team at Gensler, I was able to capture the building at its best. With a reputation of being the greenest and amongst the most innovative skyscrapers in the world, I hope that my photos have done this impressive structure justice. Mid-century modern architecture is a subject I love, especially the designs of Eero Saarinen. When I’m in a Saarinen building, I am always in awe of my surroundings. I was lucky enough to have visited a few of his structures, and I feel that it is impossible to create a bad photo of a Saarinen design. Chapter II is a collection of images I photographed of his work. In January, I traveled to Geneva to fulfill a dream of exploring the vast underground detectors of CERN. For someone like me who lives to photograph grand structures, the idea of shooting an underground detector ten stories high was hard to pass up. Both the scientific mysteries as well as the sheer scale of the large structures at CERN are fascinating. These massive detectors not only study the fundamental laws of nature but are also an impressive sight to see. Chapter III consists of photos from CERN’s CMS, ATLAS and LHCb experiments.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

I

THE TOWER AT PNC PLAZA GREENEST SKYSCRAPER IN THE WORLD

II

EERO SAARINEN A LOOK AT SAARINENS DESIGNS

III

CERN THE LARGE HADRON COLLIDER

IV

MIAMI PHOTO ESSAY


THE TOWER AT PNC PLAZA GREENEST SKYSCRAPER IN THE WORLD ARCHITECT - GENSLER

Located in the center of downtown Pittsburgh, PNC’s newest headquarters opened its doors officially on October 1st, 2015. This is the first tall building to go up in Pittsburgh in over 20 years. Known as the “greenest skyscraper in the world,” the tower is projected to consume half the amount of energy as a typical office building of the same size. It relies on a sophisticated glass skin with operable windows and flaps that allows the building to “breathe,” bringing in fresh air rather than utilizing mechanical ventilation. At the center of the building is a solar chimney, comprised of two shafts extending from the lowest office floor to its crown. The building boasts a stack effect that creates pressure to pull in fresh air through the façade and throughout open office areas. The cap of the building, distinctively angled towards the south, contains a concrete slab underneath its glass exterior that traps solar radiation through its ribbed texture and black color. The tower’s façade has several additional modes of operation. During the summer, the poppers can be opened, and the floppers can be left closed in order to cool the building’s cavity and help maintain comfortable indoor temperatures. In the winter, both poppers and floppers can be kept closed, allowing the air between the two skins to heat up and act as a thermal buffer, performing in much the same way as winter clothing.

I


EERO SAARINEN A LOOK AT SAARINENS DESIGNS

Eero Saarinen was amazingly prolific and successful throughout 20th-Century architecture. Saarinen designed many of the most recognizable Knoll furniture, including the Tulip chairs and tables, the Womb chair, and the 70 series seating collection. Eero, who was known for being obsessed with revision, took a sculptural approach to furniture design, building hundreds of models and full-scale mock-ups to achieve the perfect curve, find the right line, and derive the most pleasing proportions. A leader of the second-generation modernists, Saarinen constantly pushed materials and aesthetic boundaries. The Gateway Arch was Saarinen’s first great triumph, followed by many more. Projects such as the General Motors Technical Center near Detroit, the TWA Terminal in New York City, and the Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C. established him as one of the most successful and creative architects of his time. Saarinen is now considered one of the masters of American 20th Century architecture; I photographed three of his seminal projects throughout the Northeast: the TWA Flight Center in New York City, Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., and Bell Labs Holmdel Complex in Holmdel, NJ.

TWA Flight Center, Queens, NY – Completed 1962 Dulles International Airport, Washington D.C. – Completed 1963 Bell Labs Holmdel Complex, Holmdel, NJ – Completed 1962

II


“The purpose of architecture is to shelter and enhance man’s life on earth and to fulfill his belief in the nobility of his existence.” - Eero Saarinen


CERN THE LARGE HADRON COLLIDER

CERN, an acronym for Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire, is the European Organization for Nuclear Research. There, physicists and engineers use the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments to study the fundamental structure of the universe — starting with the most basic particles in existence. CERN uses particle accelerators and detectors to study how particles interact — as particles are beamed at high energies, collided into each other and stationary targets, they reveal insights into the fundamental laws of nature. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN is the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator. Established in September 2008, the LHC consists of a 27-kilometer ring of superconducting magnets and other structures, and is the most recent addition to CERN’s accelerator complex. I had the privilege of photographing this incredible machine at CERN this winter.

III


MIAMI A PHOTO ESSAY IV


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VOLUME 1 SPRING 2016