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Wachovia Bank Building

Charlotte, United States of America
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The Wachovia Bank Building introduced two architectural features that Abramovitz would deploy in several of his later office buildings. The most striking was the precast-concrete curtain wall-according to Architectural Record, the first of its kind. Beside allowing a rich but simple rhythm of light and shadow to play across the facade, amplified by the use of white quartz in the concrete mixture, the panels were aligned to shade the window openings and thus reduce glare on the interior.

The second new aspect was more subtle. The services-elevators, ventilation shafts, electrical conduits-were moved to a separate but connected tower. This, according to Abramovitz, opened up the interior and promoted greater flexibility in spatial arrangements. Harrison & Abramovitz used this planning technique again in a skyscraper than for the Equitable Life Assurance Society's Gateway Center development project in Pittsburgh, in 1964, the service tower sheathed in stainless steel rather than concrete panels.

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  1. Columbia University
mariathuroczy, March 13th, 2012
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