10. The Tower Is Made of Terra-Cotta and Glass

Photo of One Vanderbilt surfacePhoto by Max Touhey

One Vanderbilt’s surface is made of fluted terra-cotta, a type of earthenware, and canted glass panels. The use of terra-cotta is meant to echo the work of Rafael Guastavino, a Spanish building engineer known for patenting the Guastavino tile arch system, at Grand Central Terminal, as KPF’s design principal Jeffrey Kenoff told The Architect’s Newspaper earlier this year. According to the newspaper, the terra-cotta panels with two custom glazes for different parts of the building are manufactured by Boston Valley Terracotta where the tiles were extruded, forcing them through a steel die to form a hollow cored unit, while the glass panels were produced by Tvitec Spain.

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