Saturday, November 17, 2012


The Tower
Much has been said about the home of the Formula 1 race in the United States at the Circuit Of The Americas at Austin, Texas. It is a fantatstic looking circuit with first class facilities and a menacing looking track layout. First time the word 'menacing' has been used for a Tilke track. We'll see on race day.

The most interesting thing besides the track layout is the Tower. There is a viewing tower next to the track with a glass floor to watch F1 cars zoom by.

This tower is 251 feet (77m) high, designed by Miró Rivera Architects as a landmark for the venue. The structure of the tower consists of an elevator hoist-way surrounded by a double-helix staircase, both of which lead to an observation platform 230 feet (70m) above ground level. The platform will provide a 360-degree panorama of the circuit, as well as views to downtown Austin, Texas. In addition, a "veil" consisting of 18 steel tubes runs nearly the full height of the tower, acting as a canopy for both the observation platform and the stage below.
View From Top of Alonso

The elevator has only two buttons – 1, for the ground floor, and 2, for the second floor, which happens to be 22 stories up. The observation tower at the Circuit of the Americas, immediately the tallest structure in Elroy, Texas, gives up to 100 people a superb view of the new Formula One track, though you still can't see a few key areas, such as the start-finish line.

It is available only to those who have booked special packages – there will be no ticket booth at the bottom selling elevator rides (or, there's a staircase if you prefer).

A track spokesman says that eventually the circuit will sell “naming rights” to the facility, but it seems odd that on the cusp of the biggest race the track will ever host, it isn't already named, so journalists would already be referring to it as the “Shell Tower” or “Red Bull Tower.”

The front of the platform has a glass floor, but it all seems quite sturdy. For reasons that are not immediately evident, Miró Rivera Architects have the tower 18 red steel tubes that run from top to bottom, then flare out, making the tower appear to have a red mullet haircut.

Pretty Scary

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