Steel casting technology allows for a freedom of geometry and control of material properties that can empower designers to achieve unique architectural forms when used as structural connections. From simple pin-shaped end connectors to complex multi-planar nodes, castings can enable the construction of structural systems that feature irregular geometric variation in three dimensions. Such connections can be cast in a variety of structural material grades and finishes and offer large architectural opportunity when used in exposed structures.
This paper presents a case study, the Day’s End Project located at Pier 52 on the Hudson River in New York City, in which cast steel nodes were used as architectural connections in a steel frame. This project will serve as a public art initiative, and as such the aesthetics of the exposed structure was balanced with both the structural and environmental requirements associated with this windy and rust-prone riverside location. Casting technology was leveraged to produce corrosion-resistant super-duplex stainless steel nodes that accommodated the unique geometric requirements of the frame while maintaining the sophisticated design language required of this art installation. This paper presents an overview of the process used to design these nodes, including advanced finite element analysis and consideration of fatigue-resistant weld preparation details.