Friday/ the Qualtrics Tower

I went downtown today to check on the new $392 million Qualtrics Tower (formerly known as 2+U and 2&U) on 2nd Ave. that is now nearing completion.

The 527-ft/ 161 m tall, 38-story tower has as its largest tenant Qualtrics. Qualtrics offers a software platform with which companies can measure and improve the way their customers experience their services and products.

For example, an airline would want to improve the way its passengers experience the booking of their air fares, how they board their flights, as well as how they experience being on board and arriving at their destination. That way they will come back and fly on the airline again, especially when they have a choice between airlines!

The view from 1st Ave and Seneca St. It’s really two towers: a base with 18 floors, with a 20-floor tower stacked on top of it.  (The downtown zoning height allowance changes in the middle of the street block!). The enormous V-shaped columns provide 85 ft (26 m) of open space from the ground. They were manufactured across the border in Canada, and are steel tubes in a rebar cage, all encased in precast concrete.
A closer look at the columns shows all the open space below the building, and also the public passageways. The passageways are a replacement for the alley that existed between the old buildings that had been demolished for the new one.
Hey! The early 1900’s Diller Hotel building survived the construction around it (as planned). One of downtown’s few remaining buildings from the 1890s, it was built after the Great Fire of 1889 as a luxury hotel. Today, the lobby of the erstwhile hotel is a bar with vintage decor, called the Diller Room.
This is up at 2nd Ave, where the pillars are some 20ft shorter, due to the steep grade up from 1st Avenue. The public will have access to what is called an ‘urban village’ of shops and outdoor spaces, below and around the new building.
Plenty of wood inlays to be seen here. The slanted roof on the right goes all the way to the back, and provides a little architectural flair.

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