This is a sketch of the Eric Williams Financial Complex a.k.a. the Twin Towers; the second sketch from my 3 sketch delight on Tuesday. The Twin Towers is a “towering” example of quality architecture, and construction in Trinidad & Tobago. As architects, citizens, and builders of the present and the future…our desire should be to demand quality, and give quality. We should do what it takes to showcase our talent, skill, and professionalism. Bad design and bad construction stands out. I have seen bad work all over the country, in fact it’s one of the biggest complaints in the industry. Projects are being done with little time and care that’s essential for a quality product. As we grow I hope we go back to the days of the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s when designers, and contractors cared about their work and its reflection on their country and their names.
Eric Williams Plaza, also known as the Eric Williams Financial Complex, located on Independence Square, Port of Spain, consists of a pair of skyscrapers 22 stories high and 302 ft (92 m) tall, locally known as the “Twin Towers”. Construction on the complex started in 1979 and ended in 1986. The complex was officially opened on March 29, 1986. The architect who managed the construction was Anthony C. Lewis Partnership.
The Eric Williams Plaza was named after Eric Williams, the first prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago. The first tower houses the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago while the second tower houses the Ministry of Finance. The first tower’s official name is Eric Williams Financial Tower and the second tower’s official name is the Central Bank Tower. The old Central Bank building has gold and currency vaults, administrative areas, an auditorium and a concert hall.
The towers have an earthquake resistant design. The cross braces and core walls in both towers are designed to take earthquake forces with the former taking 15% of the forces and the latter taking 85%. Additionally, great care was taken in the detailing of the reinforcement. The thickness of the basement under each tower is 25′. 1900 piles were driven to an average depth of 80′ with 560 below each tower. The pile cap under each tower is a cellular raft which is a combination of 9′ x 6′ beams and an 18″ slab. All columns on the towers are tied to this as water storage for the building is also located in the basement for additional dead weight. The concrete walls are ‘brush-hammer’ finished.
Have a great day!
This work by Vernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.