1 New York Plaza is an office building in the Financial District of Manhattan in New York City, at the intersection of South and Whitehall Streets near South Ferry. The building, measuring 640 feet tall with 50 floors, is the southern most skyscraper in Lower Manhattan.
The facade was designed by Nevio Maggiora, consisting of a boxlike "beehive" pattern with the windows recessed within, made of aluminum-clad wall elements resembling a type of thermally activated elevator button popular at the time of construction,
Mechanical Floor 1 New York Plaza in lower Manhattan.
Taller buildings typically have water tanks and HVAC equipment on the roof. Rooftop water tanks get filled via electrical pumps and can then supply floors below via gravity, providing more stable pressure, and some reserve in case of power outages.
HVAC systems need condensing fans and cooling towers on the roof, or, an intermediate floor with fresh air flow.
If such floors are mid-height, but not on the roof, the full roof can be used by tenants as open, scenic, decks.
Note that in NYC, developers are taking advantage of a "mechanical void" loophole in zoning regulations to make their buildings taller allowed, as mechanical spaces -frequently taller than a typical floor are counted differently. This allows them to not only build taller, but sell units at higher elevations and with less obstructed views. This more than offsets the cost of the incremental framing.
While there is some truth to the fact that many of the city’s tallest buildings are home to empty residences, including those that have been bought up by foreign investors, if these buildings appear largely empty, absent owners aren’t entirely to blame. The real problem may be a zoning loophole that permits developers to fill multiple floors with mechanical equipment without officially counting the floors as part of.