A new design plan for WTC site

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by iGav, Dec 19, 2003.

  1. iGav macrumors G3

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    #1
  2. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    It will be quite nice and the tallest building in the world for a while :D

    I like the idea of making it follow the same form as the Statue of Liberty.

    D
     
  3. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    Personally I'm glad Liebeskind will be working on this. I have always thought he captures the emotions horror and loss and redemption so well in his designs. See The Jewish Museum in Berlin if you want to see what I mean.

    So far I like what I see of the design. It will be nice to see a modern skyscraper on the NY skyline again.
     
  4. iGav thread starter macrumors G3

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    it looks interesting, still not sure about sloping roofs, but I'm happy to see that the main tower is f**k-off big... I like that attitude, it'd have been a enormous shame had they reduced the height of the buildings... NY is about vertical, I remember driving into NY from JFK about midnight, and seeing Manhatten for the first time at night.... incredible, we don't really have anything like that here, except maybe Carnary Wharf, and that immediate Docklands area.

    I loved one of the other designs that was in the running, with gardens in the sky, I thought that pretty futuristic, not sure whether there was enough/if any business space allocated though.

    Can't wait for it to be built.
     
  5. krimson macrumors 65816

    krimson

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    i believe the property leasee wanted Childs to design it, and the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. wanted Libeskind to do the design.
     
  6. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    Yeah and supposedly there was major disagreements between them too. But they seem to have worked it out. Architecture is all about compromises.
     
  7. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    I find it interesting that news of the new design comes from the BBC. Really hope that this will be satisfactory to all concerned in NY. I wonder who will be the driving force behind this project. On a PBS documnetary about the orginal WTC it was Rockefellar and the NY Port Authority. It took great coordination to bring that project to fruition. A project that almost failed. In the end it brought a major Renaissance to Manhattan.
     
  8. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    Oh it's being reported by the US news as well. At the moment it's CNN's top story on their website, and others have it featured prominently on their pages.
     
  9. cubist macrumors 68020

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    Not with as nice pictures, tho. What's all that empty space at the top? And what's with the spires? Can I make the world's tallest building in my back yard with a single chain of atoms 1800 feet high?
     
  10. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    No, but if you put the chain of atoms on top of your house it would count. Part of the designation of building is something you can enter and possibly occupy.;)

    Or you could just get a half-mile tall antenna. Good TV reception that way too.
     
  11. alset macrumors 65816

    alset

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    I love it. I'll sound like a pessimist, but I still wish it was taller. I think this is great (I would have been so despondent if we settled for less than the original towers), but I still I want towers higher than man can build. Call it a big fsck-you to terrorists.

    Dan
     
  12. meta-ghost macrumors regular

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    i still have to get used to the name "freedom tower"...

    here is herbert muschamp's take on it from the nytimes. slightly different than i would have expected as he seems to be giving childs a great deal of credit.

    Tower Design Overshadows Complications
    By HERBERT MUSCHAMP
    Published: December 20, 2003

    The surprise of yesterday's unveiling is that in its present form Freedom Tower is much closer to being a piece of architecture than the public had any right to expect. The forced collaboration between David M. Childs, of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and Daniel Libeskind might have brought out the worst instincts of each, resulting in a corporate gloss on the apocalypse. Instead, the architects have come close to transcending what's left of their battered selves. With some shrewd editing, the design could become one of the noblest skyscrapers ever realized in New York.

    These refinements should not be difficult to achieve. They will flow from an understanding of the different approaches that the two architects have taken toward their common task and by analyzing the areas where these approaches have already meshed. Thankfully it is now possible, for the first time in two years, to think about ground zero in something like architectural terms. And this process should help to clarify the boundaries that the design guidelines of any master plan should respect if architecture is to occur.

    Freedom Tower's envelope is a torqued wedge that rises 1,776 feet from a trapezoidal base to the tip of a broadcasting mast that is anchored asymmetrically at the summit. Rentable office space occupies an estimated 60 floors of the tower. Above is an open, latticework structure that houses an observation platform and a wind farm for generating most of the building's electricity.

    The building's strongest feature is the adaptability of its structural system to different site conditions. That is why it makes no sense to parse the design for signs of which architect won this or lost that. The design we see, in its entirety, takes its cue from Mr. Libeskind's incomplete master plan. The building's irregular contours are precisely determined by the size, shape and location specified by that plan. If these specifications were to be changed, so would the architectural expression. I'd call that win-win so far.

    The second major strength is the balance that the design almost achieves between delicacy and toughness. The glass skin and the cable structure create an ethereal quality that one might have thought impossible, given the prospect of fortress architecture that rose up in the aftermath of 9/11. Yet the rigor of the structure is tough, exactly as the Brooklyn Bridge and the Eiffel Tower are tough. Freedom Tower's structure is derived from bridge design, like that of the Eiffel Tower. The span connects heaven and earth.

    Adaptability and conceptual balance are the essential qualities of the design. Its success as architecture is contingent on the integrity with which these qualities are maintained throughout. The design's weaknesses represent lapses from the consistency of its own internal logic.

    There are two of them: the sloped roof at the summit of the building's inhabited portion, and the broadcasting mast that rises from the open-lattice superstructure above. These features are both concessions to weak ideas that Mr. Libeskind presented a year ago. Sloped roofs are common to all the towers in the "spiral of skyscrapers," a feature of Mr. Libeskind's design concept. The antenna stems from a primitive desire to one-up the Statue of Liberty by constructing a high-rise version of it.

    Here's the paradox. These concessions to Mr. Libeskind actually prevent the design from achieving the symbolic status he sought with his initial ideas. They deprive the design of its integrity and sharply curtail its effectiveness as symbolic form.

    To understand these problems and potentially resolve them, it helps to grasp that the two architects are coming from very different places. They employ two different systems of communication. With the assistance of the structural engineer Guy Nordenson, who first presented the concept of torqued outrigger walls in a special issue of The New York Times Magazine last year, Mr. Childs has developed a vocabulary of structural expression and abstract form. Mr. Libeskind works with a language of visual and literary symbolism.The good news is that the architects have come so very close to fusing these two approaches. The frustration is that they've stopped before the miracle could happen. This shortcoming may owe something to clashing egos. But it owes more to the breakneck timetable that Gov. George E. Pataki has set for the planning process. Don't forget that the design presented yesterday was not entirely shaped by architecture. It also bears the traces of strong-arm legal tactics that were deployed to accelerate the project's completion.

    Ostensibly undertaken to protect Mr. Libeskind's interests, these tactics may actually have prevented him from seeing what to me is plainly obvious. Even in its present, compromised form, the Skidmore vocabulary fulfills Mr. Libeskind's symbolic intentions far more effectively than his own initial sketches for the tower.

    Let's look at the design in the context of Memory Foundations, as Mr. Libeskind's design concept was called. Freedom Tower stands at the pinnacle of the "spiral of skyscrapers," a semicircular composition of five towers of gradually increasing heights. Astute historians will inevitably recognize the spiral of skyscrapers as a version of the temple to Marduk, the Babylonian "bull calf of the sun."

    Hello, liberty. Begone, Babylonian bull calf. With this substitution, the message becomes: Democracy Redeems Worldly Desires. This is not an architectural language I much care for, but at least it is contextual. The financial district's skyline is already packed with pagan motifs.

    The problem with figurative symbolism is not the meanings it invites, however, but the ones it refuses. The 20th century taught us a few things about cognition. Forms in space are screens for the projection of individual fantasies. An abstract screen enlarges the possibility for multiple readings. It is precisely through abstraction that modern audiences have developed new eyes for the ancient art that Mr. Libeskind is clearly keen to evoke.

    Brancusi's "Bird" soars higher without wings than it would be able to with them. His "Endless Column" would go nowhere if you stuck an infinity sign on top. And the idea of freedom would be conveyed with far greater conviction by a tower that did not try to dictate the meanings that people might see reflected in it.

    For me, a simplified design would be a metaphor for resilience. The tower absorbed an impact, passed it down to the ground and reasserted itself in the skyline. In the process it has been transformed by death and by the desire for rebirth. Were the antenna to be housed within the lattice superstructure, the entire building would be a spire. It wouldn't need a spare one stuck in the top like a martini toothpick.

    The point is that with abstraction meanings can expand without limit. In this sense abstraction is democratic. It reinforces the concept of the public realm.
     
  13. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    I agree Mr. Anderson on both counts. The really interesting factoid is that it will be 1,776 feet tall. It's to commemorate America's Declaration of independence from England
     
  14. huntsman macrumors member

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    #14
  15. iGav thread starter macrumors G3

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    they're pretty similar aren't they... :eek:

    I'm still not sure about the sloping roof buildings, and the name is abit weak... 'Freedom Tower'... I'd have liked something more forward thinking and original.
     
  16. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #16
    Well we couldn't call it the French Tower, now could we?:D
     

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