Almost 14 years after Sept. 11, the world finally knows what the last major tower of the massive, complex, fraught World Trade Center site will look like. This morning, via a long story in Wired, Danish architectural wunderkind Bjarke Ingels unveiled his firm's elaborate vision for 2 World Trade Center. It's officially time to bid farewell to that Norman Foster-designed cluster of diamonds.
The new design for the office towerstill bounded by Vesey and Fulton streets to the north and south and Greenwich and Church streets to the west and eastis purposefully asymmetrical. There's a stair-step facade with green balconies at each setback that faces east, and a more traditional glassy curtain wall that looks west, toward the Sept. 11 memorial plaza, One World Trade, and the Hudson River.
Developer Silverstein Properties is now over the moon about the new design (though Larry Silverstein apparently had "will this work?" doubts at the beginning); 21st Century Fox and News Corp. have signed a non-binding tenancy agreement to occupy the lower half of the 2.8 million-square-foot tower, which will rise about 80 stories and 1,340 feet. Given that Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) includes newsrooms, studios and such in the many renderings it unleashed this morning, it sure seems like a done deal. Projected completion date? By September 2021, the 20th anniversary of the attacks.
This morning, Bjarke Ingels and his team also unveiled a video about the tower and its design; Silverstein updated its website to reflect a host of new info about 2 World Trade, which will be the second-tallest of all the WTC towers, after 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade Center.
Here's the official word on the new look (including the confirmation that 2 WTC "is aligned along the axis of World Trade Center Master Planner Daniel Libeskind's 'Wedge of Light' plaza to preserve the views to St. Paul's Chapel from the Memorial park"). There will also be a public plaza at the base of the building. Meanwhile, this is Ingels's statementzany and bold, as alwayson the building's two sides.
The completion of the World Trade Center will restore the majestic skyline of Manhattan and unite the streetscapes of TriBeCa with the towers Downtown. To complete this urban reunification we propose a tower that will feel equally at home in TriBeCa and the World Trade Center. From TriBeCa, the home of lofts and roof gardens, it will appear like a vertical village of singular buildings stacked on top of each other to create parks and plazas in the sky. From the World Trade Center, the individual towers will appear unified, completing the colonnade of towers framing the 9/11 Memorial. Horizontal meets vertical. Diversity becomes unity. And now, without further ado, all the renderings you could ever want.
This will be Ingels's most high-profile project yet. Ingels (who, Wired points out, is exactly half Foster's age) and his team went through several months of design planning under a code name: Project Gotham. "It's like playing Twister with a 1,300-foot high-rise," he said.
· 2 World Trade Center [official]
· 2 World Trade Center Fact Sheet [wtc.com]
· Revealed: The Inside Story of the Last WTC Tower's Design [Wired]
· The Status of the World Trade Center Complex, 13 Years Later [Curbed]
· All Bjarke Ingels coverage [Curbed]
· All 2 World Trade Center coverage [Curbed]
· World Trade Center Redevelopment archive [Curbed]