BIG World Trade Center
Yesterday, Danish architect Bjarke Ingels unveiled his firm’s elaborate vision for 2 World Trade Center via a long story in Wired. Norman Foster’s studio was originally announced as the designer of the tower in 2006 and unveiled plans for a 387-metre-tall skyscraper consisting of four interconnecting blocks linked by a central core, but it seems that it’s officially time to bid farewell to that Norman Foster-designed cluster of diamonds.
Ingels has a rapidly growing business in the US, where the relatively young architect is regarded as an “avant-garde” designer. Yet, the new design for the office tower 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.
The new design is still bounded by Vesey and Fulton streets to the north and south and Greenwich and Church streets to the west and east—is 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.
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 design (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 statement—zany and bold, as always—on 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.
Ingels has his work cut out for him to get his vision of 2 WTC built. Because of the complexities of the World Trade Center’s redevelopment, Ingels will have to retrofit his design to foundations already constructed by the Port Authority for the shopping mall located beneath the site.