New WTC Building Is "Bold and Simple"

Hooray! The new design for the Freedom Tower at the WTC site is gorgeous. Images here and here. It replaces the hideous Libeskind design with its stupid windmills. I just wish that the new tower would rise at least 111 stories (the Twin Towers rose 110 stories).

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  • ||

    Amusingly, some of my friends on livejournal are bitching about the change. 'Cause see, the new design has more office space than the old one, so it was motivated by greeeeeeed! "Our flag should have dollar signs instead of stars." Sheesh.

  • Jeff, He Who Was Once Wedgied||

    Since Bush is still using the destruction of the WTC as our "defining moment", I have to wonder if he'll even notice a new one going up.
    Also, does anyone here actually "define" themselves by a beating they took?

  • ||

    "I just wish that the new tower would rise at least 111 stories (the Twin Towers rose 110 stories)."

    What the hell, right? You won't be working there.

  • ||

    Eeeh.

  • ||

    Beautiful new building, but what it really needs are people living in it! Mixed use is much better for the urban fabric and street life.

  • ||

    I like it. It's almost...Roarkish.
    *Having invoked That Woman, I'll drop back into the shadows.*

  • ||

    To me, that is a pretty sharp design. Subtly modern. Not bad at all.

  • ||

    MTM: I'd LIVE there in a New York minute.

  • TDM||

    I like the tower geometry, but we can do without the "Luxor" night-light. But rather than one tower I want a "hydra" plan. They knocked down two towers, so four towers grow back in their place. The new towers would be of ascending height.

  • David Rollins||

    My favorite part:

    No tenants, other than the governor and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the transportation agency that owns the site land, have expressed interest in moving offices into the tower.



    Give it up, midtown's where everyone wants to be. I can't wait until NY loses the 2012 Olympics. Take that, Gloomberg!

  • ||

    the new design has more office space than the old one

    It does? I thought it has the same:

    Given those requirements, and the goal of maintaining the building's overall 2.6 million square foot floor area, the redesigned Freedom Tower almost naturally assumed some dimensions of the original twin towers, Mr. Childs said in an interview.
    - from the NYT

    Anyway, I like the design much better than the previous one; it looks like a real building now instead of the product of some starchitects' "bold vision". I am a bit disappointed by the 200-foot- tall blank pedestal, though. I guess that's the trade-off you have to make for safety.

  • Phil||

    The new towers would be of ascending height.

    As opposed to descending height?

  • ||

    Would it be inappropriate if Target Corporation bought the naming rights?

  • ||

    Also, does anyone here actually "define" themselves by a beating they took?

    Some in the South.

    Many (most? all?) current civil rights activists.

    More people than you'd think.

    Anyway, I like the building and I'm glad it's going up. Neener neener neener, Osama.

  • ||

    The only bitch I have is location. They should build it at Justice Souter's house. Kill two birds with one stone.

    Paul

  • ||

    Give it up, midtown's where everyone wants to be.

    Feh! You can have it. I am so glad my company's president is staying downtown.

  • ||

    It could grow on me. I still liked the THINK designs best, myself.

  • ||

    Will it be able to withstand the impact of an Airbus A380?

  • fyodor||

    does anyone here actually "define" themselves by a beating they took?

    Remember the Alamo! (and the Crusades!)

    That it happens all the time doesn't mean that it's necessarily a good idea.

  • ||

    Well, it's not just about beatings. In the case of "Remember the Alamo", the defenders stood their ground and took out roughly half of Santa Anna's forces, assisting in the of later victory at San Jacinto.

  • ||

    Also much of Eastern Europe. The reason Kosovo is important to the Serbs is because they got their asses cut off and handed to them by the Turks around 500 years ago in a battle there. So in order to preserve an area that not many of them live in, they were willing to risk going up against NATO.

    Never underestimate the power of a great defeat to cause a nation to do stupid things.

    Not that I'm making comparisons (*coughBushliedcough*) or anything.

  • Jason Sonenshein||

    I just wish that the new tower would rise at least 111 stories

    and that there were another one right next to it.

  • ||

    For whatever it is worth, as an architect, I think it stinks. David Childs is a master of designing spec. office space, and thats what we get. A tower thats looks like it was designed for downtown 1980's Houston, and not in the cool retro-gold-glam sense. Sorry, but don't know where people are getting "beautiful" out of it. The renderings are the best the thing will ever look. That is unless you like living behind a 200' foot tall impenetrable wall. But from day one we knew with the number of cooks in the room it was going to be a marginal design by commitee.

  • ||

    I've always thought making ground zero a park would be more tasteful and significant.

  • ||

    Um.... 112 stories? I'm thinking more of double plus one = 221! Right after 9/11 the Swiss Ambasador to the US said "I wouldn't be surprised it they rebuilt it twice as tall."

    That to me is the true Spirit of America.

    Motto: Double plus One...

  • ||

    I like that Hydra idea. How's this for a 4 tower structure.
    . _
    . | |
    _| |_ _
    | | | | |
    | | | | |

  • ||

    It looks a little like a giant squarish pen with the cap on.

    It would have been fun if they'd shown Bloomberg a gag design that looked like an enormous smoking cigarette.

    I didn't like the original. It looked to me like it was shattered and falling.

  • ||

    If it were up to me, they would have done something Deco like the Chrysler building. But there's no way they'd do that, so this is about as good as it's likely to get.

  • ||

    I didn't like the original. It looked to me like it was shattered and falling.

    Mf. For a second there, I thought this was a very macabre joke about the original WTC.

    I'm getting too dark. Time to break for dinner and coffee.

  • ||

    Patrick,

    What sort of design would you prefer? Did you prefer the old design? Or something completely different? I agree, the new design is not "beautiful" but I thought the old one stunk.

  • ||

    Stevo writes: "For a second there, I thought this was a very macabre joke about the original WTC."

    Yeah, I wondered if it would look like that...

    I meant the original artsy rebuild.

  • Jim||

    I just wish that the new tower would rise at least 111 stories (the Twin Towers rose 110 stories).

    "Its main roof will be the same height as the fallen World Trade Center."

    Quibble, quibble. The point is that another skyscaper is a giant fuck you to Osama and his lot. For that, I love it.

  • ||

    Too bad they never built the proposed Gaudi skyscraper on that very site. More info.

  • ||

    Great headline.

    "Freedom Tower design aims for beauty, blast resistance"

    One of bin Laden's many, bizarre rants was that he ordered 9/11 because he wanted the US to know what it's like to be in a conflict zone.

    The terrorists have won!

  • ||

    It's the nicest, tenantless, #1 terrorist-target-in-the-world design thus far.

    What they should do is build a bunch of 50-story apartment buildings. Manhattan isn't short on office space, it's short on living space.

    They should then build some sort of 21st century Eiffel tower in the center to rebalance the skyline.

  • ||

    Yes, I agree this design is much much better than the first design. It is simple yet striking - somewhat like the original WTC. The square geometry of the top and base is also reminiscent of the WTC, but the 45 degree offset between top and base allowing for the triangular faces is a nice touch. The first design struck me as almost fragile, somewhat timid perhaps, which didn't seem an appropriate message or symbol for the location. This design is indeed bolder and clearly more substantial. Short of my preferred choice of rebuilding the original towers (albeit with modern construction and safety enhancements, to the extent possible) this is about as good as I could hope for. The only thing I would do differently with this design is add a second one right next to it.

  • ||

    "What they should do is build a bunch of 50-story apartment buildings"

    Co-op City, all over again...

  • ||

    Too bad they never built the proposed Gaudi skyscraper on that very site.

    As long as they build our new tower faster than that monster Gaudi cathedral in Barcelona (La Grada Familia).

  • ||

    Being captured ... now that would be a "giant fuck you". Of course, it's not gonna happen. Neener, neener.

  • ||

    I didn't think the original design was perfect by any means, but there was at least some boldness and daring to the lines and shapes. A genuine attempt to create something that was appeared new and modern, and in some ways would look like a symbol of defiance - you might even say rebirth - to anyone viewing it from a distance. The new design, by contrast, appears conservative and defensive, the building almost withdrawn into itself. And to the extent it'll conjure up memories of the Twin Towers, it'll do so with a reminder that there used to be two there instead of one. But these are the kinds of things that usually happen when you start second-guessing big ideas.

  • ||

    Sandy: "The reason Kosovo is important to the Serbs is because they got their asses cut off and handed to them by the Turks around 500 years ago in a battle there."

    Actually, it is by no means clear that the Serbs lost in 1389. Thomas A. Emmert has written (in *Serbian Golgotha Kosovo 1389* [New York: Columbia University Press 1990], p. 42):

    "The historian is faced with a perplexingly difficult problem when he
    attempts to discover what occurred in the Battle of Kosovo. There are no
    eyewitness accounts of the battle, and rather significant differences
    exist among those contemporary sources which do mention the event. There
    is little doubt that the confrontation occurred on the field of Kosovo on
    28 (15) June 1389 between Christian forces led by Prince Lazar of Serbia
    and Turkish forces led by Sultan Murad I. When it was over, both leaders
    were dead and Murad's son, Bayezid, returned to Edirne to secure his
    succession. The picture becomes very cloudy beyond these meager details.
    The early documents are not particularly concerned with armaments,
    tactics, size of forces, and the general course of the battle.
    Surprisingly enough, it is not even possible to know with certainty from
    the extant contemporary material whether one or the other side was
    victorious on the field. There is certainly little to indicate that it was
    a great Serbian defeat; and the earliest reports of the conflict suggest,
    on the contrary, that the Christian forces had won."

  • ||

    PapayaSF - that Gaudi design is awesome. I love the park he did (in Barcelona, I think...)

  • ||

    Another target for Mossad.

  • ||

    It stinks that the designers, state, and city all think the tower's appearance from New Jersey is more important that its impact on the people who are going to be walking by it on a daily basis. Midtown Manhatten isn't a freaking sculpture garden to send people messages.

    And as has been mentioned, it is idiotic to be building all that office space, which isn't needed, when there is a sever housing crunch in the region.

  • ||

    Well, here's two things I hope we can all agree on:

    a) the original WTC was ugly as hell

    b) Donald Trump is an idiot

  • ||

    Being captured ... now that would be a "giant fuck you". Of course, it's not gonna happen. Neener, neener.

    Hey, Ozzy, say hello to Manny Goldstein for me, willya?

  • ||

    Carl,

    I agree with (a) - which is why I can't understand why so many people are advocating duplicating its design. The WTC was the product of everything that was wrong with 60's design and planning, from the monotonous design of the buildings to the destruction of 16 city blocks to the removal of all street life to a subterranean warren of shops. The only motivation seems to be as a big "fuck you" to Al Qaeda, which is fine - but we can do better.

    I have no opinion on (b).

  • ||

    It stinks that the designers, state, and city all think the tower's appearance from New Jersey is more important that its impact on the people who are going to be walking by it on a daily basis. Midtown Manhatten isn't a freaking sculpture garden to send people messages.

    Well, it's lower Manhattan, so I'm sure the people down there are quite used to walking the narrow "concrete canyons" of that part of the city where you can hardly see the sky anyway. I cannot imagine they are going to be too put out by this (or any other, for that matter) design

    Besides, if we are going to worry about how the building makes people feel, then all individuals ought to matter equally, whether they live in New Jersey and have to look at it every day and/or work in Manhattan and walk by it. And while were bothering to consider psychological and/or aesthetic impacts, certainly its symbolism to tens or hundreds of millions of Americans, given the national tragedy that took place there, ought to count for something.

    As for office space, no sense worrying about whether it's needed or not; the price of office space will adjust to take care of that. If rents fall then tenants are made better off and more companies will be able to afford Manhattan offices, not such a bad thing for the city. Of course landlords are made worse off, but who cares about them anyway. :-)

    Oh, and if housing demand is outstripping housing supply resulting in a housing crunch, as it were, one wonders what is stopping anyone from building more housing. Hmmmm, let me guess.

  • ||

    With regards to how this would affect people in the area, interested parties with a background in image manipulation could take pictures of the area (or use existing ones, if sufficient) and produce decent views of what the new building would look like from ground level. If the obstructed views and shadows strike enough people as excessive, back to the drawing board.

  • ||

    And I still like the primary latice-towers and "sky park" THINK team designs, shown here...

  • ||

    I'm in an especially grouchy mood this morning..

    What really fucking irritates me are all these victim groups whining that building something commercial "violates" their sacred ground.

    Okay, to be fair, losing love ones at 9/11 is something that only they could understand, but FOR FUCK'S SAKE, THE WORLD IS NOT CENTERED AROUND YOUR GRIEF!

    If we were stupid enough to make the whole fucking thing into some stupid ass park, no one would give a fuck a hundred years from now. Who's crying today about the victims of the Titanic?

  • ||

    A boring design, I did not like the old one, but a least it was different. Look at the cool buildings going up in China - obviously we need more central planning.

  • ||

    There had better be a bar up on the top floor. With live music.

  • R C Dean||

    Mr. Nice -

    I can see where you got your internet handle.

    It goes without saying that I agree 100%. When some future Gibbon writes about the decline and fall of America, I think he will likely finger the perplexing rise of the "victim-as-privileged-class" meme as one of the key causes.

  • ||

    With Larry Silverstein saying that about $5 billion of the cost of the project will be coming from government sources, I don't care what they put there, it's going to look ugly to me.

  • ||

    Who's crying today about the victims of the Titanic?

    MNG,
    Only James Cameron. I agree with you, I feel bad for those people who lost loved ones, but how much pull should they have over the use of the site for all eternity.

  • ||

    Well, it's lower Manhattan, so I'm sure the people down there are quite used to walking the narrow "concrete canyons" of that part of the city where you can hardly see the sky anyway.

    Yes, but no other building in Manhattan presents a 200-foot blank wall to passers-by. Granted, this building will be located in a park-like setting rather than being "part of the city", and therefore can plausibly do without the usual shops and businesses that one would expect on the ground floor, but I would hate to see this design set a precedent. Oh wait, too late - I've heard the new 7 WTC presents a blank wall to the street too. Welcome to Fortress NYC.

  • keith||

    the decline and fall of America, I think he will likely finger the perplexing rise of the "victim-as-privileged-class" meme as one of the key causes.

    I point to the rise of the use of the word "meme!"

    -Keith

  • ||

    111 stories...

    Maybe not. 111 is an unlucky number in some cultures.

  • ||

    You're right, Patrick; it's a foolish design. Self-conscious, immature, harnessed to politics, already trendy and outdated. To MNC's (and OBL's) point, this (post-modern, dependent, chicken-shit, self-consumed) nation is obsessing WAY too much about this.

    Dream: A libertarian website posts pics of a major new building going up where another was torn down. Folks gather 'round and discuss how the thing serves capitalism, makes money, and fits the purpose and not the damn America-in-decline image we can't even define. No mayors, senators, power-fights, or "starchitects" (good one, that.) Just unabashed capitalism and private enterprise. No egos and navel-gazing.

    Then I woke up.

  • ||

    Sadly, as long as our beloved nation continues in its interventionist ways you might as well just paint a big target on the damn thing.

  • Gladstone Gander||

    Will it have a thirteenth floor? Talk about tempting fate...

  • ||

    I like the tower geometry, but we can do without the "Luxor" night-light. But rather than one tower I want a "hydra" plan. They knocked down two towers, so four towers grow back in their place. The new towers would be of ascending height.

    I like the idea of the hydra plan.

    Will it have a thirteenth floor? Talk about tempting fate...

    No, but it will have a 14 1/2 floor, a la Being John Malkovich , as a tribute to his contributions to the Hollywood acting community.

    Swiss Ambasador to the US said "I wouldn't be surprised it they rebuilt it twice as tall."

    Are you sure he was saying that as a compliment to the American way? Or do you think he might have been insinuating that we are rebuilding the Tower of Babel or some pseudo-religious allusion to our willfullness such as that?

    Yes, but no other building in Manhattan presents a 200-foot blank wall to passers-by.


    I think that if the blank wall makes people feel like they are in a "conflict zone" or a prison, that perhaps they should decorate it with name placards of the people who died in the building/ from the 9/11 attacks. Or, they should paint huge murals on them. That would be cool-looking (much like the Berlin Wall). And much more of an attraction. Or have collage murals on them - artwork done by family members, community members, etc.

  • ||

    I like the tower geometry, but we can do without the "Luxor" night-light. But rather than one tower I want a "hydra" plan. They knocked down two towers, so four towers grow back in their place. The new towers would be of ascending height.

    I like the idea of the hydra plan.

    Will it have a thirteenth floor? Talk about tempting fate...

    No, but it will have a 14 1/2 floor, a la Being John Malkovich , as a tribute to his contributions to the Hollywood acting community.

    Swiss Ambasador to the US said "I wouldn't be surprised it they rebuilt it twice as tall."

    Are you sure he was saying that as a compliment to the American way? Or do you think he might have been insinuating that we are rebuilding the Tower of Babel or some pseudo-religious allusion to our willfullness such as that?

    Yes, but no other building in Manhattan presents a 200-foot blank wall to passers-by.


    I think that if the blank wall makes people feel like they are in a "conflict zone" or a prison, that perhaps they should decorate it with name placards of the people who died in the building/ from the 9/11 attacks. Or, they should paint huge murals on them. That would be cool-looking (much like the Berlin Wall). And much more of an attraction. Or have collage murals on them - artwork done by family members, community members, etc.

  • ||

    Sorry for the double post (now a triple post). I just had to fix my internet handle.

  • ||

    Smacky, have you been drinking out of the Cuyahoga river?

  • ||

    (wipes motor oil from chin): No.

  • ||

    smacky, who is expecting a beating from a number of H&R posters

    Dammit! Of all the days to leave my ass-paddle downstairs in the car!

  • ||

    I love the hydra concept. This one is bland, but better than the sucky windmills.

    And for joe:
    1) Let 'em build whatever they want without subsidy. Maybe the big state handjob this project gets is the hidden true symbol of America.

    2) Urban sprawl can go up as well as out.

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