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dbhstockton
February 6th, 2003, 02:00 PM
I'd like to shift the debate and open a topic strictly devoted to discussing the merits and drawbacks of Libeskind's design, which was my favorite from day one. *

The media debate has been simplistically limited to "lattice-towers vs. the pit". *This has been frustrating me to no end.

I think the media has over-emphasized the idea of "the pit, " to the point of selling Libeskind's plan short. *Reconsideration of this single element would not significantly detract from the quality of the design as a whole and Libeskind has expressed his willingness to do so. *THINK's design, however, has little to offer if you get rid of the morbid "lattice-towers."

As for skyline presence, that is another area where Libeskind's plan has been viewed unfairly. *THINK's design gives us the dubious comfort of a familiar form, surrounded by an overly dense cluster of generic office slabs. *The crystalline forms of Libeskind's skyline reach further back into Manhattan's history, echoing the classic downtown skyline of the 30's, while looking far into the future. *

I understand height is another consideration. *If we are to prefer THINK's WCC simply because it is the taller of the two, then we are making a big mistake. *Relying on renderings to judge skyline presence is tricky. *If Libeskind's towers were built, I'm certain their height would be quite commanding -- they were compared to the other fanciful designs rather than the original WTC, distorting our perception of how tall they are. *1,776 ft is nothing to shake a stick at, even if alot of it is a spire. *I'm not in love with the "Garden tower" idea, but I wouldn't mind seing it attempted.

Libeskind's "wedge of light" idea was the single greatest stroke of genius of any of the plans. *A perfectly subtle but timelessly monumental way to memorialize that day. *Much of his other ideas stretch the "ground zero" metaphor a little too far, but his enthusiasm can be forgiven.

That said, I must admit that much of what I've said is starting to feel like the fervor of a lost cause...

(Edited by dbhstockton at 1:07 pm on Feb. 6, 2003)


(Edited by dbhstockton at 1:48 pm on Feb. 6, 2003)

Scraperfannyc
February 6th, 2003, 02:12 PM
Libeskind has less office space, less retail space, and the entire design focuses on the tragedy. *Working down and living in that morbid conception is not my idea of revitalizing downtown. *The design of the buildings is nice, but the lattice towers at least gives an aesthetic replacement of what was taken away from us and this replacement focuses on growing and living. *The pit makes me think of a giant open coffin---uggghhhh

dbhstockton
February 6th, 2003, 02:19 PM
Like I said, the debate has focused on "the pit." *This an expendable element of the design that would definitely change once a memorial competition has concluded. *The differences in the volume of office and retail space is almost negligible --less than a million for office and less than 100,00 for retail, and this could change drastically with the modifcations underway.

And as for giant ghostly replicas of the old twin towers -- doesn't that focus the entire design on the tragedy in a much blunter and heavy-handed manner? *That's why I love the "wedge of light" idea so much. *It's there and it's monumental and incredible, but only if you're looking for it. *It doesn't hit you over the head from miles away.

9/11 was a human tragedy. *We whould not fetishize the buildings that were lost at the expense of more meaningful ideas.

(Edited by dbhstockton at 1:26 pm on Feb. 6, 2003)


(Edited by dbhstockton at 1:27 pm on Feb. 6, 2003)

NYatKNIGHT
February 6th, 2003, 03:41 PM
I like the Libeskind proposal too, in almost every aspect, except that the garden tower just doesn't cut it enough to restore the skyline. This is no mere detail, the impact upon the skyline of whatever replaces the twin towers will be the most visible comparison. The greatness of the rest of the plan will unfortunately be disregarded for the weakness of the tower.

And we don't have to be technical here, let's be honest. That's no 1776 foot tower, its a 1326 foot spire with a 450 foot needle. I'd like to see this plan reworked with taller towers all around, but from what we're hearing that's not about to happen.

Fabb
February 6th, 2003, 04:52 PM
That's right.
Actually, nothing meaningful is about to happen.
Maybe it's better that way.

dbhstockton
February 6th, 2003, 05:05 PM
Personally I hope the bottom falls out of the whole process and we go back to square one design-wise -- the PA will no doubt continue with its infrastructure and street plans. *I'm just frustrated with how shallow the media coverage of the designs has been, and how narrow the debate has been, so clearly stacked against what I think was the standout proposal of the lot (next to Foster's--but let's not start with that).

(Edited by dbhstockton at 4:06 pm on Feb. 6, 2003)

Fabb
February 6th, 2003, 05:15 PM
I'm just frustrated with how shallow the media coverage of the designs has been, and how narrow the debate has been

The media must be aware that the selection of the designs has probably little to do with what will eventually be built.
They know but they won't tell because people are expecting decisions.

Kris
February 6th, 2003, 05:59 PM
Libeskind is one of my favorite architects but I have never liked this proposal. It strikes me as strident, like a shriek. I also dislike the heavy symbolism and heroic rhetoric. The victims of 9/11 were not all heroes. They were simply victims, ordinary people who were murdered. To elevate their status in such a way is in fact a disrespectul instrumentalization of their memory typical of war-time propaganda. I think Muschamp is right; the seductive formal boldness hides an obscurantist conception.

JMGarcia
February 6th, 2003, 07:24 PM
Another thing the media is forgetting to report on is the importance of the memorial site in the 2 plans. I think it will end up being a very important factor in the final decision.

The Libeskind plan gives a large single site for the memorial that is removed from the everyday parts of the site vertically.

The THINK plan gives up to 4 smaller memorial spaces - the 2 footprints at the bottom of voids that the towers surrounds and 2 platforms in the towers themselves.

Depending on what the memorial committe is thinking, this could end up being the deciding factor.

JMGarcia
February 6th, 2003, 07:29 PM
Also, some details on the Libeskind plan. These buildings have not been designed down to the last detail and, could change signficantly depending on conditions when "real" planning starts, but here are the initial details...

Garden Tower Spire - 1776ft 541.3m
Garden Tower Roof - 1570ft 479m

The triangular floor plates in the Garden Tower are roughly twice the size of those in the Millenium Hilton on Church St. and roughly double that again where it attaches to the office tower.

Office Tower 1 - 1115ft 340m
Office Tower 2 - 1000ft 305m
Office Tower 3 - 865ft *264m

These towers would be downtown's 3 tallest to roof height with only the spires on 40 Wall and 60 Pine going higher than Tower 3.

I am holding to my position that at least one and preferable 2 need to considerably increased.

Evan
February 6th, 2003, 07:55 PM
Quote: from Kris on 4:59 pm on Feb. 6, 2003
Libeskind is one of my favorite architects but I have never liked this proposal. It strikes me as strident, like a shriek. I also dislike the heavy symbolism and heroic rhetoric. The victims of 9/11 were not all heroes. They were simply victims, ordinary people who were murdered. To elevate their status in such a way is in fact a disrespectul instrumentalization of their memory typical of war-time propaganda. I think Muschamp is right; the seductive formal boldness hides an obscurantist conception.I agree 100% Christian. *Libeskind's proposal focus too much on death and rememberance. *Libeskind's plan is morbid and it doesn't possess any hope. *Libeskind's plan also causes some basic problems. *First, it completely cuts off Battery Park City from the rest of downtown, as the original WTC did. *Second, the circular walkway will cause much inconvenience forcing everyone to walk around the site, instead of walking through it. *Finally, Libeskind's plan doesn't take into account the implausability of an open pit. *It will only be a matter of time, before those slurry walls break and flood the site.

NoyokA
February 6th, 2003, 08:00 PM
Libeskind is a very emotional architect.

It is and isnt appropriate here.

mirjana
February 6th, 2003, 08:05 PM
I think this (as the other finalist design) is too harsh visually. *New York is tough but it does have a soul, a very special soul that is not reflected in either design. *It seems to be a dramatic design for the sake of design with no effective representation of anything more. While visually striking, it is overwhelmingly distant and impersonal. *It does not communicate a vision of peace and reconciliation which this site needs to do as a way to represent us and the future.

JMGarcia
February 6th, 2003, 08:07 PM
I don't believe that the average New Yorker will get the symbolism in either the Libeskind or THINK design. To most people its a matter of aesthetics. Nothing more or less.

Aesthetically, I like Libeskind's towers and other buildings. For those that don't the plan is useless. I also figure that the memoiral committee is going to come up with something pretty morbid and overblown and I prefer it to not be in my face which is why I think the pit is a good idea.

As far as connectivity across West St. goes, the THINK plan has a ramp that starts at Church St and goes up and between the lattice towers. Other than that the plans are virtually identical as far as West St. crossing goes.

Both plans need large improvements on access across West St. I figured that this was one of the modifications that the LMDC would request - not lowering THINK's towers or raising the floor of the pit to cover the PATH.

NoyokA
February 6th, 2003, 09:15 PM
http://skyscraperpage.com/gallery/data/500/579libeseink_bmp.gif

clearly the better of the two...

maxinmilano
February 8th, 2003, 09:07 AM
I've already spoken about Libeskind in other topics. He is a great architect, full of the sense of 'memory'. He is deep, he thinks that architecture should be a moment where you have the possibility to think (in fact he was a great friend of the deepest architect of our age: Aldo Rossi. He appreciated his work very much); he is gradueted in philosophy (from Zero to Infinitive is the title of his study). Architecture can and at the same time cannot be undestood in 'the' time: it is thought through the time 'cause it has a language which is the constant quotation of different period, but at the same time when we build something we put a point in the time itself and we fixed architecture to take life. So the paradox (all the greatest things are a paradox like the Mahler's Marches: can you really march his marches ?): the paradox of his projects is to remember the time through architecture when at the same time architecture is THAT form of art (like all the forms of art) which is exactly far from all the forms of time: could we say that Beethoven's symphonies are out of our time ? Of course there is the progress: what is I don't know - used to say Aldo Rossi. Of course a bldg built now is different compared to the Partenone. But our feelings of all the buildings which have seen in our life is PRESENT at the moment we see a new one, for this reason architecture (or art) cannot be seen aside of this. So the paradox: remember a moment (11th/01)in the time through a union, collection, of several different moments we have felt before in our life. That's the paradox. I love it.