View Full Version : Foster WTC Design

May 7th, 2003, 02:34 PM
There's a bit about how the Foster WTC design evolved in this article that I found interesting.


Here's the pertinent part..

Architects who have worked with Kapoor say they find his methodology liberating; his thinking is uninhibited by practical considerations and he instead encourages them to think purely about form. Last year, Norman Foster asked Kapoor to help his team resolve the problems they were having with their entry for the World Trade Centre competition in New York.

"They were struggling with it," Kapoor says. "Struggling with the biggest problem of that site, which is symbolic rather than formal. You can't avoid that on a site with that potential for resonance of memory and history. Norman very kindly asked me to come and look at it, so I went along and, as I'm sometimes prone to do, I kind of mouthed off."

Kapoor says that the team had developed a novel structural solution - towers composed of huge, tessellated triangular frames - but the resulting forms failed to work as a piece of architecture on such a poignant site. Foster originally proposed three towers, but Kapoor suggested that there be just two. He then pushed the towers together so that they "kissed".

In the event, Foster's design was beaten by Daniel Libeskind's Memory Foundations, which was loaded with symbolic references to the September 11 attack. While Libeskind emphasised this symbolism in his barnstorming presentation last December, Foster barely mentioned the symbolic "content" of his towers. "It's not Norman's style to play that up," says Kapoor. "And if a mistake was made it was to not understand - and I think this is increasingly true - that the great buildings, the great monuments, are ones that have intrinsic symbolic truth and value."

May 7th, 2003, 03:10 PM
Norm didn't play up his towers enough, but who knew he really needed to? It seemed to me the symbolism was almost too obvious.

You have to wonder what the plan with three towers looked like.

Lightning Homer
May 7th, 2003, 04:05 PM
One of the scarriest things I've ever seen, and it was just a picture !

NyC MaNiAc
May 7th, 2003, 04:37 PM
I still did love the towers he proposed for the site...

There is no chance that those towers could ever make a comeback, right?

May 7th, 2003, 04:41 PM
Would be nice on the East Side ConEd site! *Maybe on the West Side. *Even in DT Brooklyn or LIC to bring prominence to those areas.