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Thread: Rate the new WTC plans

  1. #1

    Default Rate the new WTC plans

    I am starting a poll of forum members for the best WTC design. Rate the new plans for the World Trade Center site by listing them from the best in your opinion to worst. You don't have to rate every design. A summary on the design teams below.


    One of the places to see the designs is website.


    Foster and Partners

    Tower Details
    Building Height: 1,764 ft *538 m
    Number of Floors: 98
    Height to highest occupied Floor: 1,568 ft. *478 m
    Floor to Floor Height: 14 ft *4.3 m
    Total Office area: 6,414,368 sq.ft *595,914 sq.m
    Total Tower area: 6,464,368 sq.ft *600,559 sq.m


    This the tallest of all nine proposals. In it, three towers (one reaching 2,100 ft) surround a raised 'skypark' climbing 10 stories into the air.

    Includes Rafael Viñoly, Frederic Schwartz, Ken Smith and Shigeru Ban. With two nods in the direction of Russian Constructivism and another at Louis Kahn, the Think group has imagined two helical matrices that would be the tallest structures in the world and contain buildings designed by different architects.

    United Architects
    Includes Greg Lynn, Ben van Berkel, Jesse Reiser and Kevin Kennen. United Architects, a US collective, present another five-tower proposal. The structures 'touch each other, fuse together, and create a crystalline veil that surrounds and protects the sacred space of the memorial', they say.

    Studio Daniel Libeskind
    Daniel Libeskind, designer of Berlin's Jewish Museum, offers a 1,776 ft glass tower that contains plants and foliage.
    Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, Michael Maltzan, Inigo Manglano-Ovalle, Elyn Zimmerman and others. Design incorporates a thicket of 1,000-foot-high towers, each connected at various levels.

    Richard Meier and Partners
    Richard Meier, Peter Eisenman, Charles Gwathmey and Steven Holl. Titled Memorial Square, the design presents five towers arranged at a 90-degree angle at the northeast corner of ground zero. The towers are joined by aerial bridges to create a hinged megastructure that resembles a soaring pair of gates.

    "Memorial Square is defined on the east and north sides with hybrid buildings that rise 1,111 feet, restoring the Manhattan skyline with geometric clarity in glowing glass. At ground level these buildings form a unique array of ceremonial gateways leading into the site. These thresholds of reflection open onto Memorial Square, a place that supports daily activities while allowing moments of contemplation and silence."

    Height of Buildings: 1,111 feet *
    Number of Floors per Building: 82 floors
    Office Spaces: 7,100,000 sf *


    The lone conventional design, Peterson/Littenberg's vision breaks the site into nine shop-lined blocks. The architects say their trio of towers, two of which again would be the world's tallest, 'symbolise triumph, standing there with big shoulders reaching arms into the air'.

  2. #2

    Default Rate the new WTC plans

    The results of CNN poll of 266 thousand people as of today:

    Which plan for rebuilding the World Trade Center grounds do you like best?

    Foster and Partners * * 24%
    Studio Daniel Libeskind * * 18%
    THINK Team * * 18% *
    United Architects * * 14% * *
    Peterson/Littenberg * * 13% *
    Meier Eisenman Gwathmey Holl * * 9% * *
    Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill * * 5% *

  3. #3

    Default Rate the new WTC plans

    Just a quick correction as height is a prime factor. According to William Neuman's recent article, Foster's plan calls for two 1,764-foot (537 metres) towers. This far exceeds the height of Hong Kong's new 7 Union Square (480 metres), and would easily make the new WTC the WTB.

  4. #4

    Default Rate the new WTC plans

    1st. Norman Foster - I like his design of the twinned skyscrapers, as well as the transportation center entrance that emerges between them. *I am not sure about the height, though. *I thought I saw somewhere that they are projected at over 1700 feet.

    2nd. United Architects tied with Think - I love the way the fused buildings fill out the skyline in the UA proposal. *I do wish that they would be able to complete the buildout before the stated date of 2012. *Think may have a great idea with the elevated park, but they were somewhat hazy on the buildings. *Perhaps Foster's twins could be melded with the Think design.

    3rd. Libeskind - May have the most original idea for the memorial with the exposed foundation walls. *I really admire his garden tower, but don't think it's very practical. *I doubt that the resources would be found to create a 1700 ft. entirely decorative element.

    10th. Eisenman - perhaps those guys are way ahead of me in terms of architectural avant-garde, but their design reminds me of either a) some prison bars, or b) the wreckage of the original WTC.

    Distant 25th. SOM - I expected more from them than a forest of squat skyscrapers. *Absolute disappointment.

    Last Place (off the charts) Peterson/Littenberg - It's Beyer Blinder Belle all over again. *That's what happens when some people get past the selection process by yanking some strings with the LMDC. *Total Mediocrity.

  5. #5

    Default Rate the new WTC plans

    I like Foster the best. *Although I would like to see some more building besides those two interconnecting towers.

  6. #6
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    Oct 2002
    Manhattan - South Village

    Default Rate the new WTC plans

    Obviously there's a lot to devour with these plans, and they are just design concepts, so nothing is set in stone.
    I just thought I'd start with what kind of impact these buildings would make upon the skyline.

    I like how the Libeskind design fits with the rest of the skyline, it's very nice. It would be even better if that tall tower were in the southeast corner of the site rather than the northwest, making the apex closer to the center of the downtown skyline. I wouldn't mind if the buildings were all a little taller either.

    I need more time to absorb what kind of impact a building as fabulous as this would have upon the skyline. Is it too close to the original WTC? A "new-and-improved" twin towers? The other thing is that it is so massive, even moreso than even the original twins.

    I like the massing of this United Architects design, but the buildings are a little too....weird.

    I'm actually intrigued with this idea, but this version does little to improve the skyline. What if the tops of each tower were different heights - do they all have to be exactly the same? Nothing super tall here either. What's with all this flatness on the skyline?

    The Think designs are the hardest to visualize, they lack renderings with all their concepts. I hate to say it, but as impressive as these Vinoly towers are, the first thing I saw when seeing that cool museum near the top was a jet flying through the buildings. Sorry if I ruined it for you, but is that what others would see too? At the very least, it makes the point that the similarity with the original twins is a little scary. Too bad, I think they're pretty awesome.

    While the buildings themselves may be excellent, here is the proof that SOM's ultimate goal is to flatten out the New York skyline.

    Another renewed twin towers, except weaker. No, no, no.

    As far as the memorials, the transportation, and the rest of the space - I need to go see them live.....

    (Edited by NYatKNIGHT at 6:09 pm on Dec. 19, 2002)

  7. #7

    Default Rate the new WTC plans

    I'm not in love with either of them, but the only two I can really let myself acknowledge as a starting point are:

    1. United Architects
    2. Foster and Partners

  8. #8

    Default Rate the new WTC plans

    Well, everyone tossed in their 2 cents (or dollars) of opinion on this. It IS a lot to digest, but we have to do it soon before they choose the wrong design for what could be the most important contruction project of the 1st 20 years of this new century. Here's my take, in order from most to least favorable:

    1) Libeskind. The concept of the vertical city excites me. Lord Fosters Commerzbank tower in Frankfurt is the closest realization that we currently have to this idea, but this takes the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and stretches them out a bit further! The colors, massing, and the view from Jersey all look great too, but I want people up at the top of this tower, we can't back down one bit!

    2) United - If I picture New York as Emerald City from the Wizard of Oz, there would be a tower like this somewhere in the mix. The renderings are nothing short of amazing to me, and it pushes the envelope, of how we view a building and it's shape, to a new edge. It's a bit bulky at the bottom, and I think the top should be more than flat, but that can be worked on. This is a great "first draft"

    3) Norman Foster. I like this guy's past works. Swiss Re Tower might be the best in Europe when done, but this rendering looks a bit too much like Hearst taken up another 70 floors. It looks too much like the old WTC, and it's very brunt since it pretty much goes all the way up without setbacks. Not a bad effort, but too much a reminder of what we lost and we can't have back.

    4) THINK. Pretty much sums up what this proposal made me do. Sky park renderings look pretty sweet, but I don't think it makes the impact on the skyline as well as the higher-ranked ideas do. This is a pretty big team too, how did they ever agree on anything? The "great room" proposal seems too eerily similar to the Trylon and the Perisphere from the '39 Worlds Fair. Sorry, not at this site!

    5) Peterson and Littenberg. Only here because it took 2 people to come up with a lousy proposal, as opposed to the plans below this having a zillion people come up with nearly 0. The rendering on this thread looks like the ones from the 1st set of proposals. I think we know how all of those turned out!

    6) Meier and Eisenman. The 60's are over! No more blocks, or radical modernism, or just stuff that architects use to show off and impress. Very disappointed with this proposal. Meier is my favorite modernist and Eisenman was great before he got too strange in the last 10 years. Do we really need all these towers stopping at the same height, and connects at the same floors?? c'mon!

    7) SOM. Flat-out sucks, and I use the pun intentionally. I agree with Chris that their goal is to flatten the skyline out. Can someone PLEASE explain to me why they can design buildings as well as the Jin Mao Tower, but this is the best all their minds can come up with for the most important proposal in the states? I don't see what these guys went to school all those years for...maybe it's me.

    Comments? Criticisms? I wanna hear them - this deserves a healthy debate!

  9. #9

    Default Rate the new WTC plans

    WOW! *I have to agree with an extreme majority of almost everything that you have just said. *Almost like you were reading my thoughts, spooky. *Anyway, *I have nothing else to say, you pretty much nailed everything right on the head! *

  10. #10

    Default Rate the new WTC plans

    A temporary assessment.

    Best: The Meier team proposal. It's the only one to offer a symbolism as bold and powerful as that of the twins. Serene and inspiring, and clever with respect to the hanging gardens and the safety concept.

    Worst: The Peterson Littenberg one. An offensive joke particularly in contrast with the rest. Out of place.

    I dislike SOM's high plateau, an indistinct agglutination that uglifies the skyline. It must be the idea that you're safer in a herd.

    Foster's: Muschamp is right, it's too superficial for the site. It looks like an embodiment of rapacious greed and ambition, lacking spirit and grace.

    The other two I'm interested in are Libeskind's and THINK's, but they seem to lack coherence or thought.

  11. #11

    Default Rate the new WTC plans

    Personally, I have come to one conclusion, and I have only 3 words for it....FOSTER! FOSTER! FOSTER! *His tower has grown on me a lot, and it can basically fit into any plan. *Some people consider the tower too large, with too much space. *But considering what it's supposed to be replacing, his plan would still need an extra 3 to 4 million sf of office space.

    Because the tower would be based on Church Street (and also Greenwich, which isn't pictured in his plan) you could easily create the memorial over the footprint area. *That leaves room to the north and south for other towers or cultural amenities.

    I love this new design. *It doesn't fit the Manhattan skyline, but neither did the Twin Towers. *And I love the way the top will light up at night. *As I said earlier, this tower could be adapted to any plan...

  12. #12
    Banned Member
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    Default Rate the new WTC plans

    1. United - Stunning - like nothing in existence anywhere else in the world. * It was so hard to visualize. *When I saw their presentation and view it from different perspectives, I was awestruck. *The most challenging piece of architecture and the most beautiful. *Recalling how spectacular sunsets gleamed off the twin towers, I imagine this building(s) would be even more spectacular.

    2. Libeskind - I loved ther preservation of the bathtub in this one. *As iconic as the twin towers were pre-9/11, the bathtub is post 9/11. *I thought it was brilliant. *The rendering of the skyline was inspiring. *As the first one out of the gate, this proposal was hard to beat.

    3. Foster - I was hoping a more "American" icon. *Although it is a stunning building, it evokes images of Hong Kong & Shanghai.

    4. SOM - I really found their proposal interesting although it was about as sparse as you get in terms of presentation. *I don't think this scheme belongs at the WTC site, but I think it is a giant leap forward from the usual stuff they hoist upon us. *I wouldn't mind something like this at the old Con-Ed site by the U.N. (don't flame me!). *I did think that their transportation station was spot on incredible. *I hope that portion of their plan in implemented.

    5. *Richard Meir- Hmmm. *It looks like a fence. *But each of those towers is over 1000 feet. *I thought their whole concept of the park emanating from different angles was a lot of hooey. *But, I have to say that I loved the idea of seven portals into the memorial square. *I would imagine that walking toward these structure from street level would be quite spectacular.

    6. *THINK - I thought the "sky park" created a wall along West Street that we don't need. *I thought the world's largest room symbolized a place that people could be locked out of - a place where people could be forced to tranverse metal detectors and security details. *I want park space - OPEN park space. *The tower attached was an inspired height, but it's design was boring. *The lattice towers are too evocative of the twin towers - I do not want to see twin anything on the site.

    7. *Peterson & Littenberg - I felt a little embarrassed and sorry for them. *The were so totally out-designed, out-classed and out-thought. *I can't see there presentation doing anything but damaging their reputation. *There proposal would fit in very nicely in a second or third tier city, but it is not a New York worthy proposal. *The only aspect I liked was the recreation of Fulton and Liberty Streets as tree-lined shopping Avenues. *Their architecture and park designs were horrible.

    I don't think any of the other proposals came near United's for the vantage intrigue and audacity. *

  13. #13

    Default Rate the new WTC plans

    I noticed that Foster's design has seen a lot of criticism for being too "Asian." *Perhaps one reason for that is that we are seeing a lot more innovative architectural design coming from Hong Kong and Shanghai than the boxes SOM has been unveiling in NY. *A building that is angular, but fluid, dominating and inspiring may echo recent Asian designs, but can definitely rejuvenate New York's skyline.

  14. #14
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    Default Rate the new WTC plans

    1) Foster. *His supertall design reminds me of his proposal for Millennium Tower London. *The renderings of both make each building seem so massive, overshadowing all the other buildings in the area, yet at the same time being so stunning and awe-inspiring that you can't help but hate the fact that it hasn't been built.

    2) Petersen/Littenberg. *They had a bit more freedom from the PA this time around, and BBB wasn't there to screw things up either. *I thought this plan looked dignified and elegant, especially with the West Street promenade and shopping strips on Liberty and Fulton. *Classy, but admittedly too art-decoesque; we need something a bit more imaginative.

    3) THINK Sky Park. *The elevated platform for a park with all sorts of amenities was very intriguing, and the towers might look interesting, albeit a bit aloof from the rest of the site with no low-rise buildings*to put them into context.

    4) United Architects. *Sinuous, helical, and at the same time evoking a sense of voluptuous beauty. *The massing is great, but it's a bit too wild for my taste. *It looks like something you might find in Mälmo, right next to the Turning Torso.

    5) THINK Great Room. *Open and lithic, but a glass enclosure reminds me of invisible restrictions. *Preserving the tower footprints in large clyinders sounded a bit wierd, and the 2,100' tower seemed too out of context with the rest of Downtown.

    6) THINK World Cultural Center. *I like the idea, but the twins are obviously too invocative of the old WTC. *Having performing arts spaces in the sky sounds way too loopy, but very romantic nonetheless; kinda like Jazz@Lincoln Center at AOL-TW. *And yes, Knight, the museum does look like a plane slicing through both buildings. *Brr...

    7) Libeskind. *A 1,776 foot tower seems so symbolic, but filling it with gardens sounds like an acid-trip fantasy. *It's like stretching the Ford Foundation building to twelve times its height and sheathing it with glass. *The other buildings are okay, I guess.

    8) Skidmore. *What could have possessed them to design nine towers of equal height, which aren't even standing up straight? *Some of them look like they're beginning to topple over, not to mention the fact that the roof gardens or whatever there is on top eerily resemble the darker-colored hat trusses atop the twin towers. *With all the great work that this firm has done overseas, I'm saddened to think that this was the best they thought they could do. *

    9) Meier and Eisenman. *Distant last. *Obviously, this doesn't need to be dignified with a critique. *Two tic-tac-toe grids placed at 90-degree angles to each other...compared to this design, Skidmore's proposal looks like Rockefeller Center. *Sheesh, John Whitehead; were you even watching these guys make fools of themselves?

    (Edited by TLOZ Link5 at 11:02 am on Dec. 20, 2002)

  15. #15

    Default Rate the new WTC plans

    Amigo32 - if ya were referring to what I posted, I appreciate the comments. If not, no biggie - I was just wondering. This thread has been great, I wish it was easier to find intellectual conversation like this on other forums. Keep up the good work!

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