View Poll Results: Construction is underway, how do you feel about the final design for the WTC site?

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  • I am more than satisfied; I believe that the final design surpasses that of the original World Trade Center. 10/10

    50 26.04%
  • While nothing may ever live up to the Twin Towers, I am wholly satisfied with the new World Trade Center; it is a new symbol for a new era. 7/10

    55 28.65%
  • I have come to terms with the new World Trade Center; although it has a number of flaws, I find the design to be acceptable. 5/10

    48 25.00%
  • I am wholly disappointed with the New World Trade Center; we will live to regret the final design. 0/10

    22 11.46%
  • I am biased, but honest, and hate anything that is not a reincarnation of the original Twin Towers.

    17 8.85%
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Thread: World Trade Center Developments

  1. #91

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    In the tradition of Rockefeller Center and Union Square, we propose to build a great public space for New York City at the World Trade Center site. We call this Memorial Square. While the 19th and 20th century precedents for urban plazas are contained spaces, our 21st century Memorial Square is both contained and extended, symbolizing the connections of this place to the city and to the world.

    The fact that is was a super-block predestined failure, I am one of the few who actually support a return to the super-block

    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.

    To the west, two glass-bottom reflecting pools demarcate the footprints of the former World Trade Center towers. Beneath them, the volumes of the footprints become sites for memorial rooms lit from above. The pools overlook two memorial groves of trees, planted to mark the final shadows cast by the towers moments before each fell. Nearby, new proposed cultural facilities include a Memorial Museum and Freedom Library, a Concert Hall and Opera House, and Performing Arts Theaters, which frame the edges of the site.


    Memorial Square sets a precedent in its potential for multiple memorial sites, beginning with the ground plan. These sites will be the locations for an international memorial competition. Given the nearly 2,800 people who died here and the thousands more who were physically and emotionally scarred by the horror of September 11, we believe that it is not necessary to contain or divide the site, but to expand it by extending into the surrounding streets. This is achieved through a series of "fingers," reminders that the magnitude of what happened here was felt far beyond the immediate site. At the same time, they facilitate connections between Memorial Square, the waterfront, the proposed NYC Transit Center, and greater Lower Manhattan. Laid on the existing grade, the stone-paved fingers are also visual and acoustic reference points.

    The essence of the ground plan reappears in the composition of the buildings, which only occupy 27 percent of the site, leaving the remaining twelve acres to be developed as public space. The two buildings, comprised of five vertical sections and interconnecting horizontal floors, represent a new typology in the tradition of innovative skyscraper design. In their quiet abstraction, the buildings suggest screens of presence and absence, encouraging reflection and imagination. The cantilevered ends extend outward, like the fingers of the ground plan, reaching toward the city and each other. Nearly touching at the northeast corner of the site, they resemble the interlaced fingers of protective hands.

    An architecture of dignity is not only possible here, it is absolutely necessary. In the belief that from a monumentally tragic occurrence can come a life-affirming opportunity, Memorial Square is a place of living memory, a sacred precinct where loss is remembered and renewal is celebrated.

  2. #92
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    Default Ground Zero Developments

    Quote: from ZippyTheChimp on 8:44 am on July 27, 2003
    Phase 2 would have focused on getting a master plan for the site and limiting its graphical presentation. This would take into account all of the interests that are involved.
    They tried that with BBB. The public rejected it.
    No they did not. First, I would have had no models of buildings. I also would not have "hyped" ( geez, I hate that world) this as the "proposal for the WTC site and I would have continually stressed that this was just for programming.

    In our office, we do that all the time. Programming is the first thing that designers do before they even start to design and the LMDC should have driven that point home. We also have to explain this to many clients. Not only was the result a process error, but also a public relations error also.

    Stern, I would agree with you completely. The MESH, proposal was my favorite. When it came to the non-memorial buildings themselves they certainly put alot of effort into the different aspects of the new construction. These would not have been buildings as usual. But I read that the heights of the towers were an issue.

  3. #93
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    Default Ground Zero Developments

    The BBB plan with an opera house involved the demolition of 130 Liberty Street in order to build one. *Now that said building is going to be razed anyway, there may well still be an opportunity.

  4. #94

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    How about the two French memorial designs, offered just after the tragedy? I hope they were included in the competition. I still remember, wasn't it the day before, the NYPD disentangled the para-sailer from the torch of the Statue of Liberty? My grandmother when 16, was a nanny there for the caretaker, they used to call her "Bedloe's Nanny," Ms. Gregory.

    (Edited by georgejmyersjr at 11:37 pm on July 27, 2003)

  5. #95

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    I'm quite certain the jury will instantly reject any memorial proposal that even remotely resembles a "gift from the French".

  6. #96

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    The general public has proven again and again that they are unable to conceptualize in the least from massing models or site plans or for that matter even renderings. I think any request for public feedback on something as conceptual as a site plan only is a certain failure.

    Even the more educated among the public, the first question that would be asked when looking at a site plan is how tall/big are the buildings. The answer to that is, of course, a massing model and we all saw how unsuccessful that approach was.

    As far as the proposals themselves go, I still maintain that the memorial setting itself was least restricted by Libeskind. Consider...

    SOM

    A thin strip of land along Vesey St. Deemed as inadequate.

    Meier

    The reflecting pools in the footprints, grand archways entering the site, and "shadow parks" leave only small, although numerous, pockets for other memorial contributions.

    Petersen/Littenberg

    One footprint conained a reflecting pool, the other an amphitheater. There is no other space for the memorial other than the already designed, sunken parkland between the two.

    UA

    The sunken footprints are completely overwhelmed by the "cathedral" of the towers and can therefore not create any sort of independent statement. The memorial area in the building is also extremely restricted. How can anything inside a tower be otherwise.

    Foster

    This plan left absolutely no area for any sort of separate memorial beyond what was in Foster's program. The footprints were designed as voids with their own viewing area.

    THINK

    THINK provided the platforms in the towers and reflecting fools in the footprints. Both memorial areas are completely defined by the towers themselves.

    Libeskind

    This is the largest memorial area of all the plans. The memorial area is defined on one side by the slurry wall. Whether it become central or incidental to the memorial is completely up to the designer of the memorial. The rest of the symbolism is in the commercial area of the site (the 1776ft tower, Heroes Park, Wedge of Light etc) and will have little impact on the memorial area. More imposing is the museum but this is also somewhat minimized by the expanse of the memorial area compared to the other plans.


    (Edited by JMGarcia at 4:20 pm on July 28, 2003)

  7. #97
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    Default Ground Zero Developments

    Nice commentary, Garcia.

  8. #98

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    When the planning designs were comissioned, the order was not to design the memorial. When I first looked over all the designs I thought that the treatment of the footprints and memorial area were temporary and illustrative, not part of the criteria for which they would be judged. *On this basis my favorite was Foster's towers, the ground level could be reworked with the most freedom because he relied on height to replace the lost square footage.

    I will grant that Libeskind's didactic slurry wall boundary guaranteed a certain amount of dedicated memorial space.

    I feel that the quality and the prescriptive interpretation that came along with it were overbearing.

    In the end the memorial is related to the development instead of the other way around.

    If Pataki and Silverstein are going to make all the decisions anyway I would have rather they issued a siteplan with a memorial area demarcated and nothing else drawn, no streets no new buildings, maybe a transit station, then had a memorial competition to fill it.*If the LMDC played this as their first card instead of pretending to get a public response on how the site should be rebuilt we would be in better shape IMHO. *After the memorial is decided, then hold a competition to redevelop, that can second guess the assumptions made in the initial closed door scheme.

    -basically if Pataki chose a BBB design privately, and had the LMDC place a memorial within it via a competition with the big name guys brought in at the end to develop the site around the memorial.

    This could still happen I guess, but its too late for me because I showed a deference to Libeskind's design in my submission.

    I hope I don't come across as a whiner, in hindsight the process has been quite convoluted IMO.

  9. #99

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    It also interesting that the majority of the designers (THINK, Libeskind, P/L, UA, Foster) chose to depress their main memorial area. Meier walked a line between both. Only SOM had a fully above ground/street level memorial area.

  10. #100

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    In one of the "invitations to a memorial design" was one, for example, that rebuilt the walls of the towers in their original location, the outside walls and arches, the space however, was open and the memorial was a planted formal garden included in one or both of the 100' high or so "shells". I am not sure the architect, I believe based out on Long Island. It very dramatically reminded one of what was there and what now wasn't. Just one of many memorial designs submitted to CNN, which had an active site for ideas.

    (Edited by georgejmyersjr at 4:42 pm on July 28, 2003)

  11. #101
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    Default Ground Zero Developments

    Hmm. Where do I star. JMGarcia, I really like the commentary accompanying the pictures and the way you presented your argument. Very admirable.

    Jasonik wrote it very succinctly. The development of the master plan really should have had nothing to do with the public. The fact that the general public has difficulty in understanding/conceptulizing the aspects of the master plan should have been the driving force behind why the LMDC should have been very "hush-hush" about that phase of the process.

    As Jasonik correctly put, the LMDC specified designing an appropriate site for the memorial and not the memorial itself. I too thought that all the memorial proposals included with the master plans were there to show the possiblities of the site. I felt that Libeskind did exactly the opposite (largely at least).

    But JMG, if the criteria is a mater of size/volume/area, I cannot see how the Meier and Foster plans not beat out the Libeskind plan. As I noted elswhere here the other buildings that will be constructed along the north and east flanks of Libeskind plan will also be overbearing. The renderings included in his plan are very misleading ( although I do not think this was intentional).

    If the criteria is context I think that the Foster and Meier proposals are also more appropriate. What you described in each of those proposals are things that help reinforce and demarcate the memorial area. The actual portions falling onto the memorial area are just prescriptive.

    But I will go one step further and bear it all out right here. What bothers me about the Libeskind proposal is the context, both physical and .... intellectual.

    "Memory Foundations by Studio Daniel Libeskind leaves portions of the slurry wall exposed as a symbol of the strength and endurance of American democracy..."

    "The foundations withstood the unimaginable trauma of the destruction and stand as eloquent as the Constitution itself asserting the durability of Democracy and the value of individual life..."

    "We all came to see the site, more than 4 million of us, walking around it, peering through the construction wall, trying to understand that tragic vastness. So I designed an elevated walkway, a space for a Memorial promenade encircling the memorial site. Now everyone can see not only Ground Zero but the resurgence of life."

    "The sky will be home again to a towering spire of 1776 feet high, the "Gardens of the World". Why gardens? Because gardens are a constant affirmation of life. A skyscraper rises above its predecessors, reasserting the pre-eminence of freedom and beauty, restoring the spiritual peak to the city, creating an icon that speaks of our vitality in the face of danger and our optimism in the aftermath of tragedy."

    "Life victorious."

    These are actual snipets from Libeskind's proposal. Unlike the other proposals, the context was left largely to the observer to read it and make of it what we wish. This also was one of the statements in the mission for the design of the memorial. Not just differing perspectives, but also evolving ones.

    In essence I feel that he has already told all of us, layman, designers, family members of victims, etc how to feel about this tragedy. Well what if someone does not interpret the context as Libeskind does? What happens then?

  12. #102

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    The development of the master plan really should have had nothing to do with the public. The fact that the general public has difficulty in understanding/conceptulizing the aspects of the master plan should have been the driving force behind why the LMDC should have been very "hush-hush" about that phase of the process.
    There is simply no way they would have ever got away with that politically in NY at this site.

    But JMG, if the criteria is a mater of size/volume/area, I cannot see how the Meier and Foster plans not beat out the Libeskind plan.
    How can you compare the size of the empty pit in Libeskind's plan with the 2 encased voids which are proscribed to be empty? The Foster site is obviously smaller. The park on the deck in the Foster plan is not available for the memorial. Likewise the plaza in the Meier plan is not available for the memorial.

    These are actual snipets from Libeskind's proposal. Unlike the other proposals, the context was left largely to the observer to read it and make of it what we wish. This also was one of the statements in the mission for the design of the memorial. Not just differing perspectives, but also evolving ones.
    I don't know if you saw the presentations but Foster eaxed on for quite a bit about the "voids" and then took us on a tour of the memorial "experience" both at ground level on below as seen through the eyes of a child in a red dress a la Schindler's list. Meier went much the same route with the shadow park. Is this really any different from the elements in Libeskind's design?



    In essence I feel that he has already told all of us, layman, designers, family members of victims, etc how to feel about this tragedy. Well what if someone does not interpret the context as Libeskind does? What happens then?
    I feel he presented his point of view and his point of view was chosen. It is inherent in any design that the designer's point of view will be presented. I am sure whatever is chosen for the actual memorial will reflect that designers point of view. It is simply impossible for something to represent all different things to all different people.

  13. #103
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    Default Ground Zero Developments

    Okay.

  14. #104

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    Trade Center Is on Track, Downtown Residents Say

    By EDWARD WYATT
    NY Times

    Residents of Lower Manhattan say the effort to rebuild downtown and the World Trade Center is moving in the right direction, and they are generally satisfied with the new design for the World Trade Center site, according to a poll by Pace University released yesterday.

    But many downtown residents say that some of the power to make decisions about the rebuilding should be in different hands.

    For example, when asked who should have responsibility for deciding about an appropriate memorial at the trade center site, the largest portion, 40 percent of those polled, said the decisions should be made by the families of those killed there. Almost none named the official jury of 13 people appointed by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which includes only one family member.

    Nearly two-thirds of the residents said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg should have influence over the rebuilding, while fewer than half said Gov. George E. Pataki should be influential. The two leaders have sparred over a number of rebuilding issues, but Mr. Pataki has generally exercised more influence over big decisions.

    "That shows that Mayor Bloomberg has the largest mandate for guiding the rebuilding process," said Jonathan Trichter, the founder and director of the Pace Poll, a new polling center supported by Pace University. He added that the poll results also showed that the rebuilding effort was being "intensely scrutinized."

    The Pace center, which questioned 601 randomly selected downtown residents over nine days this month by phone, says it plans to track the opinions of downtown residents every six months to gauge opinions of the effort and to stimulate discussion about the rebuilding. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

    Most downtown residents surveyed appear to have formed opinions about the progress of the rebuilding effort, Mr. Trichter said. Six out of 10 people said they were keeping up with the rebuilding process, he said, although less than one-fourth had participated in the planning meetings or hearings.

    Roughly half said they felt the effort was moving in the right direction, compared with 25 percent who said things were on the wrong track. The remainder expressed no opinion.

    Two-thirds also said they knew something about the new design for the trade center site, developed by Daniel Libeskind, and 46 percent said they were very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the design. That compares with 29 percent who said they were not satisfied; the remainder had no opinion or said they did not know enough to judge.

    Mr. Trichter noted that 33 percent were able to respond accurately when asked, in an open-ended question, to name the architect. "That is astonishingly high when you consider that most Americans struggle to name their own representative to Congress," he said.

    Downtown residents also rated several objectives as having high importance, including the rebuilding of commercial space at the trade center site, the selection of an appropriate memorial and the construction of a major transportation center in Lower Manhattan.

    Receiving lower relative ratings were the transformation of Fulton Street, reconfiguring downtown streets to improve access, and making sidewalks wider and more attractive to improve pedestrian traffic.

    More than 60 percent of those questioned also said they believed the cleanup and monitoring of air quality downtown had gone very well or somewhat well, twice the percentage who responded negatively to the question.

  15. #105

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    Above quote: *"For example, when asked who should have responsibility for deciding about an appropriate memorial at the trade center site, the largest portion, 40 percent of those polled, said the decisions should be made by the families of those killed there."

    Obviously this is not a very sensible idea. *It would quickly bring about anarchy and chaos at the WTC site. *A few very vocal mega-memorialists or fam-a-Nazis would try to take control of the project and force their personal views on every facet of the decision making process. *Absolutely nothing would get done and the rebuilding would never happen.

    This is why it is a good idea that a non-partial and experienced jury makes the important decisions. *The families of the victims should rightly be allowed to voice their opinions about the process and the design; but they have no experience and too much emotional baggage and special interests to actually be permitted to control the process. *

    Just like a doctor shouldn't operate on himself, the rebuilding should be left in the hands of professionals.

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