Libeskind, Childs Meet At WTC Site
Both Say They're Eager To Work On 'Freedom Tower'
Hours after agreeing to collaborate on a 1,776-foot "Freedom Tower," architects Daniel Libeskind and David Childs posed at the World Trade Center site Wednesday and said they were eager to get to work.
"It's going to be the best building in the world, and it's going to be a spectacular icon for New York and our re-emergence," said Childs, consulting partner of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.
The collaboration announced earlier Wednesday gives Childs, who has done extensive work with trade center leaseholder Larry Silverstein, the lead role in developing the tower, which is to be the world's tallest.
It remains unclear what effect the deal will have on Libeskind's design for the tower, which was part of a proposal for the site chosen over eight others.
Asked whether he was concerned that his design would be compromised, Libeskind said, "No, absolutely not. It's going to be a collaboration, it's going to be something really dramatic, and it's going to restore the skyline of New York."
Officials said that Childs would serve as the design architect and project manager leading the team that will design the tower.
Libeskind will serve as a contributing architect for the concept and schematic design of the tower, they said.
Lower Manhattan Development Corp. President Kevin Rampe said in a statement that the Freedom Tower would be designed in "a manner consistent with the Libeskind vision." The announcement followed a nearly eight-hour private meeting Tuesday night at the downtown offices of the development corporation, which was created after Sept. 11, 2001, to oversee the rebuilding process.
Wednesday's announcement did not touch on any other aspects of the Libeskind plan, though Silverstein has voiced concerns about the commercial viability of the design.
Gov. George Pataki has indicated that he would like to see steel on the centerpiece tower erected by 2006.
Also on Wednesday, a spokeswoman for Libeskind confirmed a published report that he passed the national architecture licensing exam last week.
Libeskind holds several professional licenses overseas but took the exam to fulfill one of the requirements for becoming a registered, licensed architect in New York state.
Daniel Liebskind, center, jokes it up with Larry Silverstein, right, at a news conference at Ground Zero on Wednesday. Liebskind and Silverstein announced that they have come to an agreement regarding the rebuilding of the World Trade Center.