Um.... I don't think so....
Does anyone else think (or has it already been discussed) that by building 2 exact replicas of the Freedom Tower, the WTC site would achieve a sort of equilibrium between the popular THINK skeletal design (the wind-farm part) and Liebskind's vision of a 1776ft.-spire and slanting roofs. It would be much cheaper to replicate the same design and the city's skyline would regain it's indomitable Twin Towers.
Now that there isn't enough insurance money to build all five planned buildings, maybe this will get serious consideration. Or maybe this has been in the back of Childs' mind all along.
Um.... I don't think so....
At a minimum, it is an interesting idea, and I have been thinking about it throughout the course of the afternoon.
There was a prior image posted somewhere on this site in which there was a rendering of two FTs, as a mirror image of one another, at the WTC. If I recall, it was even noted (favorably) in one of the local newspapers (I think). So, it has been discussed previously; not for the financial reasons you indicated, but rather for the monumental implication of another set of twin towers at the WTC.
I think that one likely result of the diminishing insurance-related funds is that there is an increased likelihood of a greater number of occupied floors in the first tower. It doesn't make much financial sense to have a large portion of the tower that will not generate income (from rentable space). Silverstein will definitely build the first tower, and it is in his best interest to maximize his income from the first tower so that he can leverage that income to fund the subsequent construction. Rather than arbirtrarily capping the occupied height of the tower at 70 storeys, his finances may pressure him to make higher levels of space available. That would result in a building that looks more like some of the images of Childs's earlier designs for the tower - slope of the roof notwithstanding.
Regarding the remaining buildings... While it is supposedly cheaper to build two 40 storey towers rather than one 80 storey tower, I don't know if that applies to the construction of the remaining WTC towers. First, Silverstein will want to start generating income, and limiting expenses, as quickly as possible. That will be most easily accomplished by building fewer towers quickly, rather than many towers over a relatively longer period of time. Second, nobody wants to live or work in a construction zone. The sooner construction ends, the sooner occupancy and rental-income levels begin to increase. Everybody will be happier with a shorter construction schedule: lenders, owners, and tenants. In sum, the cost of delaying the reconstruction may outweigh the relative cost of a higher second tower, as compared with multiple smaller ones, to regenerate the lost space. To get the space and income he needs, within the time frame that will be imposed upon him by his lenders, Silverstein may need to build occupied floors higher than he originally intended at the WTC.
...Granted, this assumes that a fewer number of higher towers can be built more rapidly that a greater number of shorter towers...
Found it! The rendering of twin FTs is on page 30 of this thread.
Thanks for the link. I guess I missed that discussion. Anyway, the Twin Freedom Towers get my vote over the watered-down Libeskind master plan any day... although its not likely to happen.
Regarding redesigning the Freedom tower with more stories - I still believe that Silverstein has it in his head that floors higher than sixtieth will not be salable because of terror fears.
Twin Freedom Towers:
Looks like a giant pair of Roach Clips to me. All it needs is a big joint stuck between the two spires :wink: :wink:
WTC'S ANGRY GENIUS
By ANDY SOLTIS
May 29, 2004 -- Architect Daniel Libeskind is threatening to sue Ground Zero developer Larry Silverstein — claiming he's owed a "genius fee" for his work on the Freedom Tower, sources told The Post yesterday.
Libeskind asked for about $1 million for his effort on the showcase building of the World Trade Center site — but Silverstein offered much less, sources said.
Libeskind's wife and business partner, Nina, sought the big bucks for his overall vision in rebuilding the trade center site, even though Libeskind wasn't the chief designer of the Freedom Tower, sources said.
"She wanted Larry to pay him a 'genius fee,' " a real-estate source said.
Libeskind's side denies asking for such a fee but said the architect should be compensated for his work on the building, for which ground will be broken on the Fourth of July.
"He did a lot of work on Freedom Tower, and he wants to get paid for it," Libeskind's lawyer, Ed Hayes, said yesterday.
Hayes added: "We've made very substantial progress today" in narrowing the difference between the two sides.
But he added, "If you can't get paid, you sue the guy."
But Silverstein, who holds the lease on the trade center site, is asking for documentation — timesheets for the architect's work on the tower.
Libeskind's side said he doesn't have the paperwork and stressed Libeskind's work on designing the overall master plan for the site, according to knowledgeable sources.
But Silverstein maintains Libeskind was already paid "many millions of dollars" for the master plan by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp.
"It would be unfair to the government and Mr. Silverstein for Mr. Libeskind to be paid twice for his Freedom Tower idea," said Howard Rubenstein, a spokesman for Silverstein.
"It is our hope that he will accept our repeated offers of mediation in order to avoid a time-consuming and expensive court battle."
The two sides are believed to be a few hundred-thousand dollars apart. Hayes predicted the dispute would be resolved "very soon."
Libeskinds Seek $500,000 Payment From Silverstein at Ground Zero
by Blair Golson
Ground Zero Master Planner Daniel Libeskind and his wife and business partner, Nina, claim they are owed between $550,000 and $600,000 by World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein for their architectural planning work on the Freedom Tower, the 1,776-foot high skyscraper slotted for groundbreaking at Ground Zero on July 4th of this year.
Months of negotiations, Ms. Libeskind said, have not produced an agreement on when or how much the firm she heads with her husband, Studio Daniel Libeskind, will be paid by the developer, and now the firm is considering taking legal action against Mr. Silverstein to ensure payment. A legal showdown between the master planner selected by rebuilding authorities and the developer who was charged with using insurance money to rebuild at Ground Zero could be disastrous for Mr. Silverstein, coming as it would on the heels of his unsuccessful court battle to obtain a double payout of almost $7 billion from insurers.
The origin of the present conflict appears to lie in the often cantankerous partnership between the Libeskinds and Mr. Silverstein’s architect of choice on the project, David Childs. Ms.Libeskind, reached in Ireland, said she believes Mr. Silverstein’s refusal to offer a higher figure stems from anger with the Libeskinds for being openly critical of Mr. Childs’ design proposals during their partnership. Ms. Libeskind said Mr. Silverstein has offered them around $125,000 for their work, a figure she called “almost insulting.” “I think it’s probably that he’s rapping our knuckles because of the spat,” she said. “It feels like he isn’t taking the work we did seriously and at face value.”
“I think he wants to penalize the Libeskinds because they wouldn’t help him evade his duties under the master plan,” said Ed Hayes, the lawyer representing the Libeskinds, referring to earlier disputes between the Libeskinds and Mr. Silverstein over Mr. Childs' design for the tower, which they believe violated the spirit of Mr. Libeskind's master plan.
A spokesman for Mr. Silverstein released a statement saying that he is “fully prepared to fairly compensate” the Libeskinds for their work and pointing out that efforts by Mr. Silverstein to bring the dispute into mediation have been rebuffed by the Libes kinds. “It is our hope that he will accept our repeated offers of mediation in order to avoid a time-consuming and expensive court battle,” the statement read. "We are perplexed as to why he has turned down our offers of mediation, given that he has failed to produce any industry-standard documentation of his work.”
Ms. Libeskind said she has rejected Mr. Silverstein’s overtures of mediation because the process is not done “under oath,” and the results are not binding.
Neither of those things would be the case if the two parties entered into arbitration, which Ms. Libeskind and her lawyer, Mr. Hayes, said they hoped to do. “It would be a foolish and unpleasant litigation,” said Mr. Hayes, “but stranger things have happened."
By way of example, Mr. Hayes referred to the outcome of Mr. Silverstein’s legal battle against his World Trade Center insurers, in which Mr. Silverstein sought to reap a double payment of $7 billion by claiming that the attacks on the Twin Towers constituted two separate attacks. A judge recently ruled that the majority of the insurers were only liable for single coverage—stripping Mr. Silverstein of billions in rebuilding dollars; and earlier in the trial, the judge called Mr. Silverstein “not credible,” and stopped just short of holding him contempt of court for public comments Mr. Silverstein made about the case in violation of a court-imposed gag order.
"[Mr. Silverstein] just spent $100 million in litigation where he not only got thrown out of court, but the judge basically called him a liar, and his reputation was very badly tarnished.” Mr. Hayes said he fears that Mr. Libeskind could be left unpaid if, as some Ground Zero watchers now imagine, Mr. Silverstein ends up taking a buy-out to leave the site. “My concern is that he’s going to not pay and then get bought out, and try to shift the bill to whoever buys him out,” he said.
Mr. Silverstein’s spokesman said he favors allowing an outside party to audit the Libeskind’s invoices for the project before making any kind of payment. “The involvement of an independent third party is particularly important since Mr. Libeskind has already been compensated many millions of dollars by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the Port Authority for his work on the master plan. It would be unfair to the government and Mr. Silverstein for Mr. Libeskind to be paid twice for his Freedom Tower idea.”
The Libeskinds have maintained that Mr. Childs’ design for the Freedom Tower violated the spirit and the technical guidelines of the Master Plan that Mr. Libeskind had laid out for the site. As the Ground Zero leaseholder, Mr. Silverstein had the option of choosing the lead architect for the towers he was contractually obligated to rebuild after the Sept. 11 attacks. For the Freedom Tower, slated to be the iconic skyscraper that would reclaim the Manhattan skyline, he chose Mr. Childs, of the renowned white-shoe firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill.
Mr. Libeskind, who had won the international competition to design the master plan of Ground Zero, asserted his right to have a large, if not equal, say in how the Freedom Tower should look. After weeks of heated negotiations, Mr. Childs ended up as the lead designer on the tower, and Mr. Libeskind had to settle for a supporting role.
Mr. Childs originally suggested a tower that rose to over 2,000 feet high, which was significantly taller and bulkier than the tower that Mr. Libeskind suggested.
Over the course of several months that culminated with an announcement on a final design in late December, a plan emerged for a 1776-foot tall building that had the torquing, twisted base favored by Mr. Libeskind, which was topped by an open-air lattice skeleton favored by Mr. Childs.
^those were both Childs's ideas.
June 3, 2004
This Is Not a Traditional Groundbreaking
By DAVID W. DUNLAP
HOW do you break ground on ground that has already been shattered? And how do you break ground when there really is no ground to break?
With yesterday's approval of a general project plan by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, redevelopment of the World Trade Center site is set to go. Gov. George E. Pataki intends to lose no time, having promised a groundbreaking for the Freedom Tower a month from tomorrow, on the Fourth of July.
Anywhere else, the governor might turn over a few shovels full of dirt. But this is not just anywhere. In the eyes of many survivors, every cubic inch of stone and concrete is hallowed soil, imbued with the memory - at least - of the 2,749 people who died there.
Then there is the fact that the ground floor of the Freedom Tower is 70 feet above the trade center foundation. The intervening volume will contain a substructure with stores, truck docks, PATH tracks and parking, mechanical and storage spaces.
Add one more complication. Construction of that substructure will require tearing out the largest architectural remnant of the original complex: the ruined six-level parking garage - its columns still color-coded blue, yellow and red - that was under the United States Custom House at 6 World Trade Center.
Against the vastness of the trade center foundation, where PATH cars look to be HO scale, the jagged garage floors may not seem that big. But the structure has about 190,000 square feet of floor area, as much as there is in the Flatiron Building.
Before demolition begins, the smoke-scarred garage may serve as an imposing backdrop for the July 4 ceremony, since it now appears that the groundbreaking will occur within the foundation, on the floor of the great concrete bathtub. That plan may change but one thing about the ceremony is certain.
"It can't be traditional," Lisa Dewald Stoll, the governor's communications director, said yesterday. "I don't envision commemorative shovels."
Preparing a site for the Freedom Tower, which is being developed by Silverstein Properties, clearly exposes the tension between the officially stated goals of remembering 9/11 while rebuilding Lower Manhattan.
"This is an emotional example of striking that balance," Ms. Stoll said. "We needed to plan an event that was more than the traditional groundbreaking, with shovels and hard hats." After long discussions of many different ideas, the order of the day is still not entirely set. It is not even clear that the event will be open to the public.
"It's a challenge, to break hallowed ground," Ms. Stoll allowed.
Demolition of the garage is scheduled to begin after the groundbreaking and to be completed in December. The structure did not last this long because of its historical significance but rather because it helped brace the surrounding foundation walls.
Many remaining columns need bracing themselves and some floors are unstable, said Irene Chang, a vice president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which is working on the demolition plan with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Tishman Construction Corporation and Voorsanger & Associates Architects.
"What exists there now is not sufficient to support the Freedom Tower," Ms. Chang said.
Almost the entire floor slab from Level B4 will be saved because it happens to double as the ceiling over the PATH tracks. And the Port Authority has agreed to salvage at least three elements to convey something of the scope of destruction on Sept. 11, 2001. All come from the B2 level, just below the concourse.
One is Column J4/12, the bottom of which is almost unscathed and the top of which is deathly black, as is the ceiling above it, a part of which will be salvaged. Another is Column J3/10, on which paint was blistered by heat into a marbleized pattern that would almost be beautiful if the circumstances of its creation were not so awful.
The third piece to be salvaged is part of a smoke-stained wall on which the words "Yellow Parking B2," in Helvetica type, are still plainly visible.
PRESERVATIONISTS wonder what else might be worth saving or recording.
"Our position is not one of preserving the ruins of 6 World Trade Center in place," said Anthony Gardner of the Coalition of 9/11 Families, whose brother, Harvey Joseph Gardner III, died in the attack. "We're saying proper evaluations should be done and that they should take the time necessary."
"It's unfortunate," Mr. Gardner said, "that it's being driven by the need for a July 4 photo opportunity."
Last week, the Lower Manhattan Emergency Preservation Fund, which includes the World Monuments Fund, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the New York Landmarks Conservancy, urged further evaluation and documentation of the site.
They suggested Tito Dupret, a Belgian photographer whose wraparound images of endangered architectural monuments seem to place the viewer within a sphere that can be rotated in any direction. (A digital exhibition can be seen at www.wmf.org/wht.html .) Ms. Chang said the development corporation intended to explore that possibility.
She also said the Port Authority had agreed to consider salvaging other objects as demolition proceeded, if it were "possible or meaningful" to do so. Of course, in this setting, even a blue or red garage column is freighted with meaning, particularly if it has been blackened by smoke or blistered by heat. And especially if it has survived.
Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company
SOM put some new, very large, pics of the Freedom Tower model up on their website.
This one of the turbines is particularly interesting. You can see the very high ceiling height of the interior obs deck and restaurant floors. Its also pretty clear where the outdoor obs deck would go if there indeed is one.
Great pics - thanks for the links. The curtain wall looks great. I would be totally psyched for this building if not for that crap "lattice" top.
Any speculation on why a full building photo hasn't been posted? Could Childs have dumped the lame spire?
Is funny how they have people stainding close to the building windows and not working. They are suppose to be in offices not a museum or whatever. :roll:
Originally Posted by krulltime
They're just enjoying the view... :shock: