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Thread: WTC Tower One - by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

  1. #11431

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    So the triangular structural bracing behind won't be visible anymore? That sucks. Nothing compeling at the base to draw the eye upward.

  2. #11432
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Where are the inverted sloping cut-aways at the corners?

    Quote Originally Posted by BigMac View Post

    Rendering of One World Trade Center base at night (credit: Port Authority)

  3. #11433

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    New York Observer
    November 16, 2011

    Take a Shine to It! 1 World Trade Base Will Be Pleated Rather Than Prismatic

    By Matt Chaban

    Slideshow

    One of the enduring challenges at the World Trade Center—besides who will lease up the offices—has been what the base of Tower 1 would look like. Fears persisted that the 185-foot concrete shell demanded by the N.Y.P.D. would look like exactly that, a giant bunker. The solution, arrived at by a harried team of architects in less than a month back in 2005, was waves of crenelated glass that would turn the entire structure into a giant crystal.

    The only problem was, that approach proved almost impossible to produce when the fabricators began creating mock-ups of the structure earlier this year. The glass would shatter too easily, a major issue for a high-traffic tower that could be susceptible to another attack. The architects at SOM returned to the drawing board and created a solution that is at once very similar to and totally different from their original proposal, a new plan that was approved yesterday by the board of the Port Authority.

    The main goal was achieving an aesthetic solution to this ongoing challenge, though it turns out the biggest different between the two plans is economic—the new curtain wall will cost less than half the price of the original one, $37.2 million. This is chiefly because the new system is essentially off-the-shelf glass, rather than custom made panes. “Not only will this system be cost-effective, but it will also provide a unique fašade benefitting an iconic building,” deputy director Bill Baroney said in a statement.

    Previously, custom rolled panes were cut at different dimensions, each taking on a prismatic aspect that would refract the light in dynamic ways, according to SOM director and 1 WTC project director Kenneth Lewis. Now, the standardized panes will be affixed to a metal screen not unlike the one at 7 WTC. Starting with flush panels at the edges of the bases four sides, the panels will begin to open up in a V-pattern as they move toward the center of the plane, creating a pleated effect. From flat surfaces at the corners, the panes will open to as much as 60 degrees at the middle of the space.

    “It’s the same base, the same ideas David talked about before, but a different way to get there,” Mr. Lewis said, referring to the designer of the tower, David Childs. “It’s shimmering, luminous, reflective, dynamic, everything we envisioned for this iconic building.”

    The progressive openings serve a practical as well as aesthetic purpose, allowing air into ducts at the base.

    Mr. Lewis said the new base would be more reflective than refractive, relaying the surroundings, though the structure will still glow, via the sun during the day and lights at night, which are now LEDs, rather than florescent lighting as before. (It is like an upside-down Empire State Building.) The panels will also convey an Op Art-sense of movement as passersby make there way around the structure.

    Mr. Lewis said the base would both echo and contrast with the tower above at the same time. The metal screen will be made of the same steel currently at the corners of the tower’s curtain wall. The glass in the base is also of the same aspect as the tower above. The entire composition will look more of a piece, then, though there is also the difference of before, when all the glass was on a solid plane, while now it is broken up in the base. Instead of creating a cloud on which the tower floats, it will appear more to dissipate as it approaches the ground.”The nature of this system is that the surface comes down and then begins to transform,” Mr. Lewis said.

    “It’s a very simple treatment,” he added. “This project has always been about simple forms and simple solutions.”

    The most noticeable difference is arguably at the tower’s corners, which are no longer chamfered in the distinctive tapering style of the tower but instead squared off. Mr. Lewis said it would have been too technically difficult and visually cluttered to wrap the new pleated system around the diagonal corners.

    “This was a big challenge, but we’re all very pleased with the results,” Mr. Lewis said. “You fall in love with all your children, but the situation changes and you make it work.”

  4. #11434

  5. #11435
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post

    Where are the inverted sloping cut-aways at the corners?
    GONE ...

    Quote Originally Posted by BigMac View Post

    The most noticeable difference is arguably at the tower’s corners, which are no longer chamfered in the distinctive tapering style of the tower but instead squared off. Mr. Lewis said it would have been too technically difficult and visually cluttered to wrap the new pleated system around the diagonal corners.

  6. #11436
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    This is so silly. Why cut corners (literally) only to later on not show them because the redesign would of been too technically difficult. Sounds to me either they are really lazy or it just cost more than they expected wanted etc. I have a feeling it is the latter.

  7. #11437
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Money money money ... or lack of it.

  8. #11438

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    Wow, the corners are actually gone? I liked how the panels on the corners appeared similar to the corners of the original towers.

    And we get this bland stainless steel base to top it all off? Dang... I was really hoping it was not going to be like the base of Tower 7, but here we are.

    You know what would be kind of cool? Cover the base in Manhattan schist.

  9. #11439

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    I am going to be conservatively optimistic and suggest that those renderings truly do not present an accurate portrayal of how this will look when it is finished. When you see the mockup, the detail is quite stunning in comparison to the renderings.

  10. #11440
    Senior Member DMAG's Avatar
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    The corners are gone?!??!?! Ugh. So how much additional construction is going to be required to straighten the corners? There's got to be a good ten or twenty feet on each corner at the base that's cut inward. (I imagine not too much drama since they are not required to take on any structural bearing, but jeez).

    I want one of the big empty corners for a new windowless office now please.

  11. #11441

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    Well.... I know it's a matter of opinion, but I think it's awesome!

    I'm thinking of all the potential lighting concepts.

  12. #11442
    Senior Member Bob's Avatar
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    I like the Manhattan schist idea.

    On a related note, it makes no sense to have built the base with odd angles and now to disguise all that complex engineering and fabrication with straight lines.

  13. #11443

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    I don't like the glass for the base. I think they should have just used glass panes that look the same as above (in size and shape) but reflective rather than transparent. The different glass I'm afraid will just serve to emphasize that there aren't actual occupied floors behind it, but rather a concrete bunker. At least give the illusion that the floors continue down to ground level.

  14. #11444

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    The old base:Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Freedom Tower 52  Qubdesign.jpg 
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  15. #11445
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    This Before / After image from CURBED indicates that the structural steel will still be visible beneath the facade (albeit less so than before):


    [Click for big! Composite of renderings by SOM, via New York Observer

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