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Thread: The Roster of Ground Zero Architects Grows

  1. #1

    Default The Roster of Ground Zero Architects Grows

    October 1, 2003

    The Roster of Ground Zero Architects Grows


    Three celebrated architects including Norman Foster, who offered his own vision last year of twin towers rising from ground zero were added yesterday to the growing roster of international designers working on the World Trade Center site.

    Lord Foster, of London, Jean Nouvel of Paris and Fumihiko Maki of Tokyo joined Daniel Libeskind, the master planner, and David M. Childs and T. J. Gottesdiener of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, which will design the first, and tallest, building, Freedom Tower, with Mr. Libeskind. Larry A. Silverstein, who chose all but Mr. Libeskind, said, "They're the best in the world."

    It was an impressive array of architectural celebrity. But their involvement raises the question of whose aesthetic vision will prevail and whether it is possible to build distinctive towers that bear the idiosyncratic hand of famous designers within a coherent master plan.

    In addition to the architects who gathered with Mr. Silverstein, Santiago Calatrava of Spain is working on the new transit hub with DMJM & Harris and the STV Group. A memorial design has yet to be chosen.

    Mr. Silverstein described the group as "one massive collaborative effort." Mr. Libeskind professed his pleasure at what he called an "incredible day."

    He had anticipated the designation of other architects for a number of buildings at the site. "It requires a heterogeneous and interesting development," he said recently.

    Heterogeneity would seem to be guaranteed in the arrangement described by Mr. Silverstein. "Each architect will design his own high-rise building and Dan will collaborate on each of them," he said.

    Only five days ago, Mr. Silverstein suffered a setback in his legal battle with insurers over the amount of the settlement for the Sept. 11, 2001, attack; a sum that will finance redevelopment. Whether the payout is $7 billion or $3.5 billion turns on whether the attack is construed as two discrete events or one.

    Asked whether yesterday's announcement was meant to bolster his public image as the best possible developer of the trade center, Mr. Silverstein said the meeting with the architects had been scheduled weeks ago. He said he was confident he would prevail when the legal case went to a jury.

    One of the firms chosen by Mr. Silverstein, Foster & Partners, had competed last year with Mr. Libeskind for designation as overall site planner. Among its other projects, the firm designed the Hearst Corporation headquarters being built at Eighth Avenue and 57th Street.

    Lord Foster said yesterday that he would "start from scratch" on his trade center design. "You can only have one master plan," he said.

    Ateliers Jean Nouvel has designed apartment buildings in the meatpacking district and in SoHo.

    Maki & Associates is working on a building at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mr. Maki won the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1993.

    Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

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  3. #3


    Trio to Design Office Towers

    'World-class' architects picked for WTC buildings

    By Katia Hetter

    October 1, 2003

    World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein named a trio of renowned architects yesterday - including Lord Norman Foster, who tried for the main Twin Towers site design - to create designs for the five office buildings at Ground Zero.

    British architect Foster, Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki and French architect Jean Nouvel will work with Silverstein architect David Childs, with Manhattan-based Skidmore, Owings and Merrill.

    Childs is designing the 1,776-foot-tall Freedom Tower in collaboration with trade center master planner Daniel Libeskind. Childs also designed 7 World Trade Center, being built just north of the site.

    "This is a group of world-class architects - they're the best in the world, and in our judgment, the only architects to choose to execute the brilliant master plan done by Daniel Libeskind," said Silverstein, speaking after the architects' first joint meeting at his midtown office. "This is truly a unique opportunity to conceive and to create the best that architecture can devise for the new World Trade Center."

    Each architect will design at least one of the five office buildings in the master plan, working with Libeskind to ensure their designs match his vision for the site, Silverstein said. It's not clear who will design which building yet. Nor was it clear if Libeskind, who has never designed an office tower and wants that chance at Ground Zero, will get it. Asked yesterday if he would design one of the office buildings, he said, "I sure hope so."

    Frederic Bell, executive director of the American Institute of Architects New York chapter, applauded Silverstein's choices.

    "It was always clear from the beginning in the Libeskind proposal that other architects would be designing buildings, and these are among the best architects in the world," Bell said.

    Foster said his failed trade center proposal, known for its "kissing" towers, will not influence his design of an individual building.

    "We start from scratch," said Foster, who is well known for his skyscraper designs. They include the new Hearst Tower to be built in midtown, the Commerzbank headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, and HSBC headquarters in London and Hong Kong. His other works include the Great Court of the British Museum, the new Hong Kong International Airport, the Millennium Bridge in London and the new German Parliament in Berlin.

    Maki's work includes the Asahi broadcast headquarters in Tokyo and the Rolex Toyocho Building in Tokyo.

    Nouvel's work includes the Cartier Foundation headquarters in Paris, the Arab World Institute in Paris, and the Lyon opera house in France.

    Copyright 2003, Newsday, Inc.

  4. #4


    Nouvel and Maki have as little expierence in high-rise design as Libeskind. But as far as personal preferences go, these architects are great!

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by Stern
    Nouvel and Maki have as little expierence in high-rise design as Libeskind.
    Not really.
    To quote Phil on another forum :

    Nouvel Designed not only the Tour Sans fins, but also Caretta Shiodome in Tokyo (2002) , Tower1 in frankfurt (approved) , and Torre Agbar (UC in Barcelona).

  6. #6


    Alright smart ass.

    Maki has as little expierence in high-rise design as Libeskind. But as far as personal preferences go, he is a great architect.

    In addition Foster and Nouvel who do have high-rise expierences are awesome as well!

    Silverstein is quite the little architectural patron.

  7. #7
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Manhattan - South Village


    We ought to have a nice collection of buildings at WTC. Exciting development! Aren't there four new towers to design? How will they decide who gets what? Buildings 3 and 4 are the closest in height (I think) and proximity - only the Cortland St. galleria separates them. I wonder if they will be designed together.

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    There's no pranks for half-way to April Fool's, is there? Can they pull this off with making the site look like an avant-garde theme park?

    Jean Nouvel:

    Fumihiko Maki:

  9. #9


    They've managed to pull off Canary Wharf fairly well but there it has been all the "corporate" stars like Pelli and SOM etc.

    Foster seems to be the middle ground but I think that he will indulge himself at the WTC with one of his more forward thinking buildings.

    I don't think Silverstein or the PA really has a clue about architecture but they've learned really fast that they can hide behind an architects "star power" very effectively. Libeskind has taken a lot of heat for their decisions.

  10. #10
    Senior Member DougGold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    LA, formerly NY


    Quote Originally Posted by Kris
    Trio to Design Office Towers

    Childs is designing the 1,776-foot-tall Freedom Tower in collaboration with trade center master planner Daniel Libeskind. Childs also designed 7 World Trade Center, being built just north of the site.

    Why are they still referring to it as being 1,776-foot-tall? I thought it was raised to 2,100-feet-tall.
    Last edited by Kris; October 4th, 2009 at 06:52 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    New York City


    The Public has come to know it as such. I believe the roof is now 1776 and the Spire will raise the height to 2100.

    Is the Height Change even Official?

  12. #12


    It should be, it was written in that LMDC pdf file. I sure hope it is. 1776 feet to the roof and 2100 feet to the spire is great!

    Also, it's extremely exciting to have all these great architects working on the site. I'm sure each one wants to make their particular building look better than anyone elses, which should make all of them great. I can't wait to see the final designs. And then of course I can't wait until they get built, but one step at a time.

  13. #13
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    New York City


    It is very justified that Foster be asked to design a tower. I think that it will be interesting to see how integrated each others' designs will be. There has to be something that links them visually besides the 'stepped' heights.

  14. #14


    Or not.
    It could be the anti-Rockefeller center.

  15. #15

    Default One for you and one for me

    Okay so Libeskind and Childs are designing the Freedom Tower (oh 2100 feet of joy) that leaves four buildings: Foster gets one, Nouvel another and Maki one more. hmm three plus one has been four for a long time, i wonder who will have the last one.

    compromise often leads to mediocrity

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