New York Times
May 19, 2005
Plans for World Trade Center Cultural Center Are Unveiled
A rendering the newly unveiled design for the cultural center at ground zero, which will house the International Freedom Center and the Drawing Center.
NEW YORK -- America's only visual arts organization devoted to the discipline of drawing will be part of a new cultural center built on the site of the collapsed World Trade Center.
"This cultural center will be a fitting celebration of the humanity which triumphed in the face of evil on September 11," Gov. George Pataki said in a statement Thursday, prior to a news conference to unveil details of the World Trade Center Cultural Center.
The Norwegian firm Snohetta was chosen from a pool of 34 applicants to design the complex, which will include The Drawing Center, a visitor's center and the International Freedom Center, devoted to the global struggle for freedom.
The Drawing Center, currently located in the SoHo district, will offer drawing exhibitions and opportunities for emerging and under-recognized artists at its new home -- a five-story building with double height floors and a landscaped rooftop space overlooking the World Trade Center Memorial Plaza.
The Cultural Center will have up to 250,000 square feet of space on Fulton and Greenwich streets, across from the planned Performing Arts Center, which is to house the Joyce International Dance Center and the Signature Theatre.
The design for the Cultural Center is slated to be completed by the end of the year, with groundbreaking in 2007 and completion in 2009.
The Cultural Center and the Performing Arts Center "will frame and protect the sacred memorial setting, while providing for the celebration of life as we remember those we lost," Lower Manhattan Development Corp. Chairman John Whitehead said in a statement.
Snohetta is an Oslo-based architecture, landscape architecture and interior design company. It is known for its completion of the Alexandria Library in Egypt, the Norwegian Embassy in Berlin, and the soon-to-be-completed New National Opera in Oslo.
At its monthly board meeting earlier Thursday, LMDC officials said the new Performing Arts Center, to be designed by architect Frank Gehry, was still being discussed because costs were rising beyond the budgeted $200 million. They pledged to have a final plan by the end of the year.
Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company