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Thread: 200 Greenwich Street - Proposed WTC Tower #2 - by Norman Foster

  1. #1636
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enigmatism415 View Post
    Since the current design is obviously inappropriate for the complex, I offer three modifications to the right of it:

    You fix one of the two problems: the inappropriateness of building a tower that looks like it's about to fall over, on the one place on earth most famous for towers that fell over.

    The other problem, which Foster managed exquisitely, and Berg botched horribly, and you seemed to miss, was breaking up the bulk of FAT tower. the 2WTC site is almost 400 feet across W-E. Foster's tower was over 230 feet wide on that axis, but the massing disguised that. This one...well...look at this shit. "Clumsy" would be an understatement. It manages to be worse than the Metlife building.


  2. #1637
    Forum Veteran TREPYE's Avatar
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    My reaction when I first saw it....


    So now NYC is no longer the city of gotham but that of lofts.... LOFTS?!
    This is the worst case scenario for folks who love NYC's architecture:

    Huge bulky mass
    Flatlines all over; just an offset massing scheme
    Now it is as tall as 1WTC; offering complete blockage of any semblance of adequate NYC architecture
    Built as is makes it the WORST skyline killer since 1 Chase Plaza
    A great architect gets coerced into abject mediocrity; depressing
    Yet another reason to ABHOR Rupert Murdoch

    A blob, literally and figuratively a square 1300 foot BLOB!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #1638

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    The Architect's Newspaper
    June 11, 2015

    Q+A> BJARKE INGELS

    Henry Melcher sits down with Bjarke Ingels to discuss the architect's design for Two World Trade Center.

    The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) did not exist when the rebuilding of the World Trade Center began over a decade ago. But now, the firm, which has grown to 260 people, is poised to complete the 16-acre site with a provocative 88-story office tower that steps skyward. It is a remarkable turn of events that speaks to BIG’s dramatic rise in the world of architecture, and the exceptionally slow rate of progress at the World Trade Center site.

    Earlier this week, it was confirmed that Foster + Partners’ design for a diamond-topped Two World Trade Center was history, and that Bjarke Ingels (an architect half Foster’s age) would be taking over. The Silverstein-developed building will be used as the joint headquarters for News Corporation and 21st Century Fox; the tower’s uppermost floors will be leased to other tenants. Just days after BIG’s design was unveiled, it was reported that Rupert Murdoch would be stepping down as CEO of 21st Century Fox to be succeeded by his son James, who reportedly led the charge against Foster’s original design. (You can read AN’s coverage of the building here.)

    Shortly after BIG’s design debuted to mixed reactions, AN’s Henry Melcher sat down with Bjarke Ingels in his firm’s sprawling penthouse offices, just south of the World Trade Center, to talk about the new tower, the rebirth of Lower Manhattan, and if there is any bad blood between him and Norman Foster.

    Henry Melcher: Where were you on September 11, 2001?

    Bjarke Ingels: I started my first architecture company, PLOT, in 2001 and we won our first competition in August so we got our first office space in September. We were painting the office ourselves because we had to refurbish the place and were strapped for cash. We had an intern who was working on our first website and he suddenly called us and said, “come, some idiot flew his airplane into the World Trade Center.” At no point did it cross my mind that the buildings could actually collapse. There was a sort of permanence of the New York skyline that you took for granted.

    Not only was it an attack that cost 3,000 people their lives, it also had a devastating impact on Downtown Manhattan. A lot of the financial companies moved away, but right now I am sensing somewhat of a renaissance. We moved here on April first—we were attracted to the affordable rents and the skyscraper history that you can see out the window. There is so much diversity in this neighborhood; the newest buildings and the oldest buildings in the same place. And there is the fact that you have this influx of media and creative companies moving here.

    What is your impression of the new World Trade Center site?

    This idea of having an 8-acre oasis in one of the densest parts of one of the densest cities in the world is really striking. The effort to preserve such a large urban space as a sanctuary for what happened is incredibly successful.

    There is also something about the skyscraper as a typology; when you think about Downtown Manhattan, it is more the sheer quantity of substance rather than the individual design of each building that creates the impact. I think you have this rather majestic frame around the memorial that has been created by the towers.

    What we have tried to bring to this is a level of innovation or evolution at a typological level. We have tried to create a building that does create a striking silhouette that combines the identity of Tribeca with the identity of the Financial District.

    But what triggered the design is actually a careful reflection of the performance and the inner-workings and that will contribute to the thousands of people that are going to come to work here. There is this idea that even if you are working 600 feet up in the air, you can stroll out on a giant terrace and enjoy the sun during your lunch.

    Take me back to day one of this project. How did you begin to conceive of the tower’s design?

    Last summer, Fox and News Corp. were doing a search for architects and they ended up choosing to work with us. They brought us onboard to help them qualify their selection of a site so we sketched on their needs. We looked at a horizontal kind of skyscraper along the West Side Highway, we looked at a more classic location in Midtown, and then suddenly, as part of the search committee, our eyes fell on the site of Two World Trade Center.

    As the World Trade Center site was getting more and more complete—the memorial was open, the Hub was starting to show—you could sense that this could actually be a great place to be. We helped them analyze a lot of different sites and this one just started to shine.

    In dialogue with Silverstein and Fox and News Corp. we got going on the design. At that point, we had already been sketching for their program requirements, developing their ideas for big and open floor plates, exposed ceilings, they wanted to create a certain raw openness. They did not want to cement their current situation into a fixed form; they wanted to retain as much freedom as possible within the parameters of a very big skyscraper.

    What did you think of the previous design for the building? Did you talk to Foster’s team at all during this process?

    We are actually collaborating with Foster on the Battersea Power Station in London; we are doing the public realm, which basically adjoins one of their buildings. And we have a great collaboration with them, I have only respect for Foster and their team.

    In this case, it was purely the fact that the design had been made for an era that had somehow—the Financial District has somehow moved to Midtown and it is a new kind of neighborhood and also a new kind of World Trade Center.

    Tell me about the new tower’s design.

    The previous design for the site was really tailored to become a financial institution. Its floor plates were more like the upper parts of this building, so we started to see if we could achieve one of the wishes for more contemporary workspace within the parameters of the site. One of the things that became quite interesting was that we had two clients—Silverstein who has roughly half the building and a specific set of requirements, and Fox and News Corp., which had even more specific requirements. And then we had columns and cores that had already been cast into the ground, and the Libeskind master plan.

    In the beginning, I was a little bit anxious because this would clearly be the most important site we had ever designed a building for. When we stumbled upon this idea that it is the respect for the memorial that adjusts and unites the diversity of the different buildings within the building, then suddenly everything clicked.

    It has a silhouette that is probably as striking as One World Trade. From the North and South, it is like a ziggurat. From the East and West it has an expanding silhouette toward the top. When you see it from the memorial, it almost appears to lean. As you move around it, it will be a radically different building.

    BIG has built a reputation with a playful and graphic body of work, but this seems more buttoned-up or corporate. Did you feel that you had to strike a different tone with this tower given its location?

    As skyscrapers come, there is quite a lot of life in this building. You are going to have cascading atria that span 13 floors, which means you can throw a paper plane to one of your colleagues four floors down. You have inside-outside continuity with huge outdoor spaces and you have a high-rise that does have a rather different face depending on where you see it from.

    It is true at the same time that we did not want to make arbitrary gestures—but I think we never do in general. This is an extremely tall tower so there are certain things like gravity to take into account. I would say that my favorite skyscrapers, I wouldn’t call them buttoned-down, but the ones where there is a direct relationship with how they perform and how they appear. I think we have tried to achieve something similar.

    Where does the design process go from here?

    The overall logic of the vertical village, of buildings within the building forming a single tower toward the memorial, is what the project is going to be. We are starting schematic design now. There is a lot of detail that will be added, but my hope is that this is a good idea of what we will build.

    Copyright © 2003–2015 | The Architect's Newspaper, LLC | All rights reserved.

  4. #1639

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    Quote Originally Posted by STR View Post
    The other problem, which Foster managed exquisitely, and Berg botched horribly, and you seemed to miss, was breaking up the bulk of FAT tower.
    I agree, but I feel that the leaning effect caused by the cantilevers is the worse of the two problems.

    By the way, the attempt to bring TriBeCa to FiDi really pisses me off as a resident of the latter. The two neighborhoods have completely different styles, and that's a good thing.

  5. #1640
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    Either Donald Trump or Sam McChang would have been better. Just put a 1,300 foot Holiday Inn Express there. Or something pink with gold faucets. Please.

  6. #1641

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    Quote Originally Posted by TallGuy View Post
    Either Donald Trump or Sam McChang would have been better. Just put a 1,300 foot Holiday Inn Express there. Or something pink with gold faucets. Please.
    And this is a perfect example why WNY is great for pics and info and absolutely useless for any sort of architectural/aesthetic commentary.

    2 WTC's current design was reviewed and strongly endorsed by Childs, Maki, and Rogers (two of them Pritzker Prize winners and all three quite outspoken and opinionated), yet the armchair architectural reviewers on WNY think it's worse than a Holiday Inn Express on a highway exit in Kentucky. Thanks for wasting everyone's time with that garbage, and enjoy when Ingels wins a Pritzker Prize in the coming years.

  7. #1642

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    How often have you seen professionals criticize their peers, especially when common clients are involved?

    At least we offer commentary.

    I suppose we should be grateful for your expert I never saw a piece of crap I didn't like architectural evaluations.

  8. #1643

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    How often have you seen professionals criticize their peers, especially when common clients are involved?
    Quite often. In fact David Childs has offered plenty of criticism re. the WTC site, both to his professional peers and to his paying clients. Yet he enthusiastically endorsed the change.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    At least we offer commentary.
    True, but the commentary is generally reliably absurd. At best it's silly/snarky. Basically everything on WNY is considered worse than a truck stop in Karachi, even if developed by someone generally regarded as an architectural genius. The only good things are old and decaying, oh and parking lots/vacant lots; everything else basically sucks.

    WNY is a very good site, but I'm guessing the main reason it has lost so many participants is because of the gradual transition to snarky/clueless armchair aesthetic quarterbacking. It was originally an urban planning/neighborhood/real estate site, but is now largely filled with silly drive-by aesthetic commentary.

  9. #1644

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    Quote Originally Posted by ASchwarz View Post
    Quite often. In fact David Childs has offered plenty of criticism re. the WTC site, both to his professional peers and to his paying clients. Yet he enthusiastically endorsed the change.
    SOM couldn't even bring themselves to criticize their own spire work being eliminated. The only significant criticism from Childs were his battles for control with Liebeskind.

    True, but the commentary is generally reliably absurd. At best it's silly/snarky. Basically everything on WNY is considered worse than a truck stop in Karachi,
    Everything? Then there should be no debates, since we're all in agreement, right?

    I can compile a list to the contrary, but it might be quicker if you provided a a list of some of your negative reviews. Basically, all I can remember is "They're building it; I like it."

    [Yawn]

    WNY is a very good site,
    You only make it worse when you contradict -"absolutely useless for any sort of architectural/aesthetic commentary." - yourself.

    It was originally an urban planning/neighborhood/real estate site,
    You would guess wrong. It was even more an architectural site in the beginning, and yes, there was disagreement and negative snarkiness.

    but is now largely filled with silly drive-by aesthetic commentary.
    Twice in one post.

  10. #1645

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    Zippy, I'm not going line by line with all this, but yes, this site was not originally an outlet for retrograde architectural snarkiness (and as it grew into this format, it lost most contributors) no, I am not obligated to state my personal aesthetic opinions on projects (in fact that's not at all why I come here; if I didn't like a building I wouldn't waste time with posting weird Marlene Dietrich films or whatever is par for the course lately) and yes, Childs, Maki and Rogers all have very strong and public opinions.

    Maki is pretty much at war with Zaha Hadid over her plans for Tokyo's Olympics. If he is willing to fight against an established starchitect in such an important event for his home city/country, you honestly think he would be afraid to criticize a project from a young upstart like Ingels?

    This is from today' A/N blog-

    These connections to the Metabolists and CIAM helped launch Maki’s lifelong career as a theorist and commentator, most recently in his highly public opposition to Zaha Hadid’s design for the New National Stadium in Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics. Maki defended his position saying, “An architect who knows better has a responsibility to point out to the public” faults of scale, cost, context and the limited time to develop the design.

    http://blog.archpaper.com/2015/06/fu.../#.VXpnA_lVhBc

    So why is Maki afraid to say something re. 2 WTC? Are we to believe that WNY is correct and the world's leading architects are all wrong? Possible, I suppose, but extremely unlikely. I find it difficult to believe that Maki would lie re. his feelings when he is so outspoken for other major public projects where he has involvement. It's probably reasonable to assume that the architectural establishment respects Ingels and his work.

  11. #1646

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    Quote Originally Posted by ASchwarz View Post
    Zippy, I'm not going line by line with all this, but yes, this site was not originally an outlet for retrograde architectural snarkiness (and as it grew into this format, it lost most contributors)
    You've communicated with these people as to why they left, so your cause-and-effect has some data behind it, right?

    Retrograde - can't figure that out.

    no, I am not obligated to state my personal aesthetic opinions on projects (in fact that's not at all why I come here;
    I think when you deride the aesthetic opinions of others, there's an obligation to put your own thoughts out there. You post as a real estate shill in a place where there is little resistance to new projects.

    And doesn't the "architectural snarkiness" extend to positive opinions?

    Maki is pretty much at war with Zaha Hadid over her plans for Tokyo's Olympics.
    Do you know what the war is about? Mostly sustainability, and the displacement of people and existing infrastructure - a common critique of the Olympic Games.

    So why is Maki afraid to say something re. 2 WTC?
    Who said he's afraid? File it under professional courtesy.

    Are we to believe that WNY is correct and the world's leading architects are all wrong?
    First and foremost, an appeal to authority is a logic fallacy. Many things have been done by people in authority that proved to be mistakes. I'm sure even you can come up with a few.

    I didn't realize that we've already heard from all the world's leading architects.

  12. #1647
    Forum Veteran Tectonic's Avatar
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    Can't help but like Zippy. You just can't.

  13. #1648
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    I apologize if I came across as 'snarky' as my intention was to use an extreme comparison tongue-in cheek to describe just how bad my reaction is to this new design. I am not an architect but like the rest of us have to live with the results, good and bad. I do stand by my comments however. I would rather have something completely dull and uninspired than something as bad as proposed that not only is a blight on the skyline on its' own but harms the entire site and the impact on the skyline of the other towers. As one of the longest members here (Dec 2003) I post very infrequently because I don't have as much to contribute as the more knowledgeable posters, from whom I have learned a lot.

    I have no musical talent but I am a big music fan and passionate about many genres, artists, etc. I know what I like and what I don't and enjoy discussing the subject with my peers. Same thing with my passion for the NY Yankees. I would never tell an architect, performing musician or ballplayer they suck, but doing so with members of this forum or forums on music or the Yankees is a different matter.

  14. #1649

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    ^
    You have one big advantage over people within the field. There is a symbiotic relationship among architects, their clients - and extending more and more to professional critics, who must weigh their opinions against access to their subject matter.

    Not here.

    If Ingels were to read some of the comments here and feel insulted, I would point him to the Durst-Fetner thread, which has received universal praise here. The lesson he might take away is that it's not really personal; some of us think that in this instance, he designed an inappropriate building.

  15. #1650

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    New York YIMBY
    June 11, 2015

    Interview: Bjarke Ingels On New Design For 200 Greenwich Street, Aka Two World Trade Center

    BY NIKOLAI FEDAK

    YIMBY sat down with Bjarke Ingels to talk about his firm’s design for 200 Greenwich Street, aka Two World Trade Center. Despite public outcry following the change from the Norman Foster version of the tower, BIG’s innovative and forward-thinking building will truly respond to the human needs of its tenants, while also punctuating the Downtown skyline with a 1,340-foot take on a classic ziggurat. We’ve also obtained a few additional renderings of the soon-to-be icon’s impact on the cityscape.

    YIMBY in bold.

    What’s the concept?

    Two World Trade is almost like a vertical village of bespoke buildings within the building, that also can be seen as a single tower. The program creates large floor-plates for the studios, medium-sized floors for the newsrooms, and more classic tower floor-plates for the spec tenants.

    We tested out various kinds of massing — different types of logic — so we ended up saying it’s ok that the building’s components have different proportions, and are then stacked on top of each other. It actually has an inclination towards One World Trade Center, so the two towers — even though they’re not twinning — by having a mutual relationship, the space between them is parallel, although at an incline.

    From the memorial, Two World Trade is really one of the group of towers; it has a vertical corner, but then it has an almost leaning aspect to it. It feels like it’s a completely straight-forward tower, but then there’s something weird going on, that it seems to lean with One World Trade Center.

    What do you think of the negative commentary regarding your design versus the Foster design, and what are the positives when comparing the new building to what was formerly planned?

    It’s a city of millions, you’re going to have a million different opinions. I’ve read a lot of really positive comments as well. But I think what’s important is, basically when 9/11 happened, it created this migration away from the Financial District, at least for all the financial firms. And then the financial crash of 2008 happened, emptying out even more space. Basically [the Foster tower] was designed as a bank, with the same floor-plate on every single level, until it would’ve had stranger floor-plates up at the top — it was also designed with a sky lobby, which means if you’re working in the upper half of the building, you have to change elevators.

    And this doesn’t have a sky lobby?

    No, it’s the same all the way up. If you’re working on the 60th floor you don’t want to change elevators every trip up and down. The reason it’s tempting to propose a sky lobby is it allows you to slim the core at the bottom and have the same core all the way up, but it’s inefficient because everyone has to change elevators twice. So I think that may have also contributed to the old design not getting built. I think what we’ve tried to do is design a building that looks different because it performs differently; it’s the changing proportions of the different floor-plates that means a lot of different companies with a lot of different activities can happen within the same building.

    It has the diversity of a neighborhood, instead of duplicating a floor-plate X number of times. And then I think the fact that you have abundant outdoor spaces means that working in the building — not only will we dissolve the segregation between one floor and the other with the cascading voids, where people can see their colleagues four floors down, but you can actually extend your work out into the outdoors, so you can have phone-calls or meetings or lunches on terraces, 600 feet up, under the shadow of a tree, enjoying the fresh air.

    This would be the first tower in New York that cantilevers several times over, right?

    Yes. Typically contemporary towers have extruded floor-plates, then something interesting at the top, and something interesting at the bottom. Here we tried to maintain the same logic throughout the entire building; from the Memorial it’s a very disciplined silhouette, but from Tribeca it becomes a more abstract, active building.

    What are the plans for lighting and will it have any sort of iconic scheme?

    We’re just starting schematic design now.

    When did you start the design process?

    Let’s say in December.

    How much retail space is it going to have?

    About 50,000 square feet, on the first three floors plus the ground level.

    How was translating a partially built building into your new design realized?

    It’s one of the main challenges — to land on predetermined locations. It’s like playing Twister with a 1,300-foot tower.

    Basically we placed the cores where they want to sit, and then they come down, and we see the architecture of translation, as they distort to reach from one position to a predetermined rod; the same with the columns. That means that the lobby is going to have very expressive architecture but it’s purely out of trying to connect the dots.

    How do you deal with New York’s climate when it comes to landscaping the outdoor space?

    We’re looking at having different landscaping on each of the terraces, from lush climates on the lower levels, ending up with almost an arctic tundra. You will have different average temperatures and different conditions — in the Highlands, for every 200 meters or 600 feet, you drop about a degree. So the difference should be about two degrees [between top and bottom temperatures].

    Can you describe the facade?

    For the facade we looked at this idea of relating to our neighbors, but also from inside you want transparency. And from the outside, texture, and materials that patina, or have warmth. We’re looking at the idea of a shingle, both vertically and horizontally. It’s facing away from the southwest corner, so from that perspective it’s an all glass tower. But from the east or north, you can see the material of the mullion. The same is true when you look from below — you can see the mullions. So from the inside it gives you two different feelings.

    The news ticker is going to be underneath?

    Yes. Normally we refer to the roof as the fifth facade, but this will be the sixth facade, on the underside of the building. It’s a very active and lively building towards the rest of the city, but formal towards the Memorial. As you get distance, it recreates the twinning, not by having two identical buildings, but by having siblings. They both lean at the same angle, which means the space between them is parallel even though it’s sloping.

    Have you heard anything regarding the Performing Arts Center?

    I think details will be coming on that soon, but we’re not working on that.

    Last question: will this be the tallest building you design in New York?

    Only time will tell.

    COPYRIGHT 2015 | NEW YORK YIMBY

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