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Do You Like The New Freedom Tower?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Visions for Tower Clash at Trade Center Site

NY Times

By DAVID W. DUNLAP



The architects David M. Childs, left, and Daniel Libeskind, center, with Larry A. Silverstein at the trade center site in July.

Only 10 months before groundbreaking is expected to take place for the Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center site, the master planner of the site and the architect for the tower's developer, who are supposed to be collaborating, have reached an impasse on how the skyscraper should look.

Although the version being designed by David M. Childs, of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, for the developer, Larry A. Silverstein, has not been seen publicly, it is stylistically quite different from the widely publicized images of the Freedom Tower drawn up by Studio Daniel Libeskind as part of its master plan.

Mr. Libeskind has called for an asymmetrical composition: a slender, antenna-topped spire rising along the western edge of an office tower, abstractly complementing the Statue of Liberty on the skyline. Mr. Childs has proposed a more monolithic and symmetrical structure that would twist and taper as it rose, culminating in antennas surrounded by an open framework.

The differences are more than cosmetic. Without an agreed-upon aesthetic approach, there can be no detailed drawings. Without drawings, there can be no construction. So the pressure to find common ground is enormous, particularly since Gov. George E. Pataki has set Sept. 11, 2006, as the deadline for the topping off, or structural completion, of the Freedom Tower.

Asked whose vision would prevail, those involved answered yesterday that the collaborative effort would resume and that Mr. Libeskind and Mr. Childs would pick up again after an uneasy meeting four days ago.

"Every artistic collaboration in history had its fits and starts, but they are ultimately judged on what they produced," said Matthew Higgins, chief operating officer of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which is planning the site with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

"In this case," Mr. Higgins said, "we are confident that Libeskind and Childs will design a Freedom Tower that will make our entire nation proud." He said the corporation was not even considering the prospect that the two architects would fail in a collaborative effort.

Mr. Libeskind said he had tremendous respect for Mr. Childs's ability. "We both have strong opinions about design," he said. "Nothing worthwhile was ever created without some conflict, and what emerges from a collaboration should be even greater than the sum of its parts."

Employees of Studio Daniel Libeskind, at 2 Rector Street, are working in the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill office at 14 Wall Street. "Sometimes we shoot quickly ahead and sometimes it slows down," Mr. Childs said. "We're proceeding toward what we both believe will be a magnificent end result."

And Mr. Silverstein, while acknowledging that there were issues between the architects that "need to be worked through," said yesterday that he still expected the collaboration would produce an exceptional tower.

But these public pleasantries do not change the fundamentally awkward arrangement — by no means unique to the trade center site — that arises when prominent architects are compelled to work together, one of them on a master plan for a complex, one of them on a building design within the complex.

Complicating matters is that while the Port Authority owns the 16-acre site, Mr. Silverstein is the long-term leaseholder. So the redevelopment process has long reflected the tension between the needs of the public and those of a commercial landlord who is expected to have at least $3.5 billion in insurance proceeds with which to finance reconstruction.

Mr. Libeskind's master plan for the site was chosen in February by the Port Authority and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation after an international competition that, at one point, included Skidmore. Seen around the world, the Libeskind concept, called Memory Foundations, showed an array of towers around the memorial area, rising to a 1,776-foot skyscraper at the northwest corner of the site, which Governor Pataki named the Freedom Tower.

In May, Mr. Silverstein said Mr. Libeskind would not actually design the Freedom Tower, though he promised that it would "reflect the spirit of Dan's site plan." Instead, he chose Mr. Childs, with whom he was already working on the 7 World Trade Center office building project across Vesey Street.

Two months later, the development corporation announced a "historic collaboration" on the tower between the Skidmore firm, which was to serve as "design architect and project manager," and the Libeskind studio, which was to be the "collaborating architect during the concept and schematic design phases" and a "full member of the project team."

What must be resolved, however, is the vital issue of whether the tower is meant to be a hybrid of distinctive ideas or a Skidmore, Owings & Merrill design that will be critiqued by Studio Daniel Libeskind.

A revised version of the Memory Foundations plan that was presented last month continued to show an asymmetrical, angular Freedom Tower with a side spire rising to a pinnacle.

Asked at the time whether the completed building would resemble his model, Mr. Libeskind replied, "Well, I'm an optimist."

Mr. Childs and Mr. Libeskind appeared together three weeks ago with three more architects whom Mr. Silverstein has brought into the project: Norman Foster, Fumihiko Maki and Jean Nouvel. "This is not an assault on Danny's talent," Mr. Childs said that afternoon, noting that the master plan always anticipated the participation of a number of architects.

This week, as efforts were going on behind the scenes to smooth over the differences between the architects, Mr. Libeskind gave a lecture about the design process at the National Building Museum in Washington.

"Look, I come from a Hasidic background," he said on Tuesday night. "I know forced marriages and they always worked for a long time."
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here's another article...

NY POST

LIBESKIND STORMS OUT IN WTC BATTLE

By WILLIAM NEUMAN

October 23, 2003 -- Ground Zero master planner Daniel Libeskind stormed out of a meeting about the design of the site's Freedom Tower, threatening to break up his collaboration with the project's lead architect, David Childs, sources told The Post.

After the Monday afternoon face-off, Libeskind also ordered several staffers working at Childs' Skidmore Owings & Merrill offices to pack up their equipment and leave - but at least two of them returned to work the next day.

Libeskind and Childs - the architect hired by WTC developer Larry Silverstein - have had an uneasy collaboration for months. But their differences came to a head this week - and in the aftermath, both sides were pointing fingers.

"Childs said, 'Take it or leave it; this is what we're building.' Libeskind said, 'This doesn't fit into the master plan, and that's not acceptable,' " said one source.

But other sources said it was Libeskind who delivered the ultimatum.

"The guy [Libeskind] stormed out. He wants to build his own building," said a source.


Libeskind wants a tower similar to the one in his original master plan, with an asymmetrical, skyscraping spire and antenna that evokes the raised torch of the Statue of Liberty.

Childs is working on a design that's markedly different, incorporating a 70-story office tower that's topped by an unoccupied, lattice-like structure that rises into the skyline.


Both architects have been working on designs that exceed the symbolic 1,776-foot height of Libeskind's original sketch.

Under pressure from development officials, the two agreed to work together last July, with Childs as the lead architect and Libeskind in a vague role as collaborator.

Officials downplayed the imbroglio and said they will bring the two together for another meeting tomorrow.

"It's a typical architectural back and forth," said a source. "They're actually getting close [to solving their differences]."

But another source said the architects' strongly contrasting visions could lead to a final falling-out.

Libeskind has never built a skyscraper before and is primarily interested with coming up with an abstract shape that meshes with his master plan, sources said. Childs has built numerous office towers.

Adding to the pressure on the two architects, Gov. Pataki is planning a major speech on the progress of lower Manhattan recovery for Oct. 30, and sources said he wants to point to their collaboration as a sign things are moving ahead.

One insider said Libeskind may be hoping the stand-off will persuade the governor to side with him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
NY POST

TOWER TURNAROUND

By WILLIAM NEUMAN

October 28, 2003 -- EXCLUSIVE

Daniel Libeskind's striking vision for a "Freedom Tower" at Ground Zero has morphed into a more conventional glass-and-steel office building attached to an angular spire, as shown by one of the architect's new drawings obtained by The Post.

Libeskind has been pushing this revised version of his tower design in a fight with trade center developer Larry Silverstein and his architect David Childs, who is the lead architect for the site's signature building.

At the urging of development officials, the architects are scheduled to meet today for the first time since Libeskind stormed out of a meeting with Childs last Monday, refusing to work on a different design.

Childs' design has not been made public.

The new rendering by Libeskind - one of several he is said to be working with - differs from earlier versions in that he leaves out the slashing diagonal lines that crisscrossed the face of the building in previous images.

Instead, Libeskind has pasted onto the tower's surface the sort of standard glass and steel "curtain wall" façade that can be found on many Midtown buildings.

A spire, evoking the raised torch of the Statue of Liberty, tops out at the symbolic height of 1,776 feet, but technical documents compiled by Libeskind say a broadcast antenna on "a single mast above the spire may extend to 2,100 [feet]."


In other modifications to Libeskind's tower, the Ground Zero planner has made the office building and spire part of a single structure. The technical documents obtained by The Post also describe "extensive areas of [the] spire without cladding," suggesting the upper section could also be made into an open framework.

Childs' building is said to be a symmetrical tower that twists and tapers as it rises, with 70 stories of offices. Above the occupied space the tower would turn into an open latticework framework that rises into the skyline.
 

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I love that cartoon....It is so true! I would not be surprised to find a ruler up Libeskind's ass after a meeting with Childs'!
 

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Here's Libeskind's latest rendering. We still haven't seen Childs's version.

Detail:
Floors: 88
Top of "building" section 1286 Feet
Top of "encolsed" space in the spire 1410 Feet
Top of "point" on spire 1776 Feet

 

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I don't know why, but that tower really appeals to me. It needs to rise taller though.
 

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The top of the "building" section is taller than the mast on the Empire State and only about 80 feet short of the WTC roof.

I'd like it to go taller too but everything considered (Silverstein) I'm pleased so far. :)

The design could still use some refinement though.
 

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I wish the glass part of the building would rise to the top of the spire and the spire would continue to 2,100 feet. Perfect!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Don't like it, it's a step backwards IMO.

This design is better than the new one:



Of course, I think we can do WAY better than anything being offered.
 

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I was showing my friend the designs and he said "I can shit better designs that those!" Funny stuff.....
 
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Why would you want to build a huge skyscraper were 2000+ people died ????
i think it should be made into a big park,
 

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Originally posted by Mr. Urban

Why would you want to build a huge skyscraper were 2000+ people died ????
i think it should be made into a big park,
First of all, we have to. It's in Manhattan and it is prime real estate. Something was going to go up whether we like the new thing or not. Second, it's the right thing to do. I know If I had died, I wouldn't want a park dedicated to me and others so for the reast of eternity, I could be mourned in the middle of the business capital of the world. People should move on, and rebuilding the Trade Center is proof. I think it is the biggest monument to the dead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Originally posted by S4dO

is this the real new rendering????
This is Libeskind's version of the Freedom tower, but he's not working alone, he's collaborating with David Childs and that design is expected to be released on December 15th.
 

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NYTimes December 10, 2003
More Revisions in Plans for New York's Tallest Tower
By DAVID W. DUNLAP

The nearly completed design for the signature tower at the World Trade Center site would recapture the title of world's tallest building for New York City without forcing anyone to work higher than 70 stories in the sky.

Gov. George E. Pataki, who effectively controls the rebuilding process at ground zero, will unveil the plan next week. It will bear little resemblance to the asymmetrical and angular design by Daniel Libeskind that has been in the public eye for almost a year. Instead, it is largely the work of David M. Childs, the architect for the tower's developer, Larry A. Silverstein.

Those who have seen the design of the Freedom Tower, as Mr. Pataki calls it, describe a torqued and tapering form culminating in an unoccupied, open-air structure filled with cables, trusses, antennas and — recalling the energy source that helped settle Lower Manhattan 350 years ago — windmills that may generate 20 percent of the electrical power needed by the building.

The 70-story occupied part of the Freedom Tower would rise 1,000 to 1,100 feet, more than 200 feet shorter than the twin towers. But the open-air structure would reach 1,776 feet, exceeding Taipei 101, which is being built on Taiwan, and would take the world's tallest title from the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which took it from the Sears Tower in Chicago, which took it from the trade center. The Freedom Tower's antenna would reach 2,000 feet.

This unusual hybrid would allow New York to "reclaim our skyline," the governor said in October, while acknowledging that most New Yorkers — 62 percent, according to a recent New York Times Poll — would not be willing to work in one of the higher floors of a new building at the trade center site.

What that leaves is a framework in which turbines can be installed to create a kind of vertical wind farm on the shores of the Hudson River.

"There is nothing about the technology that's unusual or experimental," said Ashok Gupta, the director of the air and energy program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, who has been advising state officials on environmental issues and has seen the plan. "It's the application of it which is different and new. We have the opportunity because we want to build a very tall tower and not occupy a large part of it."

Mr. Gupta said the idea of a building producing some of its own energy was particularly appealing given the history of the site. "What happened on 9/11 was indirectly and in part related to the fact that we get a large part of our energy from parts of the world that seem not to like us," he said.

"The word `freedom' is great," Mr. Gupta said. "For us, `freedom' means freedom from pollution, freedom from oil, freedom from global warming."

Mr. Gupta said the altitude of the building and its location close to the confluence of the Hudson and East Rivers might mean that the turbines would generate electricity at least 40 percent of the time. That might be enough, he said, to cover the base power demand — that is, the minimum needed overnight when most offices are closed — but nowhere near peak demand on a hot summer work day.

The windmills, like the 1,776-foot height and the building's torque and taper, seem virtually certain to be among the elements that the public will see next week. But the design of the open-air structure at the top, which will bear on its relationship to the four other office towers envisioned at the site, has yet to be resolved or approved by state officials.

Governor Pataki has set a deadline of Monday for receipt of the plan. He will be the ultimate arbiter, acting through the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the trade center property, and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which is charged with planning the site.

Asked yesterday about the status of the design, Matthew Higgins, the chief operating officer of the development corporation, said only, "We're excited by the progress, but more work remains to be done."

It seems safe to say that the design will keep changing until the last moment, given the tumultuous relationship between Mr. Libeskind, who is the master planner of the trade center site, and Mr. Childs, a partner in Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, who is working for Silverstein Properties.

However, enough is known with certainty about Freedom Tower that a number of people who have seen the plans were willing to discuss the project yesterday, most of them making anonymity a condition of doing so.

Until the governor announces the plan, no renderings of the building are likely to be made public. But it turns out that a conceptual forerunner of the Freedom Tower design was published Sept. 8, 2002, in an issue of The New York Times Magazine devoted to the past and future of the trade center site.

Drawing on a number of influences — including Isamu Noguchi, Buckminster Fuller and Frank Gehry — Guy Nordenson of Guy Nordenson & Associates, an engineer who is now working with Mr. Childs on the Freedom Tower, offered a torqued tower that would be "structurally sound, even at very great heights."

"An exterior structure of steel and an interior structure of concrete work together to resist both wind and gravity; the twisting of the entire form reduces the dynamic effects of the wind," said the caption for Mr. Nordenson's diagram, which showed a twisting building with a latticework top.

What it did not show — significantly — were the taper, the angled roof and the antenna that will characterize the Freedom Tower. The proportion of enclosed building to open framework is also markedly different.

But as a concept, it is closer to the Freedom Tower that Mr. Silverstein intends to build than the rendering by Mr. Libeskind that has been shown repeatedly in the year since he joined in the planning and design effort. (As late as last night, Mr. Libeskind's rendering still appeared on the Silverstein Properties Web site, in the "Development" category.)

Mr. Libeskind's plan was officially designated as the "design concept" for the trade center site in February 2003, more than six months after Mr. Nordenson's torqued tower was published.

Perhaps the biggest question in coming days will be the extent to which the new Freedom Tower design is seen as adhering to Mr. Libeskind's plan, which calls for the tallest building on the site to conjure and complement the Statue of Liberty, as well as crowning an ascending spiral of towers.

Neither Mr. Childs nor Mr. Libeskind would comment yesterday.
 

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It's now official, George Pataki has taken nearly full control of the WTC rebuilding process. Maybe I'm ranting too much, but his cowardice concerning the number of floors, his addiction to THE latticework, and obsession with political correctness (wind turbines on top of a skyscraper? :? ) is largely negative to the city, and the sooner he is forced out of office the better.
 

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I wouldn't exactly say that the turbines are negative to the city. And I don't think that having them is a "politically correct" idea. If anything it's actually an excercise in good planning. The original WTC towers required enough electricity to power a small city. I just hope that if they do it, they do it in such a way that they look attractive way up there.
 
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