While I hesitate to get into 9/11 details, I would argue that considering the twins did not ‘tip over’ but rather plunged vertically into their own footprints, I doubt that a leaning tower would trigger 9/11 imagery for most people.
Full disclosure; I much prefer the Foster design for aesthetic reasons alone. I like the proportions and think the diamonds are iconic and unique.
BPC, you’re right that the towers didn’t tip over, even if 2/South tower fell asymmetrically.
The issue to me is that BIG’s design looks unstable (even if it isn’t) and implies a braggadocio I don’t think its earned or is warranted for the area. It says “I can do what I want structurally” in a neighborhood associated with a major structural failure that resulted in a lot of death and suffering. Even if BIG’s design is impressive I don’t think its classy. Its the arrogant Johnny-come-lately of WTC.
I think the very same thing whenever anyone mentions that about Bjarke’s tower.
I prefer the desing of BIG, but the base of the tower looks very fragile, starting thin, defying gravity. This may give some kind of fear to some people, even not understanding of engineering, the desing of the impression that it is easier to BIG tower crashes than the others around
Never liked the diamonds at the top of Foster’s design. They’re higgledy piggledy.
I love both designs. I want this to rise. By contrast, if the design were to look like 50 HY, I would not want it to be built, and I’d advocate for a park to be built there instead.
I may be in the minority on this forum but I do see the “tumbling blocks” of the BIG proposal as, at a minimum, tasteless and indicitave that Bjarke doesn’t understand or care about his context.
But I’ll set that aside. This tower is interesting and I wouldn’t mind it standing on its own. However I think it clashes horribly with the rest of the site — the notion that the jagged cantilevers is supposed to create a matching, parallel slope with the chamfered corners of 1 WTC, for instance, is a bad joke.
Moreover it defies some basic conventions of skyscraper aesthetics, and not in an exciting or positive way. For instance, because the top segment after the last setback is shorter than the segments below, it appears to be “sagging” instead of soaring when viewed from the north. A very simple design tweak would be to make each successive segment taller than the last.
I’ve long preferred Foster’s design but it’s feeling increasingly dated. My preference would be to ditch both designs and go back to the drawing board, with an exceedingly tall design that becomes the new focus of the site. <1300 foot office towers are becoming the new normal, especially with the Midtown East rezoning, and I believe WTC should be special, shooting for more impressive than normal.
The master plan was designed for 1 WTC’s pinnacle to be the focal point, but just sketching in a massing shows me that the master plan works just as well if not better with a megatall in 2 WTC’s location.
No dispute there. But even if there is a chance of a negative impression by at least some people, especially families etc, why do it this way when you have so many other design options that avoid that possible issue altogether?
Agreed. And it’s not like it’s some incredible or beautiful design. It is a meh design. Blockish towers might have been special or eyecatching 20 years ago but it is so common now that it isn’t even interesting anymore.
There is still lingering wariness of working here. Just look at the unrented space still at 1WTC, even after opening for almost 5 years now. A design that makes people think, even subconsciously, about its structural integrity is already a fail. The design instead should impart strength and make potential occupants feel safe and secure.
There have been many people who claim offense at every stage of the WTC development and downtown revival. No decision will satisfy everybody, really, and I think Larry is mainly focusing on trying to rent this space more than symbology or aesthetics
Those are good points, and I would totally support the massing you’ve drawn. But it’s never going to happen, given the enormous financial costs of such a building.
BIG is pretty ugly. I think most of us agree on that. Foster is slightly more classy and solemn to fit its context. But the floorpans of BIG are a little more exciting for potential tenants than the very 20th century Foster design, and it seems that that is the angle Silverstein is working from
I especially agree about the poor design with the height of the ascending blocks decreasing rather than increasing. Just that alone could vastly improve the look of the tower.
I think 1 WTC has done pretty awesome in terms of leasing. There are only 9 full floors unoccupied out of the 70 office floors. Not bad at all given the history of the site and with how massive the tower is. 4 WTC is completely leased along with 99% of 7 WTC. 3 WTC is almost half fully leased after only being open for the past 8 months. The Trade Center is doing just fine.
I agree completely but if Larry can’t even get an anchor for a 1300 ft tower after all these years he’s definitely not gonna build any higher.
In fact, if built on spec, I’d expect a height chop. And BIG’s design is so juvenile that you have to ask: would it really matter to the aesthetics if you just lobbed one of his stupid boxes off the top of it?
I’m not sure that people are worried about the safety so much as how ‘cool’ it is compared to midtown west or along the Hudson, or how convenient it is compared to Penn or GC districts.
There’s also a ton of tourists around the memorial, and enough rifle-toting PAPD to give the area a sort of dystopian police state vibe. As a frequent passer-by, I find the atmosphere lively, safe, and respectful, but to some potential tenants it may seem unusual in a way that’s off-putting.
As Strongisland said, the area is still doing incredibly well. Remember that even one vandy is barely half full. There are prestigious tenants at WTC like Conde Nast, Moodys, McKinsey, Spotify, and GroupM who seem committed to their space for the long term.
it would matter to the skyline because it would ruin the staircase effect which is supposed to bridge the gap between One and Three. If they were considering a height cut they would have already built it already and been done with it. I believe the reason they are waiting so long is so that they can wait until they can afford the full height to make the master plan work.
Didn’t they chop 3’s height down a bit?
I think you are giving them (Silverstein) more credit for staying loyal to the staircase effect than they really are. At this point, if they got a tenant for tower 2 that wanted them to stray from the spiral effect, they’d do it without a second thought.
The base isn’t just a block like the 6 blocks above it, it’s space it bigger to provide more strength
just putting my vote for Foster’s design. It may be my poor taste, but I find the BIG just ugly.
I think 3 went from 1250” with spires to 1180” with spires, and then 1080” after the spires were gutted.
That’s the thing I don’t want to happen here but know it will. I prefer either tower that is built be constructed to 1350”+ to at least restore some of the presence that the twins had.
Watch us end up with Foster’s 2WTC with a height chop and the diamonds lobbed off. Perfect combination of architectural torture and value engineering that permeates this site.
I have faith in Larry 3, 4, and 7 WTC look great.