BIG unveils plans for 2 World Trade Center
Designing such a prominent building - one with both functional and monumental value - always poses unique challenges. For Ingels, that challenge was creating something that naturally compliments Manhattan's existing skyline. The proposed building had to feel right at home besides the other WTC towers, while being a natural and harmonizing sight viewed from downtown. To achieve that, the studio took cues from the lofty blocks of Tribeca and fused that with the tall-standing glass facades of the WTC site.
The result is Manhattan's third tallest building as planned, spanning over 80 floors. Viewed from TriBeCa, 2 World Trade Center appears as a vertical village of singular buildings stacked on top of each other, complete with green areas throughout the exposed spaces. However, from the other side, the building will look unified, adapting to the diverse site of skyscrapers around it. The building is also aligned to Daniel Libeskind's Wedge of Light, preserving the view to St. Paul's Chapel from the Memorial Park.
As it is generally the case with BIG designs, 2WTC is planned with collaboration in mind. While each of the seven volumes will be costume tailored to the tenant's needs, the building will have numerous double-height staircases, creating continuos, open spaces. According to Ingels: “The new building will provide the physical environment for collaboration and idea sharing through the internal mix of open workplaces, amenities and informal meeting spaces.”
If all goes well for Murdoch, Silverstein and BIG, 2WTC could be completed by 2021 September 11, the 20th anniversary of the historic attacks. However, backlash is high against BIG's design on certain channels. Internet commenters are furious about the planned building, explicitly vocal about the planned asymmetry and lean of the structure. Many claim the original plan by Foster + Partners would be a better fit for the WTC. We will have to wait and see what Manhattan's fate will be.
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