The World Trade Center site development New York Ny Usa an architectural product or an allofapiece urban design 2002 due for completion in 2011

The political and design history of the innovative structural systems that collapsed World Trade Center as designed by Minoru under the impacts of the attack of 11 Yamasaki with Emory Roth and Sons as a September 2001. The proposal for the World consultant has been ably documented (e.g. Trade Center site after the devastation rep-Ruchelman, 1977). So too has its highly resents contemporary architectural spatial thought. It is, however, premature to present a case study of the redevelopment of the site as the timeline for completion now extends to 2011. Given the number of changes that have already taken place in the short period of the scheme's design history, the project's implementation is likely to be subjected to more as unforeseen technical problems arise and political attitudes shift. In addition, many problems, such as dealing with the climatic conditions of Lower Manhattan, have yet to be resolved. The proposal does, however, represent our contemporary concern with the architecture of globalization and individual rights.

The diverse controversies of how best to create what is essentially a large architectural and landscape architectural project in an urban environment displays the multitude and complexity of factors and emotions that come to play at the intersect of the traditional design fields and urban design work. The final product, as a set of buildings, links and places, will be both cluster of individual objects in space and have an impact on its surroundings. The goal is to link the development of the Trade Center site to a series of 'vibrant, mixed-use communities'. Its ultimate catalytic effect is difficult to assess at present.

The design for the site already has a complex history. Max Protech, an art dealer, almost immediately after the destruction of the twin towers took the initiative and asked leading architects to submit proposals. The resulting exhibition drew thousands of visitors and ensured that 'design quality' became an important consideration in any proposal for the site. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) in partnership with the Port Authority or New York and New Jersey has played a coordinating role. Their goal has been to have an 'open and inclusive' design process. In July 2002, the LMDC and Port Authority (with Bayer, Blinder, Belle and others as consultants) proposed six initial design elements for the development of the 16-acre (6.5-hectare site): a memorial plaza, a memorial square, a memorial triangle, a memorial garden, a memorial park and a memorial promenade. Two well-attended public hearings, an exhibit and the solicitation of comments resulted in over 12,000 responses. Some respondents wanted to keep the site empty but not rebuilding has not been a seriously considered option (Figure 8.50).

The LMDC and the Port Authority proceeded with selecting firms interested in doing the design for the site. Four hundred and six submissions were received of which seven teams were selected based on their perceived talents and reputations. Their charge was to create a 'soaring vision' for the site. Nine schemes were submitted and publicly exhibited drawing over a million visitors. After both a qualitative and quantitative analysis by the LMDC, the Port Authority and a number of consultants the number was reduced to two (the Memory Foundations scheme of Studio Daniel Libeskind and the World Cultural Center designed by THINK, a team led by Shingeru Ban, Frederick Schwartz, Ken Smith and Rafael Vinoly). The Mayor of New York and the Governor of the State of New York selected the scheme produced by Studio Daniel Libeskind as the winner in February 2003 overruling the jury selection of the THINK team proposal.

THINK proposed a cluster of facilities built around and above the footprints of the Trade Center towers. Two open lattice structures in their design were to have created a

Figure 8.50 Ground Zero: the World Trade Center site in May 2004.

base for soaring Towers of Culture. The transportation centre was located between the towers. The towers were proposed to rise from large reflecting pools that would allow light to penetrate into a retail and transit concourse. Shops were proposed for both the concourse and street levels to relate to and act as a seam with the surrounding community. A number of distinctive buildings would be designed by different architects: a Memorial, the 9/11 Interpretative Museum, a performing arts centre, an international conference centre, an open amphitheatre, viewing platforms and public facilities for education in the arts and sciences. Eight mid-rise office buildings and a hotel on the perimeter of the site were included in the programme in response to a perceived market demand.

The Libeskind design (with Gary Hack and Hargreaves Associates), 'Memory Foundations', unlike the World Trade Center, which had been an island, picked up on the grid pattern of Manhattan. It left a portion of the slurry wall exposed, as a symbol of strength, and included a memorial museum and cultural spaces, the 1776 feet (541 metres) with its spire tall 'Freedom Tower' (in form echoing the Statue of Liberty) as an element marking the spot of the terrorist act on the New York skyline and a variety of activity spaces below. A refined master plan was presented to the public in September 2003 (see Figure 8.51). It included commercial office space, retail development, its integration with the transportation network and public spaces and a new park. The new proposal replaced 1.34 million square metres of space in six buildings with 1 million in five, plus another million square metres of retail space and the same amount of space for a convention centre plus a September 11 Museum. The memorial forms the centre of the composition. An open competition was held for it drawing 5201 entries from professionals and lay-people. They ranged from

Figure 8.51 The refined Studio Libeskind master plan.

scaled down twin towers, to classical revival schemes, to parks.

The memorial commemorates the lives lost in the explosion of 26 February 1993 as well as those on 11 September 2001. The winning design, 'Reflecting Absence', selected by a jury headed by Vartan Gregorian formerly Director of the New York Public Library and including Maya Lin, Enrique Norton and David Rockefeller, is by Michael Arad, an Architect with the New York City Housing Authority assisted by Peter Walker, an internationally renowned landscape architect. It consists of two large voids containing pools with the ramps around them encompassing the footprints of the twin towers. The memorial is set in a field of deciduous trees, their coming into leaf each spring symbolizing the revival of spirit of

New York. The Arad/Walker design eliminates the wedge of light and a cultural building that formed part of Libeskind's original scheme. Different architects will design other elements of the overall scheme (Figure 8.52).

Santiago Calatrava, selected unilaterally by the Port Authority from potential consultants who responded to a solicitation of credentials, has designed the $US2 billion PATH terminal. The design has soaring wings and a cathedral like space. It represents both architecture as high art and the architecture of structural dexterity. It, like the memorial, is very different to the design in the Libeskind competition-winning scheme. For example, it is a freestanding object in space rather than an attached building making a street line. It will be joined to a new transit hub designed by

Figure 8.52 The project with the memorial in place as proposed in 2004. Battery Park city is on the left.

British high-tech architect Nicholas Grimshaw. It is hoped that this hub of transit lines will spur adjacent developments in much the way that the renovation of Grand Central Station did in mid-town Manhattan.

Much has changed and continues to change. As Libeskind had no experience in designing skyscrapers, the Governor of New York State, George E. Pataki, and the developer insisted that his firm work with

David M. Childs of SOM, an expert on office building design. Working independently of Libeskind and with Guy Nordeson, Childs produced a number of designs including a 2000-foot high tower. He was, however, forced by Pataki to adopt part of Libeskind's ideas. The Freedom tower design is now considerably 'fatter' than in the original garden-filled design. The resulting collaboration seems to have been reasonably well received. The tower is now essentially a generic 70-storey office building in plan, 1500 feet in height with a 276-foot mast above it.

After all the law suits over insurance payments brought by Larry A. Silverstein who acquired a 99-year lease of the site only 6 months before the towers were destroyed, the jurisdictional battles, and international design competitions - a messy process (although not atypically so) - a final design seems to have emerged. There is a street-bounded complex of:

1 the Freedom Tower to replace the World

Trade Center towers on the New York


2 a multi-tiered train station;

3 a public park and memorial to the victims of the 2001 attack.

In addition, four adjacent city blocks have been allocated to office towers. This design opens up the site to views of the Hudson River and the Winter Garden of Battery Park City. Unlike Battery Park City it is designed as a series of architectural objects in space in opposition to the existing street-building pattern of New York City.

What kind of urban design is this new development? Is it an urban design at all? The THINK proposal was clearly an all-of-a-piece design. The Studio Libeskind design is partly an all-of-a-piece urban design with some components being designed by others and independently plugged in. It can also be considered to be a scheme plugged into an existing urban fabric with transportation routes linking the site to subway and suburban train routes, ferries and the southern tip of Manhattan. The idea of what was once an overall urban design scheme seems to be getting broken down into fragments. Thus in some ways, it is a design in which the components are being built separately according to the Studio Libeskind master plan but subject only to standard New York building codes.

How much the design will change between now and the date of completion is open to conjecture. The present design is considerably different to Libeskind's winning scheme of February 2003. The design guidelines submitted by Libeskind and urban designer Gary Hack in November 2003 have had little binding power as the four major clients have not been able to agree on them. Thus the Memorial, the Freedom Tower, the PATH Terminal, etc. are proceeding in their own ways bound only by the new streets and blocks created as part of the scheme. The desire not to be another collaborative design like Rockefeller Center, as popular as that urban place is, will certainly be fulfilled.

Major references

Forgey, Benjamin (2004). World Trade Center plans, rising above the squabbles. Washington Post (Sunday, 18 April): 1. Goldberger, Paul (2003). Up form Ground Zero: Politics, Architecture and the Rebuilding of New York. New York: Random House. Knack, Ruth (2003). Up close at the World Trade

Center. Planning 69 (4): 11-13. Libeskind, Daniel (2004). Breaking Ground. London:

John Murray. Stratis, William (2004). World Trade Center — Memorial and Reconstruction Plans. Corte Madera, CA: Ginko.

Precincts: Urban Renewal

Many total urban designs such as the Barbican or Rockefeller Center can be regarded as urban renewal projects and in the 1960s many 'slum' clearance and mass housing schemes certainly were. The concern here is for the schemes that involved the all-of-a-piece development of an existing urban precinct under one aegis without wholesale demolition. Such urban renewal processes generally involve the selective acquisition of properties by a municipal agency using the government power of eminent domain, the accumulation of small parcels into larger ones, and the selling of the parcels to a number of property developers for redevelopment according to specified guidelines. Sometimes, however, it is a private developer who has organized the accumulation of sites.

The power of governments to lead such activities varies from country to country. Much depends on the laws specifying how land is owned and can be acquired. In democratic countries the government power to acquire land is very much restricted by law but in totalitarian countries it is absolute. In many places a laissez-faire attitude towards development prevails. The two examples included here, however, represent coordinated efforts to enhance the quality of urban precincts.

The first case study is of a superblock scheme and the second the upgrading of a traditional suburban downtown. The first, Charles Center in Baltimore, is important because not only did it show what can be done in American cities in crisis but also because it had a major catalytic effect on the development of central Baltimore. The second, Glendale in California, shows what can be achieved by a couple of tenacious people with a vision of what might be and the stamina required to push ahead to fulfil it. It is also part of a larger phenomenon.

Many metropolises during the last quarter of the twentieth century experienced the development of the new suburban downtowns or 'edge cities' (Garreau, 1991). These developments were spurred by changes in accessibility based on new highways in particular, but also subway systems and now, reputedly, e-mail. Some of them have involved the redevelopment of suburban shopping streets into major centres (e.g. Bethesda, Maryland, and Walnut Creek, California). Others have seen the intensification of existing suburban shopping malls until they have the mixed-use attributes, and even the density, of existing downtown centres. Glendale is an example of an all-of-a-piece transformation of a decaying suburban centre into a lively 'downtown'.

Major references

Frieden, Bernard J. and Lynne B. Sagalyn (1991). Downtown, Inc.: How America Rebuilds Cities. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Garreau, Joel (1991). Edge Cities: Life on the New Frontier. New York: Doubleday.

Melnick, Scott (1987). The urbanization of the suburbs. Building Design Construction 28 (3): 70-7.

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

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