After years of delays and nearly $4 billion in costs, One World Trade Center is officially open. Earlier today, about 175 Condé Nast employees walked past a scrum of reporters and into the SOM-designed tower where the media company has leased 24 floors. By early next year, Condé Nast is expected to have all of its 3,400 employees within the building. Still, less than 60 percent of the 1,776-foot-tall tower has been leased. A few hours after the Condé Nast employees arrived for work, AN went down to the World Trade Center site to check out One World Trade's lobby. The multi-story space is clad in white marble, which according to the New York Times, comes from the same quarry that was used when constructing the original Twin Towers. These expansive white walls are partially covered with artwork and colorful columns of light caused by sunlight passing through the lobby's translucent glass fins. The lobby connects to Calatrava's $4 billion Transit Hub through a subterranean passageway, and to the September 11 Memorial through a street-level entrance. One World Trade's observation deck, known as the One World Observatory, is expected to open this spring and will be accessible through a separate entrance on the lobby's western side. That entrance comes with a small public plaza which, as of today, looks like an afterthought as it is just an expanse of concrete and a few trees. The opening of One World Trade comes as the long-delayed, over-budget, 16-acre World Trade Center redevelopment continues to grow and connect into the city grid. The Maki-designed 4 World Trade Center is officially open, the final wings are being welded onto the Transit Hub, and Richard Rogers' stalled 3 World Trade Center is restarting its climb. At the same time, construction shedding is coming down and sidewalks are reopening, making the entire complex feel a little more concrete.
Posts tagged with "Four World Trade Center":
Archtober Building of the Day 4 World Trade Center 150 Greenwich Street Maki and Associates Located along the western edge of Memorial Plaza, 4 World Trade Center by Maki and Associates is part of the Studio Libeskind master plan for the World Trade Center being developed by Silverstein Properties. This weekend, Archtober crowds toured the building. The materials used throughout 4WTC bring the outside in—a black, polished Swedish granite wall brings a reference to the Memorial Plaza into the building’s lobby. The high feldspar content of the granite creates a stippling effect that softens and slightly abstracts this reflection. The glass used in the first-floor lobby is low in iron, rendering it incredibly clear, while the more reflective glass of the stories above emphasizes the building’s connection with the diagonally adjacent One World Trade Center. Sky Memory, a sculpture by the Japanese artist Kozo Nishino, is composed of lightweight titanium arcs that emerge from the black granite wall and, in a trick of the eye, reads as a full circle. Pure white Thassos marble along the north wall of the lobby stands in contrast to the black granite. It reappears in the core of the building, where three lobbies lead to a bank of elevators. These lobbies are clad in wood panels that were all harvested from a single Anigre tree. Coated with six layers of polyester and one of polyurethane, the panels reflect scenes of water, trees, and sky depicted in LED screens at the ends of the lobbies. After a quick, ear-popping elevator ride 57 stories up, we disembarked to breathtaking views. As Osamu Sassa, the project architect, pointed out, the notches that accentuate the corners of the building when viewed from a distance also double the number of coveted corner offices available on each floor. After a few minutes of snapping selfies, we reconvened on the terrace formed by the cutout in the building’s facade. One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the United States, did not seem quite as overwhelming from this vantage point. The Pavilion at Brookfield Place, with its grand lobby that we visited on Archtober 12, appeared diminutive by comparison. Cynthia Kracauer:
My bad. I missed the first hour of the tour led by Osamu Sassa and Mary Dietz. Sassa was the project architect for seven years for the many Maki projects in New York. Dietz represented Silverstein Properties. Archtober minions were out in force, so I will cede my blog space to those who actually enjoyed the presentation. Nonetheless, Benjamin and I had a wonderful post-tour conversation with Sassa. We both noted how much 4 WTC resembles the work of Edward Larrabee Barnes. Sassa had Barnes as a critic at the GSD, and expressed a reverence for him—and shared our sense that his contribution to the tropes of skyscraper design is under-recognized.
Cynthia Phifer Kracauer, AIA, is the Managing Director of the Center for Architecture and the festival director for Archtober: Architecture and Design Month NYC. She was previously a partner at Butler Rogers Baskett, and from 1989-2005 at Swanke Hayden Connell. After graduating from Princeton (AB 1975, M.Arch 1979) she worked for Philip Johnson, held faculty appointments at the University of Virginia, NJIT, and her alma mater.
Julia Cohen is the Archtober Coordinator at the Center for Architecture.
Earlier this week, AN went up to the 67th floor of the recently-opened 4 World Trade Center to get a progress report on the 16-acre redevelopment taking shape below. Inside the wide-open and raw space, Larry Silverstein, the site’s developer, told reporters that his vision for a new World Trade Center had finally become a reality. “I’ve gotten a bit of a reputation as a wild-eyed optimist,” he said in front of a wall of windows. “But even I have to admit that I didn’t see all this coming.” Noting that it had been 13 years since the attacks, he went on to refer to the anniversary as the site’s “bar mitzvah.” From high up in Fumihiko Maki’s celebrated 4 World Trade it’s easy to see how much has changed at the World Trade Center site over those 13 years—and how much still needs to get done. Looking straight down the tower’s western edge, you can see the pools of the 9/11 Memorial Plaza which opened in 2011 and the adjacent 9/11 Memorial Museum that came on-line three years later. Next to that is Calatrava’s bird-like transportation hub where workers could be seen busily welding on the structure's skeletal wings. That project is scheduled to open in the second half of 2015, years behind schedule and at a cost of nearly $4 billion. A few blocks north of the winged creature is 7 World Trade, the David Childs–designed building that opened in 2006 and is fully leased. Across Vesey Street is another Child's tower—the site’s centerpiece—the 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade. After years of delays, the building is expected to open some time this fall. As of now, the tower is about 60 percent leased. The same can be said for 4 World Trade. "I am both humbled and inspired by the process. It is never an easy process, and why should it be?" asked Daniel Libeskind, who crafted the site's masterplan. "This is New York City, there are so many stakeholders, so much to be done, and so much to think about." But there is obviously so much more to be done still—so many missing pieces in Libeskind's plan. Just this month, the board of the World Trade Center's performing arts center announced it had scrapped Gehry's decade-old design for the project. The board told the New York Times that is currently looking for a new architect to take over. And then there is Calatrava's other project at the site, the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which is still a few years off. While looking straight down from 4 World Trade shows how much has been rebuilt since 9/11, looking straight out reveals how much has not. The Midtown skyline that served as a backdrop for the event's speakers may have been impressive, but it was a blatant reminder of what has not been accomplished since the Twin Towers came crashing down. Because, at this point in the reconstruction process, employees in 4 World Trade Center shouldn’t have an entirely unobstructed view of Midtown—there should be two other glass towers in the way: 3 World Trade by Richard Rogers and 2 World Trade by Norman Foster. Silverstein said that the former should be completed by 2018, but as for 2 World Trade Center, it’s anyone’s guess. In a fact sheet distributed by representatives of Silverstein Properties, the tower's completion date is conspicuously left off.