BIG Plans for 2 World Trade Center

01
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Ground Zero Gets Another New Look in 2015

Rendering of 2WTC exterior designed in 2015 by Bjarke Ingels Group, showing box-like steps or setbacks
Rendering of 2015 Design for 2WTC by Bjarke Ingels Group. Press image © Silverstein Properties, Inc., all rights reserved.

In April 2015, news organizations like The Wall Street Journal were reporting that Rupert Murdoch and his Fox media empire may take over space at Ground Zero. The construction of Tower 2 had stalled at its foundation because of a lack of tenants. With a lease commitment, however, developer Larry Silverstein could move ahead with rebuilding Lower Manhattan.

And then, in June 2015, plans and renderings were publicized by Silverstein and the architect, the Bjarke Ingels Group, known as BIG.

BIG? What happened to the announced architect of 2WTC, Norman Foster? Foster + Partners had 2 World Trade Center Plans and Drawings conceptualized in 2006. Why new ideas by the Danish starchitect Bjarke Ingels?

02
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2015 Site Plan for Lower Manhattan Redevelopment

2015 Site Plan for Ground Zero, Showing Towers 1,2,3,4 and 7 surrounding the Memorials
Site Plan for Rebuilding Ground Zero, Updated in 2015. Press image © Silverstein Properties, Inc., all rights reserved.

The 2015 press release for the new 2WTC design says "The building is aligned along the axis of World Trade Center Master Planner Daniel Libeskind’s ‘Wedge of Light’ plaza to preserve the views to St. Paul’s Chapel from the Memorial park."

The spooky astronomics of the controversial plaza seem to be in tact. Learn more about the Wedge of Light from this YouTube video.

Source: "200 GREENWICH STREET / 2 WTC BUILDING FACTS" press release by Silverstein Properties, Inc (PDF) [accessed June 9, 2015]

03
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Rendering of Towers at Ground Zero in 2015

Publicity rendering of 2015 design for 2WTC in context with other towers rebuilding Ground Zero
Rendering of Towers 1, 2, 3, and 4 Surrounding 9/11 Memorial Park. Press image © Silverstein Properties, Inc., all rights reserved.

In 2015, this image is still a rendering. The middle two buildings are conceptual and not actually built, although 3 World Trade Center is under construction and scheduled to be completed in 2018. The new design offered in 2015 is for Tower 2, the second skyscraper in this group. Architect Norman Foster's sketch for 2 World Trade Center back in 2006 is far different than the one offered here by the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG).  The 2015 design is stepped blocks, with the setbacks pointed away from Michael Arad's National 9/11 Memorial pools.

On the far left is the David Childs designed One World Trade Center, completed in 2014. On the far right is the Fumihiko Maki designed Four World Trade Center, which opened in 2013.

 

04
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Terraces of Green

Rendering of garden terraces on setbacks of 2WTC designed by Bjarke Ingels Group
Rendering of garden terraces on setbacks of 2WTC designed by Bjarke Ingels Group. Press image © Silverstein Properties, Inc., all rights reserved.

A wonderful part of the 2015 design offered as 2 World Trade Center is the green terrace areas integrated into the skyscraper. The Bjarke Ingels Group, architects for the redesign, intended to meld a high functioning skyscraper facade facing Ground Zero and New York's financial district with terraced green spaces facing toward the rooftop gardens found in Tribeca.

The stacking design of Tower 2 will create 38,000 square feet (3,530 square meters) of outdoor terraces, with views of the City that should be highly marketable office space. The floors with terraces may also be used as communal "amenity floors" for all office dwellers.

Basketball anyone? The Accounting Department takes on Human Resources....

Source: "200 GREENWICH STREET / 2 WTC BUILDING FACTS" press release by Silverstein Properties, Inc (PDF) [accessed June 9, 2015]

05
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What will the lobby look like in the 2015 design for 2WTC?

2015 rendering of interior lobby, Bjarke Ingels Group designed 2WTC
What would the lobby look like in the 2015 2WTC designed by Bjarke Ingels Group?. Press image © Silverstein Properties, Inc., all rights reserved.

The position of 2WTC is ideal for the commuter—eleven subway lines and PATH trains meet under the transportation hub right next door. Tower 2 will have grand views of Santiago Calatrava's WTC Transportation Complex, an imposing bird-like structure that visually draws the casual passerby to Ground Zero.

The 2015 BIG design for 2WTC will have a 38,000 square foot (3,530 square meters) lobby that is directly connected to the transportation hub. A concourse of restaurants and retail stores will make this area a destination.

Source: "200 GREENWICH STREET / 2 WTC BUILDING FACTS" press release by Silverstein Properties, Inc (PDF) [accessed June 9, 2015]

06
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Client-Centered Design - Attracting Tenants to Tower 2

Rendering of Fox News Studio Inside 2WTC Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group
Rendering of Fox News Studio Inside 2 WTC Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group. Press image © Silverstein Properties, Inc., all rights reserved.

When I heard that media mogul Rupert Murdoch was to be the major tenant to get 2WTC off the ground, I understood why Norman Foster's 2006 design was dumped in favor of the 2015 skyscraper designed by Bjarke Ingels.

First, I remembered an article in The New Yorker that told the story of Norman Foster taking over a building that Ingels had begun in Kazakhstan. "Ingels heard that Foster + Partners was constructing a new library on BIG’s foundations" reported Andrew Rice. The incident sounded revengefully close to Ingels building on Foster's foundation for Tower 2.

Second, I thought about the enormous Tower that Norman Foster built atop the 1928 Hearst Building (view image from Emporis). William Randolph Hearst was the Rupert Murdoch of his day, and there is no way that Murdoch wants to be confused with the Hearst Empire—one architect per media mogul, please.

The new design for 2WTC makes sense in a socio-economic way, even if it makes little sense as a "better" design.

Learn More:

Source: "200 GREENWICH STREET / 2 WTC BUILDING FACTS" press release by Silverstein Properties, Inc (PDF) [accessed June 9, 2015]

07
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Envisioning Something There, in Lower Manhattan

Rendering of Bjarke Ingels Group 2015 design of 2WTC as seen from Tribeca
Rendering depicts what 2WTC designed by Bjarke Ingels Group would look like from Tribeca, looking south toward Freedom Tower. Press image © Silverstein Properties, Inc., all rights reserved.

The architect of the newly designed 2WTC, also known as 200 Greenwich Street, was intent on bringing the feel of Tribeca to New York's financial district. This is the view he proposes as Ground Zero Gets Another New Look in 2015.

About 2 World Trade Center:

Location: 200 Greenwich Street, New York City
Architect: BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)
Height: About 80 stories (about 1,340 feet or 408 meters)
Design Concept: 7 boxes, each about 12 stories high, but with different lengths—stacked not as a pyramid, but as an early New York City art deco ziggurats skyscraper with a dramatic one-sided setback required by zoning regulations
Estimated Completion: September 11, 2021

Source: "200 GREENWICH STREET / 2 WTC BUILDING FACTS" press release by Silverstein Properties, Inc (PDF) [accessed June 9, 2015]