David M. Childs Portfolio of Architecture, Including One WTC

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One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center dominates the Lower Manhattan skyline in 2015
One World Trade Center dominates the Lower Manhattan skyline in 2015. Photo by Ben Hider/Getty Images Entertainment Collection/Getty Images (cropped)

American architect David Childs has had a long and productive career at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM). Certainly his most recognizable design is for the highest building in New York City.

About 1 WTC:

  • Height: 1,776 feet (including 408-foot spire), tallest building in the U.S.
  • Stories: 71 office floors; Public observation deck on floors 100 to 102
  • Footprint: same size square footprint as the original Twin Towers
  • Size: 3 million square feet of office space
  • Design: 200-foot concrete base surfaced with prismatic glass, beveled to eight, tall isosceles triangles, topped with a square, glass parapet
  • Construction: April 2006 to November 2014
  • Architectural Firm: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), architect David Childs

In the Words of the Architect:

"It's taken a decade, but frankly, that's not that long for a project of this scale." —2011 AIArchitect

"The Freedom Tower, now called 1 World Trade Center, has been more complicated [than Tower 7]. But we continue to be dedicated to the goal that the strength of the building's simple geometry as the vertical marker for that most important element—the Memorial—and the memory it evokes of the form of the missing towers will triumph, honoring those who lost their lives, filling the void torn in the downtown skyline, and verifying the steadfastness and endurance of our great nation."—2012 AIA National Convention

Learn More:

Sources:  ©2012 Silverstein Properties, Inc; ​Architects of Healing Videos, AIA website; "AIArchitect Talks with David Childs, FAIA," John Gendall, ​AIArchitect, 2011 [Websites accessed August 15, 2012]; One World Trade Center, The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey [accessed September 4, 2013]

More Designs by David Childs:

  • Bertelsman Tower at Times Square
  • Robert C. Byrd United States Courthouse
  • U.S. Embassy, Ottawa, Canada
  • Bear Stearns Building
  • AOL Time Warner Center
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Seven World Trade Center, 2006

Photo of skyscraper with colorful banner pronouncing 7 World Trade Center OPEN.
Opening Day at 7 World Trade Center, May 23, 2006. David Childs, architect. Photo by Spencer Platt ©2006 Getty Images

About Tower 7:

  • Location: 250 Greenwich Street, bound by Vesey, Washington, and Barclay Streets
  • Opened: May 2006 (first building to be rebuilt after 9/11 because it sits on a utility substation, which supplies electricity to Manhattan)
  • Height: 741 feet
  • Stories: 52
  • Size: 1.7 million square feet
  • Sustainable Design: "the first green commercial office building in New York City" according to Silverstein Properties; LEED certified
  • Construction Materials: reinforced concrete, steel superstructure, glass exterior skin
  • Architectural Firm: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), architect David Childs

In the Words of the Architect:

"...a client's role is as important a factor in a project as anything else, even, perhaps, moreso. I was fortunate in having Larry Silverstein as the owner of 7 World Trade Center, the third major building to fall and the first to be rebuilt. It would have been expedient for him to have asked that it be a copy of the old avowedly poor design but he concurred with me that that would be an abrogation of the responsibility we had been given. I hope you agree that together we were able to accomplish much more than many thought possible, ourselves included, under the constraints we faced at those first days. In fact, the new building now finished there established the goal of reinstating the original urban fabric that the Port Authority Yamasaki plan erased in the 1960s, and set a standard for art, landscape, and architecture for the work that was to come."—2012 AIA National Convention

Learn More:

Sources: 7 World Trade Center, ©2012 Silverstein Properties; Architects of Healing Videos, AIA website. Websites accessed August 15, 2012.

More Designs by David Childs:

  • Bertelsman Tower at Times Square
  • Robert C. Byrd United States Courthouse
  • U.S. Embassy, Ottawa, Canada
  • Bear Stearns Building
  • AOL Time Warner Center
03
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Bertelsman Tower at Times Square, 1990

Photo of modern glass skyscraper rising from the street level neon of Times Square in NYC.
Bertelsmann Tower at Times Square, 1540 Broadway, New York City. Photo ©Jorge Láscar, December 2010, CC BY 2.0, flickr.com

About the Bertelsman Building in NYC:

  • Other Names: 1540 Broadway
  • Stories: 44
  • Design: mostly column-free center core, maximizing office space
  • Architectural Firm: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), architect David Childs

Learn More About David Childs And His Work:

  • One World Trade Center
  • Seven World Trade Center
  • Robert C. Byrd United States Courthouse
  • U.S. Embassy, Ottawa, Canada
  • Bear Stearns Building
  • AOL Time Warner Center
  • David M. Childs, SOM Design Partner

Source: Property Profile, 1540 Broadway, Managed by CBRE [accessed September 5, 2012]

04
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U.S. Courthouse, Charleston, West Virginia, 1998

Photo of square building of multiple stories, dignified federal government building in West Virginia
The Robert C. Byrd United States Courthouse, Charleston, West Virginia, designed by David Childs. Photo courtesy of U.S. Dept. of Justice

About the Federal Building in WV:

  • Other Names: Robert C. Byrd United States Courthous (U.S. Senator Robert Byrd from West Virginia was the longest serving senator in history.)
  • Size: city-block sized
  • Design: linear, low-rise; small columns appropriately dignified for a smaller city
  • Awards: General Services Administration (GSA) National Design Competition Award, 1999
  • Architectural Firm: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), architect David Childs

Learn More About David Childs And His Work:

  • One World Trade Center
  • Seven World Trade Center
  • Bertelsman Tower at Times Square
  • U.S. Embassy, Ottawa, Canada
  • Bear Stearns Building
  • AOL Time Warner Center
  • David M. Childs, SOM Design Partner

Sources: Design Awards Recognize Courthouses At Heart of Cities at http://www.uscourts.gov/News/TheThirdBranch/99-11-01/Design_Awards_Recognize_Courthouses_At_Heart_of_Cities.aspx, November 1999 [accessed September 5, 2012]

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U.S. Embassy, Ottawa, Canada, 1999

Photo of long, glass building, the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Canada
The U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Canada, April 2006. Photo © Michelle Walz, CC BY 2.0, flickr.com

About the U.S. Embassy in Canada:

  • Size: 13,7983 square feet (12,819 square meters)
  • Design: A "plinth" stone base provides continuity and unity to the uneven terrain of the site; a center tower provides light and circulation to the interior
  • Example of Appropriate Architecture: Designed for this setting to suitably function as an embassy
  • Architectural Firm: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), architect David Childs

Learn More About David Childs And His Work:

  • One World Trade Center
  • Seven World Trade Center
  • Bertelsman Tower at Times Square
  • Robert C. Byrd United States Courthouse
  • Bear Stearns Building
  • AOL Time Warner Center
  • David M. Childs, SOM Design Partner

Sources: Frequently Asked Questions and Design Philosophy, David Childs, Embassy of the United States, U.S. Department of State website [accessed September 5, 2012]

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Bear Stearns, New York City, 2001

Photo of David Childs' designed skyscraper for Bear Stearns in New York City.
David Childs' designed Bear Stearns building, 383 Madison Avenue, New York City, in December 2005. Photo ©C R, CC BY-SA 2.0 on flickr.com

About the Bear Stearns Building in NYC:

  • Other Names: 383 Madison Avenue; JP Morgan Chase (since 2008 takeover of Bear Stearns)
  • Height: 757 feet
  • Stories: 45
  • Size: 1.2 million square feet
  • Design: Octagonal tower, rising from an eight-story-high square base. A 70-foot glass crown is illuminated from within after dark.
  • Construction Materials: Granite and glass
  • Sustainable Design: Energy Star Labeled Building ("Exterior glass is heavily insulated, helping to minimize thermal gain in the summer, and loss of heat in colder weather. In addition, variable frequency drives (VFDs) on all of the building's air handling units allow their operation to closely track actual demand. This demand is in turn managed, in season, through the use of the outside-air economizer features of the building's climate control systems. These systems allow free cooling when outside conditions permit. Additionally, a sophisticated Building Automation System allows property managers to monitor and control the operation of energy consuming equipment as needed.")
  • Architectural Firm: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), architect David Childs

Learn More About David Childs And His Work:

  • One World Trade Center
  • Seven World Trade Center
  • Bertelsman Tower at Times Square
  • Robert C. Byrd United States Courthouse
  • U.S. Embassy, Ottawa, Canada
  • Time Warner Center
  • David M. Childs, SOM Design Partner

Sources: SOM Project: 383 Madison Avenue, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) Website at http://www.som.com/project/383-madison-avenue-architecture; ENERGY STAR Labeled Building Profile, energystar.gov Website of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. Websites accessed September 5, 2012.

07
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AOL Time Warner Center, 2004

Architect David Childs designed the Time Warner Center Twin Towers well before 9/11/01
Architect David Childs designed the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle near Central Park well before the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11/01. Photo by Snap Decision/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

About the Time Warner Center:

  • Location: Columbus Circle, New York City
  • Height: 750 feet (each tower)
  • Stories: 53
  • Size: 149,350 square feet site area; 2,800,000 square feet project area
  • Design: twin skyscrapers, connected at the base
  • Architectural Firm: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), architect David Childs

Learn More About David Childs And His Work:

  • One World Trade Center
  • Seven World Trade Center
  • Bertelsman Tower at Times Square
  • Robert C. Byrd United States Courthouse
  • U.S. Embassy, Ottawa, Canada
  • Bear Stearns Building
  • David M. Childs, SOM Design Partner

Source: SOM Project: Time Warner Center, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) website at www.som.com/project/time-warner-center [accessed September 5, 2012]