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Stacked boxes, BIG steps to final WTC Tower

Stacked boxes, BIG steps to final WTC Tower

By ROB McMANAMY | June 14, 2015

As a young architect, it's no small feat to have your name attached to just one of the world's most prominent projects, let alone two. But to do so at the same time, well, that's BIG.

Such is the extraordinary run currently being enjoyed by 40-year-old Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, founder of Copenhagen-based Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). Earlier this year, his firm made headlines when it teamed with London-based Heatherwick Studio on the game-changing design of Google's sprawling, new headquarters in Mountain View CA.

While that concept continues to evolve on the West Coast, BIG last week raised eyebrows again with a similarly eye-opening effort 3,000 miles to the East. Its unorthodox, staircase design for 2 World Trade Center is the next and final piece of the $16-billion redevelopment of Lower Manhattan's Ground Zero site. Below, watch Ingels introduce his vision for the 81-story tower, followed by the description released by developer Silverstein Properties. Hopefully, its construction cost will come in under the roughly $4 billion apiece already spent on both the 1WTC tower and the still-unfinished, adjacent subway station. Either way, the schedule currently calls for the tower to be completed in time for the 20th anniversary of 9/11 in 2021.

P R E S S  R E L E A S E

(NEW YORK CITY - JUNE 11) -- The final component of the revitalization of Lower Manhattan, 2 World Trade Center is the capstone in the redevelopment of the World Trade Center. Located at 200 Greenwich Street and bounded by Church Street to the east, Vesey Street to the north and Fulton Street to the south, the tower will rise to 1,340 feet, respectfully framing the 9/11 Memorial Park alongside 1 WTC, 3 WTC and 4 WTC.

As envisioned by BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), the design of 2 WTC is derived from its urban context at the meeting point between two very different neighborhoods: the Financial District, with its modernist skyscrapers, and TriBeCa, with its lofts and roof gardens. The design combines the unique qualities of each, melding high-rise with low-rise and modern with historical. From the 9/11 Memorial, the building appears as a tall and slender tower, just as its three neighboring towers, while the view from TriBeCa is of a series of stepped green terraces. 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.

BIG Steps: Skyscraper's stepped green terraces are intended to evoke nearby TriBeCa's lofts and roof gardens.        

BIG Steps: Skyscraper's stepped green terraces are intended to evoke nearby TriBeCa's lofts and roof gardens.        

                                                  Images courtesy of Silverstein Properties and BIG.

                                                  Images courtesy of Silverstein Properties and BIG.

The 81-story building will serve as the new headquarters for 21st Century Fox and News Corp. They will occupy the lower half of the tower, housing their subsidiary companies and more than 5,000 people under one roof. The needs and requirements of the media company and other tenants are concentrated into seven separate building volumes, each tailored to their unique activities. The upper half of the tower will be leased by Silverstein Properties to other commercial office tenants. The volumes of varying sizes and depths are stacked on top of each other from the largest at the base to the smallest towards the top. The stacking creates 38,000 sf of outdoor terraces full of lush greenery and unprecedented views of the surrounding cityscape, extending life and social interaction outdoors. The modernist skyscraper and the contemporary interpretation of the pre-modern setback merge in a new hybrid and an exciting addition to the NYC skyline.

The base of the building utilizes the maximum area of the site, housing TV studios and 100,000-sf of retail space over multiple levels. The 38,000-sf lobby is connected to the WTC transit hub, providing direct access to 11 subway lines and PATH trains. A public plaza at the foot of the building and access to 350,000-sf of shopping and restaurants in the adjacent transportation hub and concourses will ensure life and activity in and around the new World Trade Center.

Once completed, 2 WTC will provide the physical environment for collaboration and idea sharing through the internal mix of open workplaces, amenities and informal meeting spaces. Large stairwells between the floors form cascading double-height communal spaces throughout the headquarters. These continuous spaces enhance connectivity between different departments and amenities, which include basketball courts, a running track, a cafeteria and screening rooms. The amenity floors are located so they can feed directly out onto the roof top parks.

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