Almost five years after the original events of September the 11th demolished most of the World Trade Centre complex in New York, eagerly awaited plans have been finally released for three of the neighbouring buildings to the now under construction Freedom Tower designed by a trio of the world's top architects just in time for the fifth anniversary of the original disaster.
It's only been in the previous few months that work has finally ratcheted up on the Freedom Tower into something substantial on-site. The project is now about to take another major leap forwards that now leaves only the Tower 5 plot of the World Trade Centre with a publicly unannounced design.
Leading the pack are Foster and Partners with the 382 metre / 1254 feet tall 78 floor 200 Greenwich Street. The basement level is to be linked to the WTC Transit hub and provide 3500 square metres of retail. This continues over the lower floors which will contain 9,000 square metres of retail above street level with offices only starting 177 metres up the tower. Beginning with an office lobby of 20 metres, this commercial area will total about 213,000 square metres with a typical floor-size of 3,344 square metres. There will also be four huge trading floors of 5000 square metres.
Resembling a cruciate and designed to represent a diamond, the top inclines to provide a visual marker with the nearby memorial site. The crystalline form has indentations running up all four sides of it providing a visual break up of what would otherwise be sheer uninterrupted surfaces.
The sloping roof is topped by an 80 feet / 24.3 metre tall spire but even without this the building is taller than the Empire State Building making it the second tallest in New York.
Richard Rogers has planned 175 Greenwich Street on the site next door to 200 Greenwich Street. The 71 floor building will reach 352 metres / 1155 feet above ground level and when finished will be New York's fifth tallest. The 200,000 square metres of offices will be contained on 54 floors plus 5 trading floors whilst the ground floor and two storeys either side will contain retail.
Set at in almost square dimensions of 61 x 60 metres, it features typical Rogers design with functionalist diamond shaped cross bracing and the visual expression of the structure that provide integrity to the building whilst allowing the corners to be free of columns and creating a 360 degree view.
The third building has been worked on by Maki and Associates, the only non Brit in the pack. This 61 floor tower will be 287 metres / 947 feet high. The 53 floors of offices within will have 170,000 square metres of space whilst once more the ground floor, two floors below and three floors above, will have retail.
Unlike the previous buildings this one already has an anchor tenant in the form of the Port of New York Authority who plan on taking two thirds of the office space within the building.
The lower floors are set out in a parallelogram that then steps back into a trapezoid on the top 20 levels and orientated to face the Freedom Tower.
This building is drawn in complete contrast to the other two with a simple minimalist form. Clad in clear double-skinned glass that surrounds a perforated mesh metal pattern the idea is that the effect of light will be diffuse on the surface creating a light airy structure that reacts positively with light no matter what the time of day.
Stepping down progressively from the Freedom Tower to the Foster one, through to Rogers and finally to Maki, all three of the new buildings are arranged around the eastern boundary of the site overlooking the planned memorial park.
These 150 and 175 Greenwich Street are both scheduled for a 2007 construction although there is yet to be a firm date on when the tallest, 200 Greenwich Street, will begin. Developer, Silverstein Properties, plans on having all three of these newly announced buildings finished for occupation by 2012.
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