Plan For WTC Site Selected

Feb. 26, 2003
Analysis of the Winning Innovative Design For the World Trade Center Site - Studio Daniel Libeskind Design
A complex of angular buildings and a 1,776-foot spire designed by architect Daniel Libeskind was chosen as the plan for the World Trade Center site by the LMDC.Libeskind's design beat the THINK team's "World Cultural Center" plan, which envisioned two 1,665-foot latticework towers straddling the footprints of the original towers. The new building is planned to be taller than the trade center towers, which briefly stood as the world's tallest at 1,350 feet. Libeskind's tower also would surpass Malaysia's 1,483-foot Petronas Twin Towers, the tallest buildings in the world. The choice was made by a committee with representatives of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the governor and the mayor. The committee met briefly on Wednesday afternoon and decided on the plan that was favored by Gov. George Pataki and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, according to a source close to the process. The Libeskind design is daringly imaginative and inspiring, honoring those who were lost while affirming the triumph of life, and signaling the rebirth of Lower Manhattan and its iconic skyline. Libeskind opens a portion of the “bathtub” of the World Trade Center site and exposes the great slurry walls that survived September 11th, creating a sacred place and sites for the memorial celebrating the resilience of the slurry wall.  A Museum sits at the epicenter of Ground Zero, which is also the entrance into the bathtub. New cultural facilities and a performing arts center are sited around the bathtub. The Libeskind plan fulfills the LMDC’s program, and provides flexibility for the phased development of a network of streets, open spaces, commercial and retail sites, a grand train station, public infrastructure and a memorial.  Fulton and Greenwich streets are revived and extended, connecting Tribeca with the neighborhood south of Liberty Street. To commemorate those lost lives, Libeskind creates two large public places along the Fulton Street corridor, the Park of Heroes and the Wedge of Light. Each year on September 11th between the hours of 8:46 a.m., when the first airplane hit and 10:28 a.m., when the second tower collapsed, the sun will shine without shadow, in perpetual tribute to heroism and courage.  An elevated Memorial Promenade encircles the memorial site.The skyline is restored by the tallest building in the world, with a towering spire of 1776 feet high, which includes "Gardens of the World.”  A phasing plan remarkable for its great flexibility ensures that surrounding development can be built over time and as the market and financing demand.  1,750 units of new housing are proposed south of Liberty Street to help grow this nascent residential neighborhood.Ø1. How well does the design provide an appropriate memorial setting? Excellent. Provides a thoughtful and appropriate approach to the memorial.·         Location(s) – below grade surrounding two footprints.  Requires further refinement to determine area required for truck and bus service and lateral stability for slurry walls.·         Accessibility – good.  escalators and elevators descending through interpretive museum.·         Relationship to tower footprints – footprints preserved within bathtub·         Context o        Fulton Street Wedge of Light funnels people to the Museum/Memorialo        Buildings and fountain insulate the memorial site from noise along Fulton and Greenwich Street. o        Below-grade location insulates the memorial site from Liberty and West Streetso        Liberty and West Street edges require additional refinementØ      2. How well does the design meet program requirements?·         Appropriate memorial site (size and location): yes·         new street grid: yes – Fulton & Greenwich·         21st century train station: yes·         distinctive skyline: yeso        Vertical World Garden = 1,776 ft.o        Encircling Memorial Promenade (including WFC in composition)·         sequence of parks and open spaces: many·         office space (6.5 to 10 million s.f.) – yeso        Parcel I – 2,200,000 s.f.o        Parcel II – 2,000,000 s.f.o        Parcel IIIa – 1,200,000 s.f.o        Parcel IIIb –2,000,000 s.f.o        Parcel V – 230,000 s.f.o        total – 7,630,000 s.f.·         active street level retail (600,000 to 1,000,000 s.f.) – needs additional modifications to enhance at-grade retail experienceo        below grade – 570,000 s.f. o        at grade – 285,000 s.f.o        above grade – 45,000 s.f.o        total – 900,000·         Conference Center + Hotel (600,000 to 1,000,000 s.f.) – meets program requirementso        700,000 s.f.·         Cultural spaces – meets program requirementso        museum – 180,000s.f.o        performing arts – 325,000 s.f.o        vertical garden – 24,000 s.f.·         Housing – 1,745,000 s.f. (1,750 units)Ø3. How well does it create practical street, block and development parcels?·         traffic flowo        pedestrian – excellent. Additional refinement of West and Liberty streets and Memorial Promenade walkway concept will occur in consultation with the LMDC and PA.o        vehicular – excellent·         retail continuity – good; setbacks along Church, Fulton, Greenwich can be refined to ensure street retail is emphasized.·         office floor plates  - goodo        Parcel I – 50,000, 21,000 or 17,000 s.f. (could be refined)o        Parcel II – 56,000 and 22,000 s.f. (could be refined)o        Parcel IIIa – 40,000 and 9,000 s.f.o        Parcel IIIb –50,000 and 27,000 s.f. (could be refined)o        Parcel V – 44,000 and 20,000 s.f.Ø4. How well does it support Mayor Bloomberg’s Vision for Lower Manhattan?·         Airport access: good·         Loop and Spine: Fulton Street is integral to the scheme, excellent design.·         Enhance two residential neighborhoods: Greenwich Street connects Tribeca and South of Liberty neighborhood; new housing south of Liberty Street.Ø5. How well does it connect with its surroundings?Excellent·         Tribeca: view corridors down West Broadway and Greenwich St.·         Battery Park City: Memorial Promenade is both a link for above grade pedestrians and a connection to the World Financial Center.·         South of Liberty: view corridors up Washington and Greenwich Streets.·         East of Church: Wedge of light and park at the end of Cortlandt Street + RR Station of Church Street tie the site with the Financial District.Ø6. How well does it allow for phased development over time?Excellent·         Phase 1: Underground, Greenwich, Fulton, Memorial, RR Station, Wedge of Light and Park of Heroes·         Phase 2: Parcels IIIa and IIIb (hotel, offices, retail)·         Phase 3: Parcel I (Garden Tower, offices, retail)·         Phase 4: Parcels II, Va, and Vb (offices, performing arts, hotel, housing, retail)Ø7. How effective is the addition to the public realm? How much does it cost?·         Streets: Fulton Street becomes a major focus of pedestrian activity.  Greenwich Street acts as a link between Tribeca and South of Liberty.·         Parks and Paved Plaza Area: multiple·         RR Station: dramatic Church Street site fronting on Fulton and Dey·         Cultural Institutions:o        museum – 180,000 s.f.o        performing arts – 325,000 s.f.o        vertical garden – 24,000 s.f.·         Public Realm:  $175-225 million (current year preliminary construction cost estimate only).  Includes public plazas and landscaped parks at grade, and the streets and sidewalks at Greenwich and Fulton streets.  Excludes memorial elements, below-grade infrastructure and private development.·         Additional items:  $105 million (current year preliminary construction cost estimate only).  Stabilization of slurry wall.Ø8. How marketable are the office and retail proposals?·         Officeo        Absorption: easy stagingo        floor plates: reasonable·         Parcel I – 50,000, 21,000 or 17,000 s.f. (can be modified if necess.)·         Parcel II – 56,000 and 22,000 s.f. (can be modified if necess.)·         Parcel IIIa – 40,000 and 9,000 s.f. (2 hotels)·         Parcel IIIb –50,000 and 27,000 s.f. (can be modified if necess.)·         Parcel V – 44,000 s.f.·         total office floor area: satisfies programo        Parcel I – 2,469,000 s.f.o        Parcel II – 2,335,000 s.f.o        Parcel IIIa – 2,235,000 s.f.o        Parcel IIIb –2,195,000 s.f.o        Parcel IV – 375,000 s.f.o        Parcel V – 2,035,000 s.f.o        total – 7,630,000 s.f.o        gross/net ratio: reasonable·         Retailo        below grade – 570,000 s.f. (can be modified if necess.)o        at grade – 285,000 s.f. (can be modified if necess.)o        above grade – 45,000 s.f.o        total – 900,000·         Hotel and Conference Center - OKØ9. Are there components that are unresolvable? No. additional refinement of memorial area within bathtub requiredØ10. How significant are the issues that can be resolved?·         Slurry walls need reinforcing. This can be solved by enhancing lateral stability through buttressing. ·         Below-grade infrastructure may require space in the bathtub above the PATH system, thereby modifying the available area for the memorial. ·         West Street bus and truck access require modification as does the central staging point for freight. The Port Authority’s preliminary work provides a complementary alternative that functions with the basic concepts of the Libeskind design.Ø11. What is the public response to the design?·         Of the favorable comments on the elements of the Studio Daniel Libeskind plan, 41% expressed support for the memorial context and setting.  Many felt Libeskind’s approach to the memorial was dramatic and powerful through his use of the slurry wall and the bathtub area.  Many supported the concept of being able to go down into the site and visit the footprints, while others appreciated having additional memorial experiences at ground level.      ·         Many also supported Libeskind’s “Wedge of Light” concept. ·         Another popular element was Studio Libeskind’s approach to restoring the skyline and incorporating nature and greenery using a vertical garden within a symbolic 1776-foot tower.  Nearly 30% of the positive comments expressed support for these elements.  Many felt the spire stood as an inspirational symbol, while at the same time providing a tall structure filling the Lower Manhattan skyline.  Others liked the “Gardens of the World.”  Sample public comments from comment cards, LMDC website, letters, e-mails and public hearings:·         “Libeskind’s proposal is clearly the most compelling - leaving the bathtubs raw yet incorporating commercial and retail space - hallowed and dramatic, yet full of reassertion of life and activity.  The garden tower is striking and contributes to the skyline.  The circular promenade is fantastic, viewing both the memorial below.”·         “Daniel Libeskind’s proposal is brilliant, elegant and a perfect solution.”·         “The plan is the most exciting architectural complex I have seen in years and would be a draw of great beauty and innovation for Lower Manhattan.”·         “Daniel Libeskind’s design has captured my imagination.  It is bold, complex, complete and visionary.  It captures the soaring and the grand vision that a future World Trade Center needs to encompass.”Statement on the Studio Daniel Libeskind plan from Community Board 1 Resolution dated January 21, 2003:“Successfully addresses many of the practical and emotional concerns presented by the project in a thoughtful and effective design.”

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