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By the end of September, as the debate began to stir over what would become of the devastated lower portion of Manhattan, Protetch had begun asking many of the world's top architects to contribute to one of the most important and provocative architecture and design shows in recent history. The result was a unique combination of proposals from a diverse group of architects that included sketches from the late Samuel Mockbee, a proposal for a multiuse, multicultural cathedral from Paolo Soleri, Daniel Libeskind's ideas for a memorial structure, and Zaha Hadid's vision for the future of high-rise architecture. A New World Trade Center is an extraordinary display of creativity in thought and design that considers the future of lower Manhattan from myriad perspectives -- serving at once as a powerful remembrance of lives lost and a catalyst to the debate on rebuilding downtown Manhattan.
Balthazar Korab began working as Minoru Yamasaki's photographer in 1958, and was in close design consultation with him. He documented the World Trade Center project's development from its inception in 1962 through the completion of the building. Korab studied architecture in Hungary and France, and worked with Frank Lloyd Wright, Eero Saarinen, and Le Corbusier as an architect in the 1950s. He was awarded the AIA Medal for Architectural Photography in 1964.
Celebration of a Forward-Looking Spirit
In 1962, after considering several other architects to design the World Trade Center, the New York Port Authority chose Minoru Yamasaki and a great celebration took place in Troy, Michigan. I was there, and followed the development for the next fifteen years. I was witness and part of the tireless effort of the study, beyond my role as Yamasaki's photographer. The hundred or so schemes were slowly narrowed down to the two-tower, five-acre plaza that would be built. The heroic dimensions were adopted after long soul searching, projecting a symbolic monument for a new millennium that was to lead to world peace through global trade. This leap of faith met with a mixed reception from the critics. But with the passing years the Twin Towers became an essential feature of New York's skyline, reminding us of the gradual acceptance of the Eiffel Tower by the Parisians. The World Trade Center generated new energies, new life for Manhattan's downtown. Those energies grew to universal strength as a response to the September 11 tragedy. Undefeated, New Yorkers and the whole world rallied, showing solidarity in fighting the criminal calamity of terrorism.
Iam proud to be a part of Max Protetch's initiative to celebrate a forwardlooking spirit by inviting architects to present their visions for Ground Zero.
1100 Architect is the New York-based firm of David Piscuskas and Juergen Riehm. Since the practice was founded in 1983, their work has demonstrated a contemporary sensibility that is at once elegant, sophisticated, and inviting. The skillful use and manipulation of light and unexpected use of materials for which 1100 is recognized are continually at play in the varied projects undertaken by the firm. Within this fluent language, the architects forgo preset conclusions in order to serve each project, "whether free-standing construction, renovation, or the development of raw environment," through its own process of discovery. Key projects include the AIA-awarded Little Red School House/Elizabeth Irwin High School, the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, the MoMA Design Store, and the Irish Hunger Memorial in Battery Park City, slated for completion in July 2002.
Between Permanence and Fragility
Our proposal acknowledges the tragedy that occurred on this site, the enduring presence of the victims who perished on September 11, and the phantom presence of the World Trade towers. Our thoughts were dictated by the phantoms of the towers; the scheme does not attempt to replace the towers literally. Their footprints are deep vessels filled with water to their original seven-story depth and become pools for reflection. The space -- an absence -- between the two pools is still redolent with the vibration of what used to be two mammoth buildings. We worked with this ten-foot-wide separation between the east face of the North Tower and the west face of the South Tower to conceive of a simple, vertical structure that rises to the height of the original buildings without attempting to mimic them. Two architectural planes radiate from that structure, each plane touching one of the reflecting pools. They comprise a series of passages that ascend as multiple paths open to, but protected from, the sky, the city, and the elements. A skeletal architecture is created -- a wall of paths that oscillates between permanence and temporality, clad in large panels of glass. The number of panels of glass totals the number of victims. Glass, a provocative material made through fire, is both fragile and resilient, but is neither liquid nor solid, neither alive nor dead. Human life is fragile, the impression of human life enduring. The panels of glass accord the opportunity for each of the victims to be remembered -- distinctly, individually -- and for the visitor to think, to see, to look through the remembrances of each of the victims to the living world beyond this place and this event.
On the ground, what we have conceived allows for the creation of a humane plaza. A portion of West Street would be recessed below surface grade, allowing people to traverse the site to the river, to move from water to water. The plaza also makes a site receptive to commercial development, hence the presence of two fifty- to sixty-story buildings to the north and east sides of the site. They help define an open urban place, an intersection between people and architecture, between the permanence and the fragility of life.
Raimund Abraham was born in Lienz, Austria, in 1933. He emigrated to the United States in 1964. In 1971 he moved to New York, where he has taught at Cooper Union ever since. Abraham has received various awards for his architectural designs, among them first prizes for the Rainbow Plaza in Niagara Falls, New York, for the International Building Exhibition in West Berlin, and for the Times Square Tower. In 1992, Abraham made international news when he won the competition to design the new Austrian Cultural Forum in midtown Manhattan.
Three inhabitable concrete slabs of 880 feet long, 110 feet wide, and 550 feet tall run north-south, between Vesey and Liberty Streets, 110 feet apart.
At the time of each plane hitting the towers and the collapse of each tower on September 11, 2001 -- at 8:46 A.M., 9:02 A.M., 9:59 A.M., and 10:28 A.M.the exact position of the sun is located and fixed at the lateral angle from true east of 28.5 degrees, 32.7 degrees, 47.2 degrees, and 56.5 degrees.
Thirty-three-foot-wide and 550-foot-high passages are cut east-west through the three slabs at the centerlines of the lateral angles of the sun, marking and signifying the memory of the events from September 11 forever.A New World Trade Center. Copyright © by Max Protetch. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
|Allied Works Architecture||15|
|Preston Scott Cohen with K+D Lab||31|
|Della Valle + Bernheimer Design||37|
|Foreign Office Architects||41|
|Fox & Fowle||45|
|Joseph Giovanni & Rodrigo Monsalve||47|
|Gluckman Mayner Architects||49|
|Alexander Gorlin Architects||51|
|Michael Graves & Associates||53|
|Hariri & Hariri||61|
|Hodgetts + Fung Design Associates||63|
|Jakob + MacFarlane||71|
|Eytan Kaufman Design and Development||73|
|Kennedy & Violich||77|
|Krueck & Sexton||83|
|Greg Lynn Form||91|
|Eric Owen Moss||101|
|Michael Sorkin Studio||131|
|Barbara Stauffacher Solomon & Nellie King Solomon||135|
|A Tribute in Light||137|
|Tod Williams Billie Tsien||143|
|Architect Information and Project Credits||146|
Posted July 31, 2003
True, it is not a book of serious proposals, but a 'creative exposition,' as one reviewer put it. This is not an architecture book. This is an art book. I've always found it humorous that architects fashion themselves to be artists, using their buildings to produce some sort of sculpture. This book backs up that hyposthesis. And for whatever reason, students choose not to be artists, but instead become architects. Why they don't become artists...I'm sure there are many reasons. If you want an art book that uses buildings instead of clay, this one is interesting, though not special. If you want a book that offers interesting, yet 'serious,' World Trade Center proposals, this is definitely not for you. If you are not an architect, it's simply a fad--a coffee table book at best, soon to be replaced by something with a little more meaning.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 18, 2002
This is a book about a gallery's exhibition of architectural ideas. It is not a book of serious design proposals. It is about a meeting of the minds, some of the greatest architectural minds of the world. It is conceptual, and as a conceptual exposition is one of the best.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 19, 2002
I was disappointed with this book. Many of the designs shown looked like free-form art instead of a serious attempt at designing a new World Trade Center. As a lover of architecture, especially skyscrapers, I expected more from "leading architects" of the world. There was a few proposals, in my opinion, that were practical and appealing, but the majority was just folly. I have seen designs by everyday people whose ideas far surpass what I saw in this book. Maybe the public knows best!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.