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Sarcasm Aside

random thoughts of a self-diagnosed neurotic with the attention span of a five-year old... a blog by Alternati

44.1 feet Taller

Monday, September 11, 2006



Last September 7, the designs for three more of the 5 towers of the World Trade Center complex were unveiled. The following renderings were taken from www.wtc.com


A new New York skyline

View from the Hudson River

The predominant structure of the WTC site is the Freedom Tower with a height of 1776 feet (with the antenna). The original twin towers were 1731.9 feet (with the antenna). Why all the fuss about adding "with the antenna"? There have been many conflicts with regard the inclusion of the antenna in the measurement of the height of the building when in contention for "Tallest Building in the World".

1776, the year of the Declaration of Independence of America.

WTC Site by Day


WTC Site Development Plan


01 - Freedom Tower - David Childs (SOM)
02 - 200 Greenwich (Tower 2) - Norman Foster
03 - 175 Greenwich (Tower 3) - Richard Rogers
04 - 150 Greenwich (Tower 4) - Fumihiko Maki
05 - Unnamed (Tower 5) - Architect not yet announced
06 - 7 WTC - David Childs (SOM)
07 - WTC Memorial

WTC Site by Night

This rendering of the complex at night makes the buildings seem like chess pieces guarding the periphery of the memorial. The chess pieces clad in light with regal headdresses.

The designers and developers went above and beyond the requirements of the NYC building codes. They paid extra attention to the structural stability of each building considering both natural (like wind) and manmade factors. They've also put extra attention to building ingress and egress, accessibility, evacuation measures, etc etc. As an added ecological bonus, all the buildings are classified as "green", meaning they provide a healthier environment for its users, conserve energy and water and reduce solid waste.


Designing Around

As if architects, engineers and related professions didn't have enough to think about when they design buildings, in comes the very volatile and unpredictable factor of terrorism. High-rise structures all around the world have taken measures for possible attacks. Skyscrapers are being redesigned. Building and structural codes are being emended. There is a very blurry line between safety and paranoia. Should the walls of buildings now be in-laid with lead to ward off nuclear radiation? Should all buildings regardless of location be capable of withstanding tsunamis? Should every building have underground bomb shelters in case of meteor showers? I know... too much movies, but not too far from the truth.

There is only so much we can control.

I think it would be cheaper if we all just spread love and world peace like fairies and leprichauns. But cheaper isn't always better (or practical) so we settle for the pragmatic. Designing around terrorism like it were a fault line or a spot on the site with weak foundation.


The World Trade Center Complex will be finished in 2012.

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