Commemorating 9/11 USA

Replacing the twin towers

Details of the four skyscrapers planned for the new World Trade Center

The World Trade Center masterplan includes new skyscrapers by (from left) David Childs, Foster & Partners, Sogers Stirk Harbour and Partners and Maki and Associates

The skyscrapers conform to the original masterplan presented by Daniel Libeskind in 2003, as does the decision not to build on the area where the twin towers once stood, although the buildings’ designs have changed significantly.


Design: David Childs (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill) Timescale: 2006-13 Client: Silverstein Properties Dimensions: 240,000 sq. m Floors: 102 Height: 541m

One World Trade Center, previously the “Freedom Tower”, will be the tallest building in the United States, its height of 1,776 feet a symbolic reference to the date of the Declaration of Independence. Of its nominal 102 floors, the first 20 will be left empty for security reasons, or may serve as a kind of “bunker”. Above this base are a further 69 floors of office accommodation, with two floors occupied by broadcasting equipment and ten service floors. The building will culminate in a panoramic viewing platform with two restaurants, and a radio mast designed by the artist Kenneth Snelson. Sustainability is built into the design, with the use of recycled materials and capture of rainwater.


Design: Foster & Partners Timescale: 2008-15 (planned) Client: Silverstein Properties Dimensions: 291,200 sq. m Floors: 79 Height: 481m

Tower two stands in the north-east corner of the site. It is a sparkling glass-clad building culminating in a diamond-shaped structure. The central core consists of four interconnected cement blocks, ensuring that the various floors are free of load-bearing pillars, and the external structure is made of steel. Five floors are devoted to shops, a further four to commercial premises and 60 to office accommodation. The building will have eight entrances: five at street level, one from the transportation hub and two from the shopping area. On the ground floor, glass walls and easy access to public facilities create a feeling of connectedness to the rest of the city.


Design: Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners Timescale: 2008-15 Client: Silverstein Properties Dimensions: 260,000 sq. m Floors: 54 Height: 417m

The third tower is central to the complex of buildings surrounding the memorial site. The lower part, the so-called “podium”, accommodates commercial premises. It narrows as it rises, until it assumes the same proportions as the neighbouring buildings. From this base, it is possible to access the other towers via an indoor walkway. It will house five floors of commercial premises, with the remainder devoted to office space (195,096 sq. m), and there will be 37 lifts.


Design: Maki and Associates (local architects Adamson Associates) Timescale: 2008-13 Client: Silverstein Properties Dimensions: 168,000 sq. m (offices), 15,000 sq. m (commercial premises) Floors: 61 Height: 340m

The structure subdivides into two parts: a “minimalist” tower on the memorial side and a five-floor podium planned as an “introduction” to the site. The podium comprises an atrium giving access to the lower levels and commercial premises, while the tower houses offices. The glass walls of the façade incorporate a metal mesh, to provide shade inside the building and give the outside a light and transparent appearance.

Port Authority Transportation Building

Design: Santiago Calatrava Timescale: 2003-12 Client: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, in conjunction with the US Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration Dimensions: 70,000 sq. m of covered space

Estimates of the number of users of the new station vary from 65,000 to 250,000 people per day (the latter estimate is from the Port Authority: the existing station has 50,000 users per day). It will be at the north-eastern corner of the site. The two-arched structure with ribs 55 metres in height will shed natural light onto the platforms located 20 metres underground. The hub will give access to the ferry terminals, a number of railway lines and 13 of New York’s subway lines, and there may also be a direct link with John F. Kennedy airport. As well as transport infrastructure, the hub will include covered pedestrian areas and malls with restaurants, cafés and shops.

Ground Zero Performing Arts Centre

Design: Frank O. Gehry & Hok Architects and Faithful & Gould Timescale: not yet begun Client: Lower Manhattan Development Corporation

The centre is designed to house a 1,000-seat theatre, a smaller auditorium, rehearsal rooms, a café and outdoor areas. It has been highly controversial, resulting in several delays. Now that funding has been allocated, the project looks set to go ahead, though construction may not begin for several years. This is because the building is linked to Santiago Calatrava’s transportation hub and the administration does not want to begin work until the station is completed.

Compiled by Daria Ricchi

Santiago Calatrava's transportation hub
More from The Art Newspaper


Submit a comment

All comments are moderated. If you would like your comment to be approved, please use your real name, not a pseudonym. We ask for your email address in case we wish to contact you - it will not be made public and we do not use it for any other purpose.


Want to write a longer comment to this article? Email


Share this