Six design teams, made up of architects, artists and designers from around the world, were chosen last week by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to create new plans for the World Trade Center site. Many of those selected are known for creating celebrated buildings, such as the glass domed Reichstag in Berlin and the stark white High Museum building in Atlanta. Others have already created designs for the World Trade Center site, in response to requests from the Max Protech Gallery in Soho and the New York Times Magazine.
The first six plans for the site, designed by New York firm Beyer Blinder Belle, were largely panned by the public, and the new teams are part of the development corporation's attempt to begin again.
Each team will create several different plans for Ground Zero, to be narrowed down to three final plans by the end of the year. While the first round of six plans appeared very similar because each included the 11 million square feet of office space required by developer Larry Silverstein, the new teams will instead create designs based on more flexible requirements. The Port Authority has yet to approve the range of office space for the new designs, but Lower Manhattan Development Corporation official Roland Betts said that the amount will stretch from "substantially reduced" at the bottom end up to the full 11 million square feet.
The six teams:
Read about each design team, to learn about their ideas for lower Manhattan, and to see photos of their past work.
Berlin architect Daniel Libeskind designed his city's Jewish Museum, which opened in 2001. The center of the museum is an empty space, suggesting Berlin's missing Jewish citizens, Libeskind explains on his website. Visitors use sixty bridges to cross from exhibit to exhibit.
In his application to design lower Manhattan, Libeskind wrote that the "act of building is an entirely optimistic one," something that New York deserves, "despite and because of the tragedy of September 11."
Foster and Partners
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, London firm Foster and Partners created an updated parliament building for a unified Germany. Spiral walkways line a new dome on top of the renovated Reichstag, and the public can observe their political representatives from above.
For lower Manhattan, Foster and Partners said they will work to create a design to become "a symbol once again for the city itself and the optimism and cohesiveness of the inhabitants of New York City and the American people."
Meier, Eisenman, Gwathmey and Holl
The development corporation also chose a team of four New York architects:
Richard Meier, Peter Eisenman, Charles Gwathmey and Steven Holl. The four all worked together on the
New York Times Magazine's project to design the World Trade Center site. Meier is known for designing the Getty Center in Los Angeles, and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta
Meier, Eisenman, Gwathmey and Holl (2)
Charles Gwathmey designed the project to restore and add on to New York City's Guggenheim Museum, while Peter Eisenman is known for his convention center in Columbus, Ohio.
Holl's Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, Finland (pictured here) was built around a focal point called a "kiasma," said to be the starting place for a journey to the unknown.
In their submission to create a design for lower Manhattan, the team responded to the physical and political struggles involved, saying that they view design as a process that transforms "problem-solving into art."
"Ground Zero is the last place any of us want to think about as a 'project,' the last place any of us want to see 'developed' in that cynical shortsighted manner that the word has come to mean. And now it has to be the first question," the team of young international designers and architects UNITED ARCHITECTS wrote in their proposal to design the World Trade Center site.
The team is made up of Reiser Umemoto and Kevin Kenon, both based in New York, London-based firm Foreign Office Architects, UN Studio from Amsterdam, Greg Lynn FORM from Los Angeles and Imaginary Forces, based both in New York and Los Angeles.
Foreign Office Architects, designers of the Yokohama International Port Terminal in Japan, created a plan for the World Trade Center site soon after the disaster (pictured). The plan, which depicts clusters of round, interconnected towers rising into the sky, was shown in January at the Max Protech Gallery in Soho.
Skidmore Owings and Merrill
New York firm Skidmore Owings and Merrillredesigned 7 World Trade Center for developer Larry Silverstein. In order to work for the development corporation, the firm agreed to turn down any future work for Silverstein. The firm has designed many New York City buildings, including the Time Warner/AOL building in construction near Columbus Circle (pictured).
In its application to design the World Trade Center site, Skidmore created a team they called "both global and local," joining with architects, artists and designers, including Inigo Maglano-Ovalle, Rita McBride, Jessica Stockholder, Elyn Zimmerman, Field Operations, Tom Leader, Michael Maltzan, Neutelings Riedijk and the Tokyo firm SANAA.
A team of nine architects and engineers from the U.S., Japan and Germany submitted an application under the name "THINK."
"The central problem of this project is not simply how best to remember those that perished in this tragedy but how to make their memory the inspiration for a better future," wrote the team in their application to the development corporation. New York architect Frederic Schwartz, called "citizen architect" by the New York Times, leads the team. Schwartz was one of the first to suggest burying West Street as part of rebuilding lower Manhattan, and has done a great deal of work downtown. The Schwartz-designed Staten Island Ferry Terminal is still in construction
Other members of the THINK team are Shigeru Ban, from Tokyo, Japan, New York based architects Ken Smith, Rafael Vinoly and David Rockwell, William Moorish from Virginia, Jane Marie Smith from Maryland and engineering firms Buro Happold Engineersand Jorg Schlaich.
Along with Schwartz, Vinoly participated in the New York Times Magazine's project to design lower Manhattan. He designed the Tokyo International Forum in Japan.
The comments section is provided as a free service to our readers. Gotham Gazette's editors reserve the right to delete any comments. Some reasons why comments might get deleted: inappropriate or offensive content, off-topic remarks or spam.