The new design for Two World Trade Center will be a lot of things, but it will not be a twin to One World Trade Center, which recently opened for business in lower Manhattan.
That is according to Bjark Ingels, the star architect who designed Two World Trade. He talked to Business Insider about restoring the Manhattan skyline to its former glory.
“The design [of Two World Trade] looks like a vertical village of city blocks stacked on top of each other with gradual overhangs that, as each building block gets thinner, the overhang becomes longer,” said Ingels, who has worked on notable buildings like Google’s new 60-acre headquarters in Mountainview, Calif.
“The building will be home to a lot of companies with a lot of different needs, so it has to be a lot of different buildings coming together as one.”
Standing at 1,340 feet, the 3 million-square-foot building will also be the third tallest building in Manhattan, behind One World Trade Center and luxury condo 432 Park Avenue.
The Danish architect and founder of the firm BIG said he wanted the tower to feel at home in both Tribeca, with its lofts and roof gardens, and downtown Manhattan, with its towering skyscrapers. To that effect, each “block” of the 80-story tower represents a city block of Tribeca, where the architect currently lives.
The tower will appear different depending on the angle you are looking at it from, Ingels said. From the north and northeast, will appear as a stack of city blocks expanding towards the sky. From the south, the ridges between the stacks — which double as garden terraces — become imperceptible and the tower appears as if it is “twinning” with One World Trade Center.
“When you see the tower from two different sides, it is going to be much more serene,” Ingels said.
Ingels can thank James Murdoch, son of the media mogul behind 21st Century Fox and News Corp., for making his design possible. Wired reported yesterday that Murdoch was enamoured by Ingels’ work at Google and decided that if his father’s company was going to move its roughly 5,000 employees into new headquarters (at Two World Trade Center, Ingels was going to design it.
Murdoch signed a tentative lease with World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein to move into the building’s first two largest blocks when it is completed in 2020, Wired reported. Ingels’ backing from an anchor tenant means that his design should proceed as planned, but, as the magazine noted, building at the World Trade Center site is complicated, to say the least.
“Ingels will have to perform his craft on a scale — in terms of height, cost, and the degree of public scrutiny — unlike anything he has encountered before,” Wired reporter Andrew Rice wrote. “The tortuous and expensive process involved in building at the World Trade Center has chewed up many other “starchitects.”
Ingels says he understands the gravity of the project, and is optimistic that it will move forward.
“When you are contributing to the skyline of such an important part of the city, it’s going to be interpreted by many people in many different ways,” Ingels told Business Insider, adding that his firm is moving “full speed ahead” with documentation and anticipates having shovels in the ground by 2016.
If and when completed, Ingels’ skyscraper will finish what has been a decades-long redevelopment of the World Trade Center site. It will be the second tallest of four buildings that will circle around a pair of cascading pools that mark the spot of the former Twin Towers, as well as a 9/11 museum and a new $US4 billion dollar train terminal.
“This tower will mark the completion of the World Trade Center and the framing of our memorial and finally restore this part of downtown Manhattan,” Ingels said.