Monday, March 23, 2015

One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center

Thirteen years, an ocean of cash, and such a torrent of words that by the end nearly everyone had averted their eyes: finally, One World Trade Center, by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), officially the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, on the 16 acres of Ground Zero, has opened.
Forget, for the moment, the site's history, and let's just describe what's there. Just north of the 9/11 Memorial fountains, One WTC rises 1,776 feet from the ground plane to the tip of its antenna. The boxy, largely windowless base is 200 feet square in plan and 186 feet tall. Punctured with four street-level entrances, its 28-inch-thick concrete walls are clad in a two-ply skirt: narrow, horizontal stainless-steel slats peek from behind a scrim of vertical translucent glass fins. Floor plates at the base and crown are square; between them rise 71 stories of rentable office space, as well as mechanical floors and soon-to-open observation areas and restaurants, all contained in an elegantly glazed, curtain-walled prism. Between the square base and crown, the tower's corners are chamfered, so that by its midpoint, the floor plate has become a regular octagon. This creates an obelisk-like effect when you look up at the building, with the tower's thinly attenuated isosceles triangles appearing to lean into the skyline of lower Manhattan. -

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