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December 20th, 2002

The WTC Designs

The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation has put together its plans for rebuilding the former WTC site. There are detailed slideshows with copious amounts of pictures for your perusal.

My overall impression is not good. There are nice aspects of almost every plan (mostly in the memorials), but there’s nothing here that really encapsulates everything. I was somewhat surprised to see that almost every plan is radical; some have really challenging architectural designs, and some have tons of open space. But not a single one of these really stuck with me and engrossed me. None.

The design of the WTC was, above all, impressive. It truly was a symbol of capitalism and trade, with a design that certainly didn’t beat one over the head with gee-whiz features. It could win people over with its sheer size and volume. It is arguable as to whether that’s a good thing or not, but it seems that these new designs are full of gee-whiz features (a twisting museum 60 floors up?) that don’t feel truly timeless.

Maybe Roger Ebert said it best when he suggested that the site be an open, green field. Too bad the LMDC needs office space.

Posted in Everyday Life

DATE: Friday December 20, 2002 -- 8:40:59 am
I have had a look at the suggestions from the teams and have to admit to not being particularly inspired either.
The two that I think have most going for them are from Norman Foster and Daniel Libeskind.

I know that Manhattan 'needs' all the replacement office space (although I wonder where all the firms that were in the WTC are operating from in the interim, and couldn't they just stay there?), so am not unhappy with a development that includes a large quantity of this.

I think one of the things that gets me having looked at the designs is the fact that the lines don't look 'stable'.
I know they are, and are perfectly sound structures, but hey, having watched the images of 11 Sept, I'm not sure if I want buildings there that look too fussy and don't go 'straight up'. In my opinion that is the major failing with a few of the more challenging designs, and the only major thing wrong with Foster's, which otherwise I think is the best.
I reckon we should keep it pretty simple, but imposing nonetheless.

FROM: Greg
DATE: Friday December 20, 2002 -- 10:35:50 am
Why not build two new twin towers? Not necessarily exactly the same, but close. Besides, what's the difference between making a statue or park a memorial and making a operational building one? It's still a place we can go a reflect upon what has happened.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Friday December 20, 2002 -- 12:29:09 pm
Besides, what's the difference between making a statue or park a memorial and making a operational building one?
Because operational buildings still have things going on in them. Businesses will still be run, mergers will be conducted, documents will be shredded. There are some who might feel that simply "moving on" in the same physical space where many people died is inappropriate. (I'd be one of them.)

It's still a place we can go a reflect upon what has happened.

I do think that a park or similar would be better suited to this. I don't want to honor people by working in a cubicle. Bah.

What is this then?

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