In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, construction started in 2008, rebuilding the demolished World Trade Center towers that were first designed by Japanese architect Minoru Yamasaki in the 1970s. Now 2 World Trade Center (also known as 200 Greenwich Street) is a planned skyscraper as part of the forthcoming, 16-acre World Trade Center complex. The 82-floor building is still under construction in the Financial District. It is being designed by Norman Foster of Foster + Partners, and is developed by Silverstein Properties and Brookfield Properties. It was intended to be finished by 2021, and nears completion. Recent progress shows a new rendering that was released earlier this year, detailing the new direction of the building. It is covered in greenery, in both its landscaped terraces and rooftops, though the building is not fully designed yet.
The buildings intend to stand 1,350-feet tall, which is the height of the original Twin Towers. They were designed by Yamasaki, an architect who was part of the New Formalism movement, a minimalist design movement that saw its rise in the 1950s. Before Yamasaki designed the World Trade Towers, he helped design the Empire State Building, while working at Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, and started his own firm in 1955, Yamasaki & Associates Even though he designed dozens of commercial and residential projects, he isn’t a starchitect in design history, like many others. In fact, Yamasaki’s name is just a line in history at the Skyscraper Museum, even.
Justin Beal is the author of a book called “Sandfuture,” which traces the life of Yamasaki. The book explains how the architect was positioned to be a major figure once he got the job to create the World Trade Centers. The buildings were hailed marvels of engineering, an accomplishment they could be built so tall, but his critical reception got more negative as time went on. “When you build the biggest building in the world, nobody knows what it will look like,” said Beal. “It feels to me like nobody anticipated how overwhelmingly big those two buildings would feel.” It’s unbelievable to think it has been over 20 years since the construction of the new World Trade Center complex began. There are planned glass and mirror facades on 2 World Trade, and each terrace is filled with greenery. It is home to a covered concert hall, within its exterior, and several green roofs. It’ll provide an additional entrance to the PATH subway system below, too.
According to the New York Post, there are plans to complete a residential supertall at the neighboring 5 World Trade, saying it’s the final piece of the complex at Ground Zero — that is, after 2 World Trade is completed. As real estate columnist Steve Cuzzo claimed, the building is waiting for an anchor tenant for the mainfloors of the building after Fox News parent company News Corp pulled out of making their headquarters based here. The quest continues. Meanwhile, city politicos want the 1,200 residential units here to be used for affordable housing, with 25% to be set aside for low-income tenants, something which some find to be doubtful.
One thing is for certain, public art. According to a statement from Silverstein Properties, American artist Frank Stella’s metal sculpture, entitled “Jasper’s Split Star” will be a permanent installation on the premises, located in the Silverstein Family Park at 7 World Trade Center. “Art has always played a big role in my personal and professional life,” Silverstein said in a statement. “It adds an exciting dimension to our lives and everything we do. It expands our thinking and offers a glimpse into the creative minds of the artists. I am thrilled to bring this stunning piece by Frank Stella to the World Trade Center so that Downtown’s workers, residents and visitors can enjoy it.” Jim Herr, a partner and architect with Rafael Viñoly Architects counts himself as one of the many looking forward to the completion of the complex. “I look forward to the completion of the World Trade Center’s redevelopment that began after the catastrophic events of 9/11,” he said. “Now 20 years in, the project is nearly done, save for two buildings. Nonetheless, it’s been great to see the vibrancy that this redevelopment has already created.”