BIG unveils replacement for Foster’s Two World Trade Center design

De Zeen

BIG has unveiled designs for Two World Trade Center, confirming that the skyscraper’s original architect, Foster + Partners, has been ousted. BIG’s glass-clad skyscraper is designed as a series of stacked boxes and will occupy a plot in the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.

Two World Trade Center by BIG

The building’s key tenants, 21st Century Fox and News Corp, wanted BIG founder Bjarke Ingels to redesign the tower – reportedly because it felt the 79-storey design by London-based Foster + Partners “was more suited for an investment bank than a modern media company”.

Two World Trade Center by BIG

Ingels said the CEO of 21st Century Fox, James Murdoch, told him “he didn’t want to build a tower.”

Two World Trade Center by BIG

In response, BIG designed a series of stacked volumes that decrease in size towards the top, rising to a height of 1,340 feet (408 metres). The 2.8 million-square-foot building (260,000 square metre) will appear tall and slender while looking up from the World Trade Center Memorial Plaza, but from a distance, its stepped form will be more apparent.

Two World Trade Center by BIG

“The needs and requirements of the media company and other tenants are concentrated into seven separate building volumes, each tailored to their unique activities,” said the firm.”The volumes of varying sizes and depths are stacked on top of each other, from the largest at the base to the smallest towards the top.”

Two World Trade Center by BIG

BIG’s skyscraper will join two completed towers – One World Trade Center by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and Four World Trade Center by Fumihiko Maki –along with the under-construction Three World Trade Center, designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. All three are linear towers sheathed in glass.

Two World Trade Center by BIG

The BIG-designed tower will have setbacks totalling 38,000 square feet (3,530 square metres), creating terraces that will be “full of lush greenery” and offer expansive views of the city. The firm described the building’s design as a “new hybrid” that merges the Modernist skyscraper with a contemporary interpretation of historic building setbacks.

2-World-Trade-Centre_BIG_New-York_dezeen_468_14

The 80-storey office tower will serve as the new headquarters for 21st Century Fox and News Corp, which will occupy the lower half. The upper portion will be leased by Silverstein Properties to commercial tenants.

Two World Trade Center by BIG

The building will offer a mix of work spaces, all designed to facilitate collaboration, with the base housing television studios and retail space, along with a lobby that will connect to the World Trade Center Transit Hub designed by Santiago Calatrava.

Two World Trade Center by BIG

“Large stairwells between the floors form cascading, double-height communal spaces throughout the headquarters,” BIG said. “These continuous spaces enhance connectivity between different departments and amenities, which may include basketball courts, a running track, a cafeteria and screening rooms.”

Two World Trade Center by BIG

The tower is being constructed at 200 Greenwich Street and is bounded by Church, Vesey and Fulton Streets. It is positioned to preserve views of the historic St Paul’s Chapel and is aligned along an axis established by the site’s masterplanner, architect Daniel Libeskind.

Two World Trade Center by BIG

“The design of 2 WTC is derived from its urban context at the meeting point between two very different neighbourhoods: the Financial District with its modernist skyscrapers and TriBeCa with its lofts and roof gardens,” said BIG.

“The design combines the unique qualities of each, melding high-rise with low-rise and modern with historical.”

Two World Trade Center by BIG

“[The project is] the capstone in the redevelopment of the World Trade Center and the final component of the revitalisation of Lower Manhattan,” added the firm.

News Corp and 21st Century Fox signed an initial lease deal with the developers last week, allowing the project to move forward, and hopes to move into the building by 2020.

Two World Trade Center by BIG

Two World Trade Center by BIG

Two World Trade Center by BIG

Two World Trade Center by BIG

Two World Trade Center by BIG

Two World Trade Center by BIG

Two World Trade Center by BIG

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