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Rebuilding the Wtc

Essay by   •  January 10, 2011  •  Essay  •  3,045 Words (13 Pages)  •  964 Views

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On September 11, 2001 the world glimpsed the single largest tragedy to strike the United States of America since Pearl Harbor. Although it took more then 9 years to build it took less then 10 seconds for New Yorks two tallest buildings to come down. For anyone witnessing this horrible tragedy it was beyond all comprehension. Almost two years later the process of rebuilding has nearly come full circle. Faced with an uphill battle with how and what to rebuild, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) came up with a solution. Create a competition, attracting the best and most brilliant designers from around the world, to come up with a design that would combine 5 elements that would help shape the future of New York City's skyline as well as its economic and social future. In all 7 designs were submitted with 2 being selected as finalists. The two designs considered were the THINK DESIGN project and the Daniel Libeskind Studio project shown below.

Copyright© Daniel Libeskind Studio. Copyright© THINK DESIGN

In the end it was the Daniel Libeskind Studio Design that won the hearts of the LMDC and its committee. In this essay I will outline the reasons why I feel that the Daniel Libeskind Studio(DLS) was the right pick in terms of the 5 elements needed for a successful design. I will also comment on parts of the design that I feel THINK DESIGN created successfully and not so successfully in terms of the 5 elements. To help you understand the designs themselves you must understand the 5 elements incorporated into each.

The first element that is a key component of the design was New Life for Lower Manhattan. This element is integrated as part of the design to give the new buildings a sense of place, as well as give back lower Manhattan its unique skyline. The second element of the design was that each design was to incorporate a memorial, cultural program areas as well parks and open spaces. The reason for the memorial is obvious, and the cultural areas as well as civic amenities show the how the city has been renewed in face of such tragedy. The third element is the transportation program. Here the designers were each told that their designs must reconnect the site to downtown New York as well as amenities such as the airport and the outer boroughs. In addition to this the sites should be thoroughly accessible to parts of Lower Manhattan such as the World Financial Center and Battery Park City. The fourth element that was crucial in the designs was the LMDC insistence that the Broadway Spine and "the Loop" be designed so that they maximized the pedestrian flow as well, resolve the West Street roadway which is a barrier to east-west connections. The fifth and final element of the design process was that the designers were to come up with a design that would incorporate retail as well as residential space as part of the design, in effect helping reestablish commerce and promoting lifestyle in lower Manhattan.

The element that I will focus on first is the memorial. I believe it is the most crucial part of the design and was best exemplified by Daniel Libeskind Studio. In his press release Mr. Libeskind stated:

"The great slurry walls are the most dramatic elements which survived the attack, an engineering wonder constructed on bedrock foundations and designed to hold back the Hudson River. The foundations withstood the unimaginable trauma of the destruction and stand as eloquent as the Constitution itself asserting the durability of Democracy and the value of individual life."

Although I haven't been to the site myself I think that a memorial like this will create the desired affect that it aims to achieve. Why? Well by looking up to where the Towers once stood and to know that over 2800 people died at the exact site that you were standing would bring a sense of humility and an even greater appreciation of life. I also think that the people will appreciate the chance to touch something that has such significant importance in the history of a nation, just like the chance people are given to visually touch the Arizona at Pearl Harbor. Although there are some people who believe that this memorial will create an open grave, "..an outline of death.." , so to say, I think it will be an inspiration for people to carry on and relish the life that they lead. Other Aspects of the memorial design that I believe translated into the winning design for DLS was the creation of the "Wedge of Light" and "The Park of Heroes" . This creates a wedge between the buildings in such a way that the sun shines through and illuminates both areas on September 11 of every year on the hours between 8:42am and 10:28am to recognize those lost. Each area is an open space, with luscious green grass trees and will contain other amenities to attract visitors to the site. In all I feel that Mr. Libeskind did a remarkable job in creating a memorial worth remembering.

In comparison THINK DESIGN came up with 2 innovative design that were good but I believe not up to the standard of Mr. Libeskinds design. the site (see picture below). I didn't find this design to appealing, as it looked like someone stuck two hollowed out soup containers around the original footprints and The two designs were created for the site, to coincide with how much money was going to be put toward the project. The first memorial was created to be a lattice work of metal built around the foot prints of the original towers but not touching them. Inside of these structures would be reflecting pools of water to bring natural sunlight to the enclosed space. These structures would be housed in a closed building for tourists and others visiting added a roof to the rest of the structure. As well when looking at the picture I felt that people would not realize the significance of the memorial as everything had become clean, even distanced from the actual event itself.

The second design I felt was not much better then the first in terms of the memorial aspect. THINK DESIGN created the "Towers of Culture" to be the worlds largest memorial. From the base of the towers where the original reflection pools would stand, to the very top of the cylindrical structures would be a living memorial to those who lost their lives. Also included in the structure would be a 9/11 Interpretive Museum that would act as a history marker for the site . Although I didn't like this design either as far as the interpretive museum I felt that it did a better job of creating a memorial as it used a creative design to "wrap itself" around the tragedy but remain "open" to show the people what happened

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