NEW YORK, June 29, 2005 – Governor George E. Pataki, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, World Trade Center developer Larry A. Silverstein and architect David Childs today released the revised design for the Freedom Tower, the first office tower to be rebuilt on the World Trade Center site. As with the original design, the Freedom Tower will soar to 1,776 feet in the sky and serve as an inspirational and enduring beacon in the New York City skyline. The Tower's design evokes classic New York skyscrapers in its elegance and symmetry while also referencing the torch of the Statue of Liberty.
The revised Freedom Tower builds upon the original’s extraordinary level of life safety features and will include other features that will make it unprecedented in terms of life safety and security. In addition, the Freedom Tower will further its distinction as a world-class model of energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.
Still located on the northwest corner of the World Trade Center site, the revised Freedom Tower features a cubic base, rather than a parallelogram as originally conceived, and is set back further from West Street – to an average of 90 feet. As part of the new design, the tower’s footprint, measuring 200 feet by 200 feet, is the same size as the footprints of the original Twin Towers.
Governor Pataki said, “Together we faced the challenge of redesigning the Freedom Tower and today we see the result is a better, safer, and prouder symbol of freedom for our skyline. This new design reflects a soaring tribute to freedom and a bedrock commitment to safety and security. The Freedom Tower will not only be a tremendous icon, it will also be an economic engine generating thousands of jobs for New Yorkers. David Childs was charged with a seemingly impossible task – to design a building that serves as a soaring architectural tribute to liberty; that meets the world’s highest life safety standards; that is a pioneer in environmental quality; and that remains true to Daniel Libeskind’s visionary master plan for the World Trade Center site. David Childs has surpassed these expectations by designing a building that will be a proud new icon that references great American symbols of strength and freedom such as the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building.”
“The redesign of the Freedom Tower shows how our City is able to respond to the opportunities and challenges of our time,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “This spectacular addition to our skyline will be a commanding architectural symbol while addressing the security concerns we face in today’s world. It is also an important part of our vision to transform Lower Manhattan into a vibrant 24-hour residential and commercial neighborhood. For generations to come, the Freedom Tower will be a symbol of New Yorkers’ resolve and a powerful beacon of freedom to people around the world.”
As the tower itself rises from its cubic base, its square edges are chamfered back, transforming the square into eight tall isosceles triangles in elevation. At its middle, the tower forms a perfect octagon in plan and then culminates in an observation deck and glass parapet (elevation 1,362 feet and 1,368 feet – the heights of the original Twin Towers) whose plan is a square, rotated 45 degrees from the base. A mast containing an antenna for the Metropolitan Television Alliance (MTVA), designed by a collaboration of architects, artists, lighting designers and engineers, and secured by a system of cables, rises from a circular support ring, similar to Liberty’s torch, to a height of 1,776 feet. In keeping with the original design, the entire composition evokes the Statue of Liberty’s torch and will emit light, becoming its own Beacon of Freedom.
Generous open spaces, filled with trees, water and places of respite that enliven the surrounding streets, connect the tower with the adjacent neighborhoods and allow views and access into the memorial. Entrances on all four sides of the building further connect the building to its surroundings and activate it at street level: from West Street for the observation deck; from Washington Place for the restaurant and from Fulton and Vesey Streets for the offices. While incorporating enhanced security requirements, the building remains open and accessible.
Larry Silverstein said, “The redesigned Freedom Tower speaks to the government and private sector’s deep and abiding commitment to rebuild New York City to the highest architectural, environmental and safety standards. I am confident that when our work is done, we will be in a position to say we have done the best job possible, and that one hundred years from now, our children’s children will look back and say we made them proud.”
David Childs said, “Freedom Tower is a bold and simple icon that acts as a marker in the sky for the memorial below. While the memorial, carved out of the earth, speaks of the past and of remembrance, Freedom Tower speaks of optimism and the future as it rises into the sky in a faceted, crystalline form filled with and reflecting light. This tall, point tower, in the tradition of great New York City icons such as the Chrysler Building and Empire State Building, evokes the slender, tapering triangular forms of these two great landmarks of midtown and replaces more than one quarter of all the office space that was lost on September 11, 2001.”
Daniel Libeskind said, “This more slender tower will ascend to 1,776 feet, iconic, graceful and resolute. It remains a beacon in the downtown skyline, gesturing now toward the glowing torch of Lady Liberty, and a focal point around which other buildings cluster. It presides in a dynamic composition in which the memorial to those who lost their lives on 9/11 remains the centerpiece while the new museums, cultural center, plazas and transportation hub contribute their special grace and drama.”
The Freedom Tower will retain key elements of the original, including 2.6 million-square feet of office space, tenant amenity spaces, an observation deck, world-class restaurants, and broadcast and antennae facilities for the MTVA. The design also provides for below-grade shopping and access to the PATH and subway trains, as well as the World Financial Center.
The program is organized as follows: Rising from the plaza level, an 80-foot-high public lobby is topped by a series of mechanical floors; together these form the 200-foot-high building base, which will be reinforced for security reasons and draped with metal – a mixture of stainless steel and titanium that is simultaneously shimmering and light-reflective. Sixty-nine office floors rise above the base. Mechanical floors, two floors to be occupied by the Metropolitan Television Alliance, and restaurants culminate in an observation deck and glass parapet that mark 1,362 feet and 1,368 feet respectively. An antenna supported by a cable structure rises to a final height of 1,776 feet.
In order to achieve a world class model of energy efficiency and environmental sustainability, the Freedom Tower will include: state-of-the-art energy conservation technology to reduce energy demand; better interior “daylighting” and views of the outside for occupants due to ultra-clear glass technology that also saves energy; improved indoor air quality due to outside-air ventilation and use of building materials without toxic materials such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs); water conservation due to reuse of rainwater for building cooling and irrigation; reduction of vehicular traffic via proximity to public transportation and provision of facilities for bicycle commuters
Environmental quality will also extend to construction of the Freedom Tower, which will feature waste reduction through recycling of construction materials and use of recycled-content building materials; natural resource protection via use of sustainably harvested wood; and cleaner air in the community due to use of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuels and particulate filters on construction vehicles, for which the EPA has already given Silverstein Properties a 2004 Environmental Quality Award.
Construction of footings for the Freedom Tower is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2006. It is projected that steel for the building will be visible above grade in 2007, with a topping out in 2009. The building is projected to be ready for occupancy in 2010.
Images of the revised Freedom Tower will be available to the public starting today at the Winter Garden at the World Financial Center. A fuller exhibit is being prepared for viewing at the Center for Architecture in Greenwich Village later this summer.
According to a report by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the rebuilding the World Trade Center will generate $15 billion in total economic output in New York City and an average of 8,000 jobs each year for thirteen years.