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New York’s new towering symbol of freedom

19 January 2012 No Comment

Designing a tower for the former, 16-acre World Trade Centre site in New York was never going to be a simple task. The architects, designers and planners had to come up with something spectacular, which fulfilled many roles – not only did it have to serve as functional space, its form had to be a suitable memorial to those who lost their lives on Sept 11.

Now, just months after the 10th anniversary of the attacks, ‘Freedom Tower’, officially renamed ‘One World Trade Centre’, is almost completed.


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The new One World Trade Centre


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A skyscraper unlike any other in the city, the building will be the tallest in the whole of the United States and the tallest ‘all office’ building in the world at 1776 ft high – an intentional height meant to symbolise the year of Declaration of Independence.

Shining beacon of NYC


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sketching the skyline

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Its towering, glass exterior tapers octagonally as it rises 105 storeys above the ground, topped by an antenna like its predecessor, the North Tower of the original World Trade Centre complex, and other neighbouring Manhattan landmarks such as the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings. And to further symbolise its position as a shining beacon of the city and of freedom, above the mast an intense beam of light will shoot 1,000 ft into the night sky.

The tower will become the tallest ‘all office’ building in the world


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The work of architects Daniel Libeskind and David Childs, the tower currently being built at an estimated cost of over $3bn has been altered significantly from the original design selected in 2002. There were initial ideas to only occupy the lower floors of the building to reduce the liability high floors present in the event of a future incident, but this meant the actual available space – when compared to the original complex – was reduced by over 3,000,000 sq ft.

Floor by Floor

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A rework of the plans ensured the highest space that could be occupied was similar to the original World Trade Center, and a final design was unveiled in 2005. But it still underwent further revisions with the addition of a steel-and-glass-clad concrete base, to satisfy security concerns raised by the New York Police Department.


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Naturally the new One World Trade Centre has safety at its core and there are numerous state of features within the building, including a dedicated stairwell for use by the emergency services and blast-resistant windows. 69 of the 74 above-ground floors are designated office space, and below-ground there will be tenant parking, shopping and subway access.

Tenants already set to occupy One World Trade Centre when it finally opens including Government authorities, a dedicated ‘China Centre’ to promote Chinese business and links to the US and magazine publishers Conde Nast.

Skyscraper will undoubtedly and quickly attain iconic status


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There’s no doubt the eyes of the world will be on New York when the building opens its doors for the first time, but regardless of thoughts on its design and architecture, as the lead building of the new World Trade Centre complex One World Trade Centre will undoubtedly and quickly attain iconic status in many hearts and minds.

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