Architects: Maki & Associates, Tokyo/Japan Client: Silverstein Properties Function: Office, retail Height: 298 m Completion: November 2013 Location: New York NY/USA
On the south-eastern edge of Ground Zero stands the minimalist building sculpture by the Japanese Pritzker prize winner Fumihiko Maki. The office tower is part of a master plan by Daniel Libeskind to rebuild the World Trade Center site. This emotionally charged site is responded to sensitively by the quiet presence of the building. The building features a unique curtain façade on the outside with colourless mirror glass. The uniform, rectangular panes reflect the surrounding buildings almost perfectly, as well as the sky towards the top. Its appearance changes dynamically depending on the time of day, light and weather. From a distance, the sharp-edged building can only be made out on the skyline if one looks carefully. In the surrounding streets it is also difficult to grasp the true volume of the building. Instead it creates more of a sense of its presence, rather than a visual impression. The sophisticated concept with high-quality materials and detailed solutions of an exceptional quality continues throughout the building and shows the masterly signature of the architect. On the first three floors, apart from the lobby, there are extensive shopping facilities. An atrium with an adjoining passageway connects them directly to the new Santiago Calatrava subway station. This is designed to anchor the building within its urban context and to contribute to revitalising Lower Manhattan.