The site of 9/11 has seen significant change in the last decade, from the addition of David Childs’s redesign of the One World Trade Center to Santiago Calatrava’s PATH station. It looks like the site’s transformation is set to continue - Calatrava recently revealed images of the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, to be rebuilt across Liberty Street from Handel Architects’ September 11 Memorial. The images, showing a distinctly Orthodox Christian design, have already begun to attract criticism in the debate over placing religious institutions around the World Trade Center.
After weather conditions refused to cooperate on Monday, the final two sections of Freedom Tower have been lifted to the summit of the One World Trade Center. Construction of the gargantuan 758-ton, 408-foot spire - a joint Canadian-U.S. venture - began in December 2012, when 18 separate pieces were shipped to Manhattan from Canada and New Jersey. This final addition, including a steel beacon, means that the height of the building will soon rise from 1,368 feet to a more patriotic 1,776 feet once the segments are permanently installed within the next few weeks. However, it's not yet certain that the building will officially be the tallest in the U.S.
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National Building Museum and Metropolis Magazine contributor Andrew Caruso takes you “inside the design mind” of three prominent figures in the 9/11 rebuilding process with this recent interview conducted at the 2012 AIA National Convention. Heroic. Contemplative. Grieving. Victorious. The rebirth of the former World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan has engendered significant public reaction and reflection. With implications as complex as they are profound, it is not surprising that it has taken more than a decade to heal the urban scars of September 11, 2001. I had the rare opportunity to sit down with three architects working on the site, Santiago Calatrava, David Childs, and Daniel Libeskind, at the recent American Institute of Architects convention in Washington, D.C., where they were honored along with four others, as “Architects of Healing.” We discussed their experience of reshaping one of the most culturally significant sites in the history of the United States.
After three days of inspirational keynote sessions, informative seminars, exclusive tours, invaluable networking opportunities and an impressive expo, the American Institute of Architects concluded the 2012 National Convention with a special tribute to the architects responsible for the post-9/11 memorials and rebuilding efforts. These “Architects of Healing” tirelessly worked together to transform the darkness of grief brought on by the 9/11 attacks into the triumph of hope in the wounded areas of Shanksville, Pennsylvania; the Pentagon; and the World Trade Center site.
Update: The AIA has expressed their support for Gehry Technologies’ strategic alliance (reported last night on ArchDaily). “We applaud this enterprise by Gehry Technologies and the Board who are comprised of many AIA members because it is estimated that as much as 30% to as much as 50% of all time, money, materials and resources that go into a construction project do not add value to the final product,” said AIA President, Clark Manus, FAIA. “The AIA has long been advocating for tools such as Business Information Modeling and methodologies like Integrated Project Delivery that can help reduce the inefficiencies in construction projects. We are anxious to see the progress though this effort that will be beneficial for both the industry and clients.” Today Frank Gehry, co-founder and chairman of Gehry Technologies (GT), announced plans to further his vision to ‘transform the building industry and the practice of design’. In an effort to redirect the profession back to solving both clients’ and communities’ problems Gehry has gathered together some of the world’s most prominent designers: David Childs, Massimo Colomban, Zaha Hadid, Greg Lynn, Laurie Olin, Wolf D. Prix, David Rockwell, Moshe Safdie, Matthias Schuler, Patrik Schumacher, Ben van Berkel, and Richard Saul Wurman to serve on Gehry Technologies’ board of advisors. “I am dedicated to giving architects better control of the process so they can deliver the fruits of their imagination, which is what our clients expect. I have gathered a group of my friends together who believe in this mission as much as I do and who can help me find the solutions that will ultimately lead to better buildings throughout the world,” stated Gehry.