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Ground Zero: The Latest Architecture and News

Construction Halts on Calatrava's St. Nicholas Shrine at the World Trade Center

12:00 - 12 December, 2017
Construction Halts on Calatrava's St. Nicholas Shrine at the World Trade Center, The St. Nicholas National Shrine at the World Trade Center as seen in May 2017. Image © Flickr user rexblog. Licensed under CC BY 2.0
The St. Nicholas National Shrine at the World Trade Center as seen in May 2017. Image © Flickr user rexblog. Licensed under CC BY 2.0

Construction on the Santiago Calatrava-designed St. Nicholas National Shrine at the World Trade Center has halted, after the church failed to make a series of payments over a several month period to contractor Skanska.

As revealed by the Pappas Post, last week the construction company distributed a letter to its subcontractors informing them that the building contract had been terminated after The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America defaulted on making payment. In the letter, Skanska directed subcontractors to stop all work and to remove all tools and materials from the site, or risk not being able to recover them.

Calatrava's St. Nicholas National Shrine at the World Trade Center Tops Out

13:20 - 29 November, 2016
Calatrava's St. Nicholas National Shrine at the World Trade Center Tops Out, via Saint Nicholas National Shrine at the World Trade Center
via Saint Nicholas National Shrine at the World Trade Center

The Santiago Calatrava-designed St. Nicholas National Shrine at the World Trade Center has topped out, and capped with a temporary, six-foot-tall cross.

The Byzantine-styled structure was envisioned by Calatrava in 2013 as a non-denominational spiritual center to replace the original St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, located at 155 Cedar Street, which was destroyed on 9/11.

BIG Replaces Foster, Unveils Plans for 2 World Trade Center

12:49 - 9 June, 2015
BIG Replaces Foster, Unveils Plans for 2 World Trade Center, © DBOX, Courtesy of BIG
© DBOX, Courtesy of BIG

BIG has revealed plans for the fourth and final skyscraper planned for the World Trade Center site - the 2 World Trade Center (2 WTC) - confirming rumors that the Danish architect has replaced Norman Foster as the project's architect.

As announced by WIRED, the controversial take over is the result of James Murdoch's distaste for Foster's decade-old scheme and preference for a more integrated workplace. Though the foundation of Foster's building has already been built, the BIG scheme will now be realized and become the new headquarters of Rupert Murdoch’s media companies, 21st Century Fox and News Corp.

Designed as seven unique building stacked on top of each other, the stepped 2 WTC tower will rise 1,340 feet - a height that would make it Manhattan's third-tallest building if built today.

Watch Bjarke Ingels explain the concept in a video, after the break. 

© DBOX, Courtesy of BIG © DBOX, Courtesy of BIG © DBOX, Courtesy of BIG © DBOX, Courtesy of BIG + 34

Insiders Tip BIG to Redesign Foster + Partners' World Trade Center 2 Tower

13:30 - 29 April, 2015
Insiders Tip BIG to Redesign Foster + Partners' World Trade Center 2 Tower , Orignial WTC scheme; Foster + Partners' WTC2 seen second tower from left. Image © Silverstein Properties
Orignial WTC scheme; Foster + Partners' WTC2 seen second tower from left. Image © Silverstein Properties

A new report from the Wall Street Journal suggests that BIG may replace Foster + Partners to realize the World Trade Center 2 (WTC2) tower - the final tower planned to be built on Ground Zero. The 79-story tower, originally designed in 2006, was stalled due to the economic crash of 2008.

According to the report, 21st Century Fox and News Corp have "tipped" BIG to redesign the tower should they strike an agreement with project backers Silverstein Properties and The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to move into the tower. If the deal goes through, the two companies would occupy nearly half of the building - enough to kickstart development.

Video: Santiago Calatrava On His Design For Ground Zero's Only Non-Secular Building

00:00 - 9 January, 2015

In a film for the BBC Magazine, Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava talks through his designs for the new St. Nicholas Church - the only non-secular building on the 9/11 Memorial site. The building, which broke ground last year, has been described by Calatrava as a "tiny jewel" for lower Manhattan, comprising of a white Vermont marble shrine sat beneath a translucent central cupola that is illuminated from within. The new church, of Greek Orthodox denomination, replaces a church of the same name which was destroyed during the attacks of . It is sited close to its original location on 130 Liberty Street, overlooking the National September 11 Memorial park and museum. With the building set to open in early 2016, Calatrava discusses the key conceptual ideas and references behind its unique, controversial design.

Video: Daniel Libeskind on Masterplanning Ground Zero

00:00 - 9 November, 2014

"Its an adventure, because it's a highly political, highly emotional, highly complicated process, to get something built on the site which is about memory," explains Daniel Libeskind. "It's a day that changed the world… and architecture responds in constructing something that has sense for people, that has spirit."

Daniel Libeskind Reflects On Designing Buildings With 'Emotional Weight'

00:00 - 14 October, 2014
Daniel Libeskind Reflects On Designing Buildings With 'Emotional Weight', Canadian National Holocaust Monument, Ottowa. Image © Government of Canada
Canadian National Holocaust Monument, Ottowa. Image © Government of Canada

In an interview with Shaunacy Ferro for FastCo Design, Daniel Libeskind looks back over his built works and discusses the significant 'emotional weight' imbued in many of his projects, from the Jewish Museum in Berlin to his masterplan for Ground Zero in New York City. When asked why he continually returns to projects such as Holocaust memorials - with the Canadian National Holocaust Memorial currently underway in Ottawa - Libeskind stated: "It’s not something that I choose very lightly, because it’s very difficult, but I believe that it’s very important." For him, creating these monuments is part of the act of doing "something that moves us beyond just the darkness and gives us something positive. [...] Even when it comes to the memory, you can’t just dwell on the irreversibility of the tragedy. You have to have something hopeful."

Frank Gehry’s Design for Ground Zero Arts Center Shelved

00:00 - 4 September, 2014
Frank Gehry’s Design for Ground Zero Arts Center Shelved, Original Proposal. Image © Gehry Partners
Original Proposal. Image © Gehry Partners

Frank Gehry’s design for the performing arts center at ground zero in New York has been shelved and the planning board will instead select a design from three other finalist architects, the New York Times has reported. This follows on reports from February that Frank Gehry’s original design was being revised and his plans for an initial 1,000 seat center were being abandoned. “We’re in the process of selecting a new architect,” said John E. Zuccotti, the real estate developer who is the chairman of the arts center’s board. “Three architectural firms are being considered.” Gehry, however, has said that he’s heard “zero at ground zero” and hasn’t been informed of the board’s decision. To learn more about the plans for the performing arts center see the full article from the New York Times.

Frank Gehry’s Ground Zero Performing Arts Scheme Abandoned

00:00 - 14 February, 2014
Frank Gehry’s Ground Zero Performing Arts Scheme Abandoned, Original Proposal. Image © Gehry Partners
Original Proposal. Image © Gehry Partners

The recent hire of temporary artistic director David Lan has indicated that plans for Ground Zero’s “world center for the performing arts” is moving forward in New York. The famed London director will work alongside Charcoalblue managing partner Andy Hayles to revise the original Frank Gehry-designed scheme which, according to the center’s president, was prematurely designed. This leaves Gehry’s involvement unclear, as the initial 1000-seat center will be abandoned for a scaled down, three-theater house that ranges from 150 to 550 seats. Competition for funding also remains an obstacle, in light of venues such as Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s 2017 Culture Shed. You can learn more about the center’s update here.

First Section of Santiago Calatrava's PATH Station Opens in NYC

00:00 - 30 October, 2013
First Section of Santiago Calatrava's PATH Station Opens in NYC, Image via New York Daily News © Mark Bonifacio
Image via New York Daily News © Mark Bonifacio

A portion of Santiago Calatrava’s $4 billion PATH station has opened. According to NY Daily News, the Western Concourse will now relieve New Yorkers from “cramped sidewalks and temporary bridges” crossing West St. with a 600-foot underground passage lined in “bright white marble” that connects the World Trade Center to the neighboring office complex formerly known as the World Financial Center. Once complete in 2015, the controversial transit hub will double as a massive shopping and retail complex, which aims to “transform” the cultural experience of lower Manhattan.