Now we can say with a great deal of confidence that the outlook of the future WTC ensemble is clear. The only unknown in the problem is the design of Tower 5, for which no architect has yet been chosen. The appearance of the rest of the buildings on the territory of the complex has already been determined, and some are already under construction ("Freedom Tower" and the transport terminal). The only finished building so far is Tower 7, an out-of-competition design by David Childs of SOM. It was on its 52nd floor that on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the tragedy of September 11, 2001, the presentation of three skyscrapers based on the projects of the "stars" of world architecture took place.
Norman Foster, Richard Rogers and Fumihiko Maki were commissioned to design office towers at the WTC less than a year ago, although their names were named in this regard at the end of 2003. According to Daniel Libeskind's master plan, the towers are arranged in a spiral, descending in height: the most high - "Freedom Tower", then - Tower 2 Norman Foster, Tower 3 Richard Rogers and Tower 4 Fumihiko Maki. But, unlike the sharp corners of Libeskind's project, the three architects created very restrained structures, variations on the theme of the "classic" skyscraper, in which one can find traces of formal finds made by these masters of architecture in the past.
All three towers rise from massive glazed “catwalks” that will house the shops. In towers 2 and 3, a lot of space will be occupied by the technical equipment and the lobbies of the metro stations, relocated there from the WTC Transport Terminal by the project of Santiago Calatrava.
The Norman Foster Tower at 382 m and another 25 m antenna (not shown in the illustrations) will become the second tallest in New York (after the "Freedom Tower"). It appears to be made up of four slender columns, and its sloping roof slopes in front of the memorial to the victims of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center. For the interior, the British architect proposed several storey atriums, conservatories and other elements that will make working in the tower more enjoyable. But these good intentions can only remain on paper, since the use of the interior space is left to the discretion of future tenants.
Richard Rogers proposed a skyscraper project (71 floors, or 320 m), vaguely reminiscent of his Lloyds building in London. To the massive parallelepiped with four 30-meter antennas on both sides, narrow annexes are added that support the main volume, allowing you to make the plans of the interior more free, not limited by structural supports. The appearance of the façade is defined by the diagonal and perpendicular intersections of the steel beams of the structure.
The Fumihiko Maki Tower (61 floors) is the only one of the three with an opaque, mirrored facade: the architect proposed to lay a shiny fabric of metal threads between the two layers of glazing. Tower 4 is also the most discreet and elegant of the three. The basis of its formal solution is the transition from the trapezoidal plan of the base of the building to the square of its upper half.
The construction of Towers 3 and 4, if nothing interferes with the plans of the New York authorities, should be completed in 2011, and Towers 2 by 2012.