Today at a press conference in New York, the designs for the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site were made public. The seven masterplans will be displayed at the World Financial Center in Lower Manhattan until February 2003.
Foster and Partners and six other teams were selected in October from over 400 international teams, comprising over 1000 individual firms, to develop a masterplan for the site. The brief issued by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation called for a site for the memorial in addition to office accommodation, shops, cafes, restaurants, cultural buildings, a transport interchange and public space on the 16-acre site.
Foster and Partners proposal has three main components: the footprint of the destroyed twin towers which become a site for the memorial; a park extending to the waterfront and Battery Park City, bridging over West Street; and on the edges of the park shops, cafes, restaurants, theatres, cinemas, a street market and a new twinned tower the tallest in the world. Directly below the new tower will be a mass transit hub linking the PATH train, all subway lines, new airtrain links to JFK and Newark Liberty Airports a bus station and parking. The original street pattern will be restored reconnecting the surrounding neighborhoods.
Lord Foster in his presentation said:
"Architecture is a response to needs. This project starts with the needs of the local community - the neighborhood - it extends out to embrace the City but it also has a global dimension. I was in New York on 9/11 and I have been back and forth ever since. How do you give physical presence to such intangibles as loss and emptiness? And if you can, how do you balance that against life and regeneration? We propose three memorials, the empty voids, the footprints of the twin towers, a 20-acre park, with transport hub and parking below, and two towers that kiss and become one - the tallest, strongest, and greenest."