Foster and Partners has designed a 78-storey office tower at 200 Greenwich Street as part of the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site in New York. One of the most important urban planning and architectural challenges of recent times, the concept is driven by memory, but equally by a sense of rebirth. Its sparkling glazed crystalline form and diamond shaped summit create a bold addition to the New York skyline.
Arranged around a central cruciform core, the tower comprises four blocks containing light filled, flexible, column free office floors that rise to the 59th floor, whereupon the glass façades are sheared off at an angle to address the Memorial Park. Giving the building its distinctive inclined summit, 200 Greenwich Street also acts as a symbolic marker of the location of the Memorial Park when viewed from any location. The upper floors contained within the summit provide the opportunity for spectacular multiple-height function rooms with sweeping views of the park, the river and the city.
A continuation of Foster and Partners’ investigation into the nature of the tower, 200 Greenwich Street takes structural, functional, security, environmental and urban logic to a new dimension. The tower is informed by the geometry of the site, with the cruciform core providing the structural backbone as well as the key organising diagram. It accommodates the primary vertical circulation, with high speed shuttle elevators rising to an intermediate sky lobby where the upper floors are served by two further banks of elevators. It also allows for cross corridor circulation by providing excellent orientation at every level, and opening views out across the office spaces.
Extending the logic of the core, the volume of the tower is punctuated on all four sides by notches – elegantly breaking up the mass of the tower into four interconnected blocks. Towards the perimeter, the core culminates in dedicated flexible zones with the opportunity to create staircases between floors, and the possibility for double-height atria. These zones can be an integral part of the building’s environmental strategy by drawing fresh air into the building during spring and autumn. Designed to the highest energy efficiency ratings, 200 Greenwich Street will seek to achieve the gold standard under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) by the US Green Building Council.
Connections with the city at street level have been reinforced with glass walls creating a visual relationship with the surrounding streets. The imposing double height ground floor lobby is connected at the Greenwich Street entrance to the MTA providing direct access to the underground infrastructure system. The lobby rises in level along Vesey Street and includes a further connection with the transport system via escalators and a four-storey shopping area connecting with Fulton Street and spilling out onto the Wedge of Light plaza.
Lord Foster said:
“We are pleased to unveil our design for Tower Two on the site of the World Trade Center, a building that symbolises the renaissance of New York on the skyline while also re-establishing and reviving Greenwich Street at ground level. The crystalline top of the tower respects the masterplan and bows down to the memorial park commemorating the tragic events that unfolded here. But it is also a powerful symbol of hope for the future. The dramatic height of the tower celebrates the spirit that has historically driven Manhattan to build tall, and the diamond-shaped top will be a crowning landmark on the city's skyline."
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