Governor George E. Pataki and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today revealed the design of the Freedom Tower in a presentation by architects David Childs and Daniel Libeskind. The tower will rise on the World Trade Center site and soar 1,776 feet in the sky, becoming the world's tallest building. The unveiling took place at Federal Hall, where the first US Congress met and wrote the Bill of Rights, and George Washington was inaugurated as President.
"Today we reclaim New York's skyline with a towering beacon to New York and our nation's resilience," said Governor George E. Pataki. "The Freedom Tower will be a proud new symbol of our country's strength - and a monument to our two lost icons. The design calls for a modern, safe and environmentally innovative office tower that will reaffirm Lower Manhattan's place as the financial capital of the world."
"This is the world's most exciting city and great design by world-class architects and designers like David Childs and Daniel Libeskind helps make it so," said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. "The collaborative design of the World Trade Center site that has been achieved, exemplified by today's unveiling of the Freedom Tower, will dramatically reclaim a part of the New York skyline that we lost on 9/11. And it will help catapult Lower Manhattan back to its rightful place as a global center of innovation and great urban design. With the attainment of this milestone, along with the City's continuing work on creating new open spaces downtown, and the Federal government's down payment earlier this month on rebuilding the public transportation infrastructure, we're seeing more and more of the elements of our Administration's vision of Lower Manhattan as the world's first true 21st Century downtown being realized."
The idea of creating the world's tallest tower was first proposed by Daniel Libeskind in his plan for the World Trade Center site, Memory Foundations, and given form by design architect David M. Childs of Skidmore Owings and Merrill. The Freedom Tower adheres to and extends the significant design principles set out in the master plan. The unique geometrical torque of the building's tower, located on the northwest corner of the site, gives the tower its asymmetrical form meant to evoke the Statue of Liberty. Its soaring offset spire echoes the profile of the Statue of Liberty's arm holding the Torch of Freedom, and the top of the spire, reaching to 1,776 feet, is symbolic of America's freedom and the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
David M. Childs said, "Extending the great tradition of American ingenuity and innovation, Freedom Tower incorporates the highest standards of design, safety, quality and technology in what will become the world's tallest building."
Daniel Libeskind said, "This is another important and meaningful milestone in the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site. Moving ahead on the Freedom Tower reclaims the skyline of New York and provides a fulcrum for the further development of the master plan. David Childs and SOM have responded to the aspirations of the master plan, giving form to the Freedom Tower whose principals are rising to the symbolic height of 1776', echoing the Statue of Liberty and completing the spiraling composition of the towers on the site."
World Trade Center leaseholder Larry A. Silverstein said, "The Freedom Tower will redefine New York City's skyline. When it is illuminated, it will serve as an unmistakable symbol of our resilience, our resolve and our glorious rebirth. Congratulations to Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg on their strong leadership, which has brought us to this historic day. Now, we build."
Kevin M. Rampe, President of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation said, "Under Governor Pataki's unwavering leadership and through the great efforts and imagination of David Childs and Daniel Libeskind, the Freedom Tower will serve as an iconic structure that will stand as a testament to our nation's spirit while serving as a catalyst to create jobs and revitalize our economy."
Charles A. Gargano, Chairman of Empire State Development and Vice Chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said, "The Freedom Tower will rise as a new icon to the resilience and strength of New York and America. It is a combination of art, engineering and design that is worthy of those we lost on September 11. The Freedom Tower will restore our skyline and become a new anchor for the downtown economy, helping to forever secure Lower Manhattan as the 'Financial Capital of the World'"
Joseph J. Seymour, Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said, "Thanks to Governor Pataki's guidance, we have charted a bright future for Lower Manhattan. PATH service has resumed, businesses are returning, and now, we reach to the skies with the tallest building in the world. We look forward to working with all parties to make this building and all of the master plan a reality."
The design of the Freedom Tower proposes an innovative mix of architecture, structure and mechanical systems. The building will contain 2,600,000 square feet of office space on approximately 60 stories - clad in shimmering glass and affording spectacular views. The base will contain both public lobbies and lobbies for the office building. Two concourse levels will house retail components and connect to transit hubs. At the top, the building will house both roof top restaurants and a public observation deck. In essence, the Freedom Tower will contain the same programmatic elements that existed in the original Trade Center.
Above the occupied spaces, a lacy structure of tension cables that brace the building - similar to those found in the Brooklyn Bridge - will continue, rising up to 1,500 feet. The cables will provide opportunities to highlight the design with inspirational lighting. Within the structure, wind-harvesting turbines are proposed to provide 20% of the building's energy.
On top of the truss at 1,500 feet, the spire will rise another 276 feet to 1,776. As the building develops, it is intended that an artist will collaborate to design the spire with the architects and the engineers, placing a sculpture in the sky.
The building will incorporate state-of-the-art life safety systems that are the hallmark of advanced engineering, and will far exceed the requirements of the New York City Building Code. In addition to structural redundancy and extra strong fireproofing, the building will include biological and chemical filters in the air supply system. Concrete-encased stair and elevator cores, extra-wide pressurized stairs, low-level emergency lighting, and concrete protection for all sprinklers and emergency risers will be provided in addition to interconnected redundant exits, additional stair exit locations at the street, and direct exit to the street from tower stairs.
Groundbreaking for the Freedom Tower is expected in mid-2004.