Learn more about Freedom Tower
| World Trade Center Tower 1|
|Location||New York, New York, United States|
|Groundbreaking||April 27, 2006|
|Antenna/Spire||1,776 ft (541 m)|
|Roof||1,368 ft (417 m)|
|Top floor||1,362 ft (415 m)|
|Floor area||2,600,000 sq ft (241,548 m²)|
|Architect||Skidmore, Owings & Merrill|
For the identically named building in Florida, see Freedom Tower (Miami).
World Trade Center Tower 1 or Freedom Tower is the centerpiece building of the new World Trade Center complex currently planned for Lower Manhattan. The tower will be located in the northwest corner of the 16-acre (65,000 m²) World Trade Center site, bounded by Vesey Street, West Street, Washington Street and Fulton Street   . Construction on below-grade utility relocations, footings, and foundations for Freedom Tower began on April 27, 2006. As of August 1, 2006, work is currently being performed on excavation of the bedrock for the building's foundation.
Also planned are three other high rises plus a residential tower that will surround the World Trade Center Memorial that is currently also under construction, and a museum.
A revised design for the tower was formally unveiled on June 28, 2005, to satisfy security issues raised by the New York City Police Department in April of that year. On April 26, 2006, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey approved a conceptual framework that enabled foundation construction to begin on the following day while a formal agreement is drafted. It is expected that the formal agreement will be finalized by September 2006.
On June 28 2006 the final design for Freedom Tower was unveiled. This included plans to clad its concrete 187-foot base in glass prisms (addressing criticisms that the base looked like a "concrete bunker"), and to taper the corners of the base outward as they rise. Its designers stated that the tower will be a "monolithic glass structure reflecting the sky and topped by a sculpted antenna." In terms of a completion date, developer Larry Silverstein who held the lease to the World Trade Center site on September 11, 2001, stated "By 2012 we should have a completely rebuilt World Trade Center more magnificent, more spectacular than it ever was."<ref>"Architects in New York unveil new Freedom Tower", Reuters, June 28 2006.</ref>
The height to the top of the spire is set to be 1,776 feet (541 m), a tribute to the year 1776, when the United States Declaration of Independence was drafted, when the States formally set out on the road to independence from Great Britain. The Freedom Tower is intended to be taller than Chicago's Sears Tower and become the tallest building in the United States, and among the tallest buildings in the world when completed. Depending on the angle from which the building is viewed, Freedom Tower is designed to appear as either a cuboid shape like both of the previous towers, or as a massive obelisk design. The walls at the base are offset 45 degrees from the walls of the highest floor with interlocking triangle façades.
Construction began on April 27, 2006, the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Empire State Building, with a formal ceremony that took place when the construction team arrived.<ref>"Trucks roll to begin Freedom Tower construction", New York Daily News, April 27 2006.</ref> It is projected that steel for the building will be visible above grade in 2008, with a topping out in 2010. The building is projected to be ready for occupancy in 2011.
|New World Trade Center|
|Freedom Tower (Tower 1)|
|200 Greenwich Street (Tower 2)|
|175 Greenwich Street (Tower 3)|
|150 Greenwich Street (Tower 4)|
|7 World Trade Center|
|Memorial and Museum|
|Reflecting Absence (Memorial)|
|International Freedom Center|
Many remaining vestiges of the concepts drawn from the 2002 competition have since been discarded. Freedom Tower will now consist of simple symmetries and a more traditional design intended to bear comparison with selected elements of the existing New York skyline. There will now be a central spire drawing from precedents such as the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building rather than an off-center spire intended to echo the Statue of Liberty.
 Current design
Freedom Tower's program includes 2.6 million square feet of office space, as well as an observation deck, world-class restaurants, parking, and broadcast and antennae facilities, all supported by both above and below-grade mechanical infrastructure for the building and its adjacent public spaces.
The tower rises from a cubic base whose square plan—200 feet by 200 feet—is almost as wide as the 208 foot Twin Towers. The base is clad in more than 2,000 pieces of prismatic glass; each measures 4 feet by 13 feet 4 inches with varying depths. It has been designed to draw upon the themes of motion and light; a shimmering glass surface drapes the tower's base and imparts a dynamic fluidity of form whose appearance will reflect its surroundings. Just as the rest of the building, the base will serve as a glowing beacon. Entrances on all four sides of the buildings, each 60 feet high and ranging in width from 30 feet on the east and west sides (for access to the restaurant and observation deck, respectively) to 50 feet on the north side and 70 feet on the south for primary tenant access, activate the building at street level.
As the tower itself rises from this cubic base, its square edges are chamfered back, transforming the square into eight tall isosceles triangles in elevation, or an elongated square antiprism. At its middle, the tower forms a perfect octagon in plan and then culminates in a glass parapet (elevation 1,362 feet and 1,368 feet) whose plan is a square, rotated 45 degrees from the base. A mast containing an antenna for television broadcasters—designed by a collaboration between SOM, artist Kenneth Snelson (who invented the tensegrity structure), lighting designers and engineers—and secured by a system of cables, rises from a circular support ring, similar to the Statue of Liberty's torch, to a height of 1,776 feet. The spire will be an intense beam of light that will be lit at night and will likely be visible over a thousand feet (300 m) into the air above the tower. New York City is a suitable place to set such a light pointing towards the sky without complaints of light pollution by astronomers, as the night sky in locations near New York City are already far too bright for serious astronomical observers.
Other new safety features will include 3-foot (90 cm) thick walls for all stairwells, elevator shafts, risers, and sprinkler systems; extremely wide "emergency stairs"; a dedicated set of stairwells exclusively for the use of firefighters; and biological and chemical filters throughout its ventilation system. The building will no longer be 25 feet (7.6 m) away from West Street—with the redesign and smaller base (the same width and length now as each of the previous towers), Freedom Tower will average 90 feet (27 m) away from the street.<ref>Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (June 2005). SOM Freedom Tower Fact Sheet. Press release.</ref> At its closest point, West Street will be 65 feet (20 m) away. The windows on the side of the building facing in this direction will be equipped with specially tempered blast-resistant plastic, which will look nearly the same as the glass used in the other sides of the building.
"Ultra-clear" glass, as opposed to reflective or tinted glass, is proposed for the fenestration generally. This will benefit internal daylight propagation; however, at this stage it is unclear how the corresponding issue of solar heat gain will be addressed. Although the roof area of any tower is comparatively limited, the building will implement a greywater recycling scheme involving rainwater collection. The robust, redundant steel moment frame, consisting of beams and columns connected by a combination of welding and bolting, resists lateral loads through bending of the frame elements. Paired with a concrete-core shear wall, the moment frame lends substantial rigidity and redundancy to the overall building structure while providing column-free interior spans for maximum flexibility.
The World Trade Center's North Tower featured an occupied floor at 1,355 feet (413 m). Though not occupied by office space, Freedom Tower's observation deck is set to be higher, at about 1,362 feet (415 m). The Sears Tower, Taipei 101, and other buildings currently have occupied floors higher than Freedom Tower. Union Square Phase 7 and the Shanghai World Financial Center will have roofs and floors higher than Freedom Tower's highest roofs and floors.
If the spire and antenna height (the criteria of one category of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat) are included, Freedom Tower might, when completed, qualify as the tallest office building in the world if no other rival towers are completed first. Emaar, the builders of the Burj Dubai tower, are keeping the final height of their building a secret, but speculation is that it will have height of over 2,600 feet (800 m) when it is finished in 2008, three to four years before Freedom Tower. This would eclipse all other office buildings, and even the CN Tower, marking the first time since 1967 that the World's tallest freestanding structure on land would go to a building rather than a tower.
There is also the proposed Chicago Spire building (formerly known as the Fordham Spire) which is set to be completed in 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. At 124 floors, its roof will top out at 1,550 feet and its spire at 2,000 feet, both above the Freedom Tower. The height of Freedom Tower will probably not be increased before completion, due to the symbolism of having an exact height of 1,776 feet (541 m).
 Space allotment
As revealed on June 28 2006, Freedom Tower will have a top floor denoted as 102, though the total number of floors is 78. This is due to the fact that the first office floor of the building atop the tall base will be designated as Floor 20. There are 69 office floors atop the base, ending at Floor 88, above which would be broadcasting space on the 89th and 90th floors. Three stories of mechanical space take up a floor count of 9. Finally, a restaurant will take up Floors 100 and 101, and the observation deck is at Floor 102. Three additional floors of mechanical space exist above, but are not considered occupied floors.<ref>"Revised design for Freedom Tower unveiled", New York Times, June 28 2006.</ref>
The symbolic cornerstone of Freedom Tower was laid down in a ceremony on July 4, 2004<ref>Office of the Governor of New York State (July 4, 2004). Governor Pataki, Governor McGreevey, Mayor Bloomberg Lay Cornerstone for Freedom Tower. Press release.</ref> and was temporarily removed from the site on June 23, 2006.<ref>"Cornerstone of Freedom Tower removed", CBS News, June 25 2006.</ref> Rebuilding at the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan began four and a half years after the Twin Towers were destroyed on September 11, 2001. The project had been delayed due to acrimonious disputes over money, security and design but the last major issues were resolved on April 26, 2006 with a deal between developer Larry Silverstein and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
As of June 12, 2006, engineers had detonated test explosives at the World Trade Center site. The procedure tested the use of charges to clear bedrock for Freedom Tower’s foundation. There are supposed to be three to four controlled explosions per day on alternating weekdays for approximately two months after. On November 18, 2006, 400 cubic yards of concrete were poured on to the foundation of the Freedom Tower carried by as many as 40 trucks. 14 large steel columns are set to be welded on to the Freedom Tower's base on December 18, 2006
The State of New York has agreed to a 15 year lease of 415,000 square feet of space in the Freedom Tower, with an option to extend the term of the lease and occupy up to 1,000,000 square feet.<ref name="usstates">"Gov. Pataki, Governor Corzine, Mayor Bloomberg Announce Agreements to Occupy Freedom Tower", US States News, September 17, 2006.</ref> The General Services Administration (GSA) has agreed to lease over 600,000 square feet of space.<ref name="usstates"/>
The design of Freedom Tower has generated some controversy due to the limited number of floors in the previous design (82) that were designated for office space and other amenities. The floor limit was imposed by Silverstein, who expressed concern that higher floors would be a liability in a major accident or terrorist attack. In a subsequent redesign, the highest occupiable space became comparable to the World Trade Center.
There has also been a public demand <ref>"Thousands Sign Petition To Rebuild".</ref> to replace the previous twin towers instead of building a single tower.
There have also been accusations of cronyism on the part of New York Governor George Pataki, using his influence to get the winning architect's bid picked as a personal favor for a close friend.<ref>"America's Freedom Tower?", MSNBC, February 17 2005.</ref>
The chosen name of the Freedom Tower has been criticized as Orwellian.
 Key people
 Larry Silverstein
Larry Silverstein of Silverstein Properties, the leaseholder and developer of the complex, will retain control of the surrounding buildings, while the Port Authority gets full control of the tower itself. Silverstein signed a 99-year lease for the World Trade Center site in July 2001, the culmination of years of negotiation. Silverstein's insurance payout has been a subject of public discourse, as he maintained that the two planes constituted two separate attacks and sued for an extra $3.5 billion. Silverstein has pledged to support the reconstruction and remains actively involved in most aspects of the redevelopment process.
 David Childs
One of developer and World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein's favorite architects, Childs initially came on board thanks to Silverstein's insistence, and developed a proposal for Freedom Tower in collaboration with Daniel Libeskind, a design which was revised in May 2005 to address security concerns. He is currently the project architect of the new Freedom Tower, and is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day design development from rough inception to final completion.
 Daniel Libeskind
Libeskind won the invitational competition to develop a master plan for the World Trade Center's redevelopment in 2002. He included an initial proposal for the design of Freedom Tower, a building with aerial gardens and windmills with an off center spire. It was Libeskind who thumbed his nose at a request to place it in a more rentable location next to the PATH station and instead placed it a block west because in profile it would line up and resemble the Statue of Liberty. Although these designs have since been changed, his contributions continue to shape the design and development at Ground Zero, as they are revised to meet economic and security realities.
 See also
- Buildings and architecture of New York City
- Tallest buildings in the United States
- Tallest buildings in New York City
- World's tallest structures
- List of Skyscrapers
- Freedom Tower Silver Dollar
- Memory Foundations
- Alternative Plans
- World Trade Center
- World Trade Center Memorial
- World Trade Center site
- WTC Towers Memorial (unofficial)
 External links
- World Trade Center Official site for new World Trade Center complex.
- Lower Manhattan Development Corporation
- The Freedom Tower Daily updated blog about the freedom tower.
- Skidmore, Owings & Merrill News about Freedom Tower.
- Glass, Steel and Stone History of Freedom Tower designs.
- Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
- Project Rebirth Documentation of the reconstruction of Ground Zero.
- Freedom Tower (Overview) Information on the design concept of the Freedom Tower.
- Google Earth Hacks Freedom Tower plug-in for Google Earth.
- Emporis Summarised Freedom Tower information.
- Twin Towers Alliance Rebuild the Twin Towers
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