Canadian Consulting Engineer

Canadian engineer helps design new tower for World Trade Center site

March 10, 2003
By Canadian Consulting Engineer

The building design chosen to rise on the site of the World Trade Center disaster will have a spire of 1,776 feet -...

The building design chosen to rise on the site of the World Trade Center disaster will have a spire of 1,776 feet — a symbolic number related to the year of American Independence, and a measure that will make this the highest building in the world.
The successful scheme was chosen from other proposals at the end of February
The architect of the competition-winning scheme is Studio Libeskind, headed by Daniel Libeskind, an architect originally from Poland who is most famous for designing the Jewish Museum in Berlin. One of the engineers on the team is Colin Williams, P.Eng. of RWDI of Guelph, Ontario, a consulting engineering firm that specializes in wind studies. Other engineers are Arup and Irwin Cantor.
The design opens a portion of the “bathtub” of the World Trade Center site, leaving exposed the footprints of the original buildings as well as the great slurry walls along the Hudson River that withstood the terrorist attack of September 11. The walls will need reinforcing and buttressing.
To commemorate the 2,000 victims of the attack, there are two large public places, the “Park of Heroes, and the “Wedge of Light.” Each year on September 11 between 8.46 a.m. and 10.28 a.m. between the hours first plane hit and the second tower collapsed, the sun will shine on the park without shadow. An elevated memorial promenade encircles the site.
Plans are for the tower to have gardens, and for the site to accommodate a museum, performing arts centre and housing, as well as a large amount of office space.
Libeskind’s poetic description of the project includes the following:
“The great slurry walls are the most dramatic elements which survived the attack, an engineering wonder constructed on bedrock foundations and designed to hold back the Hudson River. The foundations withstood the unimaginable trauma of the destruction and stand as eloquent as the Constitution itself asserting the durability of Democracy and the value of individual life.
“We have to be able to enter this hallowed, sacred ground while creating a quiet, meditative and spiritual space. We need to journey down, some 70 feet into Ground Zero, onto the bedrock foundation, a procession with deliberation into the deep indelible footprints of Tower One and Tower Two.”
Libeskind’s design was chosen by a committee representing the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, New York Governor George Pataki and Mayor Michael Bloomberg.


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