Construction has begun on the Freedom Tower in Lower Manhattan in New York City. The Freedom Tower will be built to attain a height of 1776 feet and would be the tallest building in the world if it was completed today. The Tower is the centerpiece of the new World Trade Center complex and is scheduled for completion in the year 2010.
The tower will have a cubic base that is designed for safety from car or truck bombs. The base will be covered in thirteen foot tall glass prisms that will refract light into color. This will make the cubic base more interesting to the naked eye. The concern for safety also is incorporated into the vertical core which will run through the center of the building. The core will contain many of the structure’s essential safety systems. It will have 3 foot thick walls made from extra-strong concrete. The core will also contain emergency communication cables, exhaust and ventilation shafts, water pipes, and stairs and lifts to enter or exit the building. Overall, the unique architectural design of the Freedom Tower will make it look like it twists as it get higher.
The new Freedom Tower will honor the Twin Towers in several ways. The base of the Freedom Tower will be two hundred feet square. Two hundred square feet was the exact dimension of the original towers. The observation deck will be at 1,362 feet, the height of World Trade Center Tower Two. The glass parapet will be at 1,368 feet, the height of World Trade Center Tower One. A spire will emit an intense beam of light at night that will be visible over a thousand feet into the air above the tower. The light will represent a beacon of freedom in the night sky over New York City.
The Freedom Tower will also be a world class model of energy and environmental efficiency. It will feature unique conservation technology to reduce energy demand. Ultra-clear glass windows will mean better interior natural lighting and enhanced outside views for occupants. Improved indoor air quality will be the result of outside-air ventilation and the use of nontoxic building materials. The building will reuse rainwater for building cooling and irrigation.
Adjacent to the Freedom Tower is the 9/11 Memorial. The 9/11 Memorial is called ” Reflecting Absence” and it consists of a park at street level, within the footprints of the two destroyed towers. The landscape of the surrounding area is interrupted by the footprints of the twin towers, which will be represented as waterfalls.
The 9/11 Memorial’s descent below ground is a transformation from the bright, loud, colorful city above to the solemn, dark, quiet area below the surface. The more public areas below ground feature sheets of falling water that outline the locations of the Twin Towers. The entire area below the surface of the 9/11 Memorial is intentionally sparse and gray to evoke a sense of mourning, while being open to the sky above as a symbol of hope for the future. This is in contrast to the area above ground. Before the attacks, this was a large plain of concrete. Now it is being transformed into a living space of trees, flowers, and grass.
Three other high rises are planned for the site along Greenwich Street, plus a residential tower. Together, all the high rises will surround the World Trade Center Memorial. The area will also be home to a museum, highlighting many of the different aspects of the past and future World Trade Centers.
In a few years, the completed construction of the Freedom Tower, the 9/11 Memorial, and the three other high rise towers will transform the skyline of New York City and complete the rebirth of lower Manhattan.