Nettime mailing list archives

<nettime> WTC design notes w/images (2/2)
bc on Tue, 31 Dec 2002 19:26:55 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> WTC design notes w/images (2/2)

[BCC'd to architects involved in the latest WTC proposals]

  This e-mail culminates the general feedback from the
  newest WTC planning proposals for redevelopment.
  In the Long Notes, each proposal was evaluated in
  terms of its positive and potentially negative aspects,
  in addition to what the proposals shared in common.
  It can be found online in the Design-List archives [1].

  First, a bullet list of short notes is presented, followed
  by a visual critique of 'the reinvention of the skyscraper'
  with respect to the former WTC site, known as ground-
  zero. It compares what the WTC was like on the site,
  with the proposals, and asks a general question about
  the utility/ability of very-tall buildings, as a typology on
  this specific site, to be able to convey intended meaning.
  A hybrid architecture, developed using the most innovative
  aspects from each WTC proposal, is proposed as counter-
  point to the skyscraper typology, with the addition of the
  'skyscraper' as a dual-use linking device, benefiting
  inter-building safety and multi-zoned programming. [2]

I. general design issues: towards hybrid architectures

* idea of linking many buildings into one
* WTC footprints proportional to buildings
* collaborative, many architects/architectures
* open development/open architectural design
* skyways used for safety and city networking
* mid-height buildings better for viewing footprints
* park extends around WTC building footprints
* new buildings around the periphery of site
* corner placement/directionality of site plan
* design below-grade, at-grade, above-grade
* phased zoning, from memorial/park outward
* above ground promenade/walkway/bridges
* mid-sized buildings with introverted crowns
* skyways/skybridges for inter-building transit/safety
* mixed-use zoning/programs across multiple buildings
* memorial above/below ground voids, translucent pools
* ramp element symbolic, related to procession
* sustainable design with light, wind, water
* landscaping of both inner/outer environments
* public park amphitheater as cultural place
* wilderness park structurally elevated above site
* transformative development, over time/decades

II. sections & elevations of new hybrid architectures

[Preface: using a mouse and Photoshop LE seemed the
easiest way to share these ideas. Thus, they are not very
precise in terms of scale or precision, but are approximate
to the question of the WTC site, and the recent proposals.
This general exercise was undertaken to demonstrate how
traditional skyscrapers relate to an openly-wounded site,
and its intimate embrace and regeneration, versus that of
an impersonal scale of modernistic machine proportions.]

a) former World Trade Center section with backdrop elevation

b) the current, empty ground zero site, section & section/elevation

c) generic skyscraper 1 components: multiple buildings around periphery

d) generic skyscrapers 1: relation to the memorial site and rest of NY  

e) generic skyscraper 2 components: bridges between multiple buildings

f) generic skyscrapers 2: relation to the memorial site and rest of NY  

g) generic skyscraper 3 components: medium buildings with sloping  
walkway/promenade above streets, unoccupied 'tall' (antenna) corner  

h) generic skyscrapers 3: relation to the memorial site and rest of NY  

i) generic skyscraper 4 components: elevated park with built  

j) generic skyscrapers 4: relation to the memorial site and rest of NY  

At this point, to sum up the above examples, the effort to place a
very tall building on the site tends to create a 'peak' as a central
focus, and the scale tries to match that of the former WTC towers.
A general strategy is found when placing buildings on the outer
edge of the site, with a below ground memorial. Transparency in
the building allows the rest of the city to enter into the site. Bridges
allow communal aspects between buildings on the site in addition
to safety aspects. The 'crowns' or tops of medium-sized buildings
that slope in towards the site bring focus to the memorial below.

Yet, it is the skyscraper buildings which dominate the memorial
site, and if sectional space were air, there is little of it to breath.
If one were to stand below these 1000 foot structures, on the site
and look up from a memorial, it would be a sense of imposition
and the relation of an individual to a modern architecture of steel,
glass, and technology, not of humans and the tragedy of 9/11,
which should be the focus. Not the skyscraper as building type.
Therefore it is proposed that in mixing these positive elements,
a hybrid architecture could be proposed which approximates
how these different elements might work together for a unique
collaboratively designed architecture, where many architects
and architectures, developers, planners, and engineers can
work together in an open architectural development, working
in the realm of sketches and improvisation, to ask questions...]

Note: Peaking versus Valleying in this hybrid city-architecture...

a) WTC as (filled, human-made) peak as its symbolic-value...

b) Ground-Zero as Valley (emptiness) as its symbolic value...

new hybrid architectures

k) hybrid architecture components: 2 story elevated park with
memorial footprints and below-grade voids, small immediate
buildings, small-medium buildings directionally step backward
around periphery of the site, keeping the site empty, preparing
it as a giant volumetric square... walkway bridges street traffic...

l) hybrid: buildings around the immediate site are also related to it

m) hybrid: employing 'skyways/skybridges' [2] for safety, transport,
and commerce, the different buildings and communities around the
site link together as a network city, offering new zoning  

n) network city: the new city as network grows through new linkages...

o) network city: over time, these structural links transform the city...

p) network city: decentralized zoning/building programs develops...
where buildings/people are networked together w/others elsewhere...

q) hybrid architecture: an elevated multi-tiered city-park of roof  
linking into larger networks and park systems using inside/outside  

r) skyline: night view of the network city and its hybrid architecture,
using strips of light in common on buildings, new and old, to glow
with a light regenerated in the valley, a city becomes a skyscraper...

s) the symbolic WTC, a memory to many, now memorialized...

t) skyline: the below-ground memorial voids glow with light through
translucent pools, on overcast nights faintly touching clouds above...

It is possible that by questioning the skyscraper as a building type,
just as with other highly-centralized planning systems, that an
inversion of this traditional model, in a decentralized network that
links together various buildings, could approach the issues which
are to be addressed in a multi-community,-phased, -zoned, -designed
redevelopment plan for the ground-zero memorial and surrounding
area, with economic, social, and cultural factors of highest importance.

Please consider the hybrid architecture model as an alternative to the
skyscrapers that are ubiquitous in your designs and future decisions.
It is a sketch, a question, not an answer. It does not seek to fill-in  
already full with meaning, but to revere a special place build around  

bc  <http://www.electronetwork.org/>

initial WTC Memorial Park redevelopment proposal


[1] The original 'Re: WTC design reflections (long notes)'
e-mail resides in the Design-List for art & architecture
archives, at: <http://lists.psu.edu/archives/design-l.html>
Each proposal is referenced/evaluated by specific slides:

[2] An e-mail about how skyways and skybridges could
  be used for both new and old buildings, for fire safety,
  building evacuation, multiple zoning, and new transit
  and building-to-building relationships (networking)
  can also be found in the Design-List archives, at:

[copyright free 2002. open-design/development. images
are temporarily online, if archiving, please download.]

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: majordomo {AT} bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime {AT} bbs.thing.net