June 29, 2005

The New Freedom Tower Design

First of all I hate the name. Freedom Tower sounds so Orwellian and jingoistic. Perhaps it is the constant repetition of the word "freedom" by President Bush as he makes war that had inverted the meaning for me...

But on to the new design. My first impression is that it is bland. David Childs the architect has a knack at big bland projects that ultimately end up looking like generic malls. Think Time Warner Center. This design for the tower says Dallas or Detroit rather than New York. All the renderings show it from a distance where, as would virtually any tower that height, it looks impressive compared to the surrounding buildings. My guess is the architects are trying to obfuscate the fact that the building feautures a 200 foot high fortified concrete base without windows. Yikes! While the base might be clad in metal, this will not obscure the fact that from the ground, ie in the multiacre plaza that will surround it, individuals will be faced with a massive windowless block of steel and concrete. Have you ever been around big buildings sans windows? They are awful (Think of the much hated 2 Columbus Circle. Or go back and look at German architecture circa 1939.). The Freedom Tower design sends absolutely the wrong message managing to be both cowardly & embarrassing. How can a tower named Freedom be built on a massive bunker? My suggestion: If the bureaucrats are so worried about terrorism via truck bomb, they should save the money on the base and spend it on submerging all nearby roads creating more parkland. Go back to the Libeskind design. While it was not perfect it had an ounce of wit, lightness, and grace. A win win for all.

posted at 11:27 AM by raul

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06/30/05 08:28 AM

agreed 100%

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