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Freedom Tower at One World Trade Center - Proud and Soaring Thing New York, USA

SOM | Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Freedom Tower at One World Trade Center - Proud and Soaring Thing New York, USA
By Yehuda Safran -

On 4 November 2014, the “Freedom Tower”, located at One World Trade Center, was officially inaugurated in a ceremony by Andrew Cuomo, Governor of the State of State of New York.
A “proud and soaring thing”, the tall office building as Louis Sullivan understood it, brought with its realization the desire for centralised administration, the opportunities for increased ground rent, the occasion for ample advertising, or all three of these together.
Here, on Ground Zero, David Childs, the chief architect and a principal of SOM, seems to have ignored the lessons of Sullivan. Unlike earlier Skidmore, Owing & Merill architects such as Bruce Graham who had designed, among other projects, the Hancock Tower 1965-1969, the Sears Tower in Chicago 1970-1973, with the enginer Fazlur Khan; Childs had never actually come to terms with the tall building as a type, or any of its manifold Sullivanesque implications. The shaft begins its thrust at ground level: there is no base to speak of, but one does see however a much reduced crown that reaches with its immense antenna the height of 1,776 feet which make this building one of the tallest building in the world.
Eight years since the work commenced, the lights and shadows of

Minoru Yamasaki’s and Edward Durell Stone’s Twin Towers destruction in huge swirling clouds of smoke, fire, dust, and debris have been finally replaced by a upwardly rising vision of disappearance. This is not a Mayan temple. Rare is the moment when the shadow of a ruin, when the relatives of the victims are still among the living, is replaced by a new vision, a new reality that claims our attention. At the time politicians under the pressure of public opinion imposed on the Port Authority, the free holder of the site, the task of organizing an open public competition managed by the LADC the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.
Daniel Libeskind, the winner of this competition, in...

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