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February 2003
New Republic;2/3/2003, Vol. 228 Issue 4, p23
Focuses on the progress of an architectural competition for rebuilding the World Trade Center in New York City. The live television and radio coverage of the December press conference, which was held in the recently restored Winter Garden of the World Financial Center, across the street from Ground Zero, allowed the general public a rare opportunity to witness how architects make their pitch.Daniel Libeskind's intense, theatrical proffer quickly cut to the emotional heart of the matter, beginning with his tale of arriving by ship in New York harbor as the son of Holocaust survivors, awed by the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline like generations of grateful immigrants before him. Though all the new Ground Zero proposals in one way or another demarcate the footprints of the Twin Towers, Libeskind's design is by far the most dramatic evocation of the disaster. As could have been foreseen, Norman Foster's scheme was technologically proficient, environmentally sensitive, sleekly finished, structurally logical, and more than a bit cold, a deficiency that he effectively countered with his persuasive presentation. If one predominant theme emerged from the presentations, it was not gardens in the sky or footprints on the ground, but immense--not to say insane--height. Five of the schemes would be taller than the World Trade Center, and four of them, including Libeskind's and Foster's, would become the tallest buildings in the world. The alternative to a gargantuan approach was laid out in the concept advanced by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM). Other designs.


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