On 11 September 2001 the skyline of Manhattan was transformed forever with the destruction of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre along with other outlying buildings. However, in May 2006 the construction of a new World Trade Centre complex began.
The new World Trade Centre complex, scheduled for completion in 2013, will feature four high-rise office buildings with One World Trade Centre, often referred to as Freedom Tower, at its centre. Freedom Tower will stand at 1,776 feet in height, making it the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.
The cornerstone of One World Trade Centre was laid on 4 July 2004 but thereafter construction was delayed for almost six years. Activities resumed in earnest on 18 November 2006 when 310 cubic meters of concrete were poured into the building’s foundations. Further to this, on 19 December 2006 a 30 foot steel beam, signed by the public, was installed in the building’s base using modern welding equipment.
In early 2008 the tower’s central concrete core began to rise from the ground with construction reaching street level by 17 May of the same year. By May 2010 it was estimated that approximately one floor of the building was being completed every single week. As of 9 March 2012 the steel structure of the tower had reached the 93rd floor with only 15 floors remaining.
The design of One World Trade Centre is designed to echo the design features of many iconic symbols of the New York skyline including the original World Trade Centre, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and even the Statue of Liberty.
The footprint of the building measures 61 metres square, almost identical to that of the original Twin Towers. The base of the tower features a 185 foot windowless concrete base, designed to protect the building from ground level terror threats. Extensive use of profile cutting equipment and welding equipment, as well as use of highly skilled labourers has been necessary to create the iconic glass-on-steel façade.
Usage of space
One World Trade Centre will feature 2,600,000 square feet of floor space across 108 floors. Of this space 240,000 square feet, or 69 floors, will be dedicated to office space.
Other areas of the building will be dedicated to lobby space, mechanical and maintenance space, an observation deck, retail space, broadcast and antenna facilities, parking and storage and access to the transport hub.
While the building will stand at 1,776 feet in height in total, the roof of the building will stand at 1,368 feet, with the remaining height being made up by the spire. As of January 2012 it was estimate that the total cost of construction of One World Trade Centre alone was $3.8 billion.
Soon the Manhattan skyline will be dominated once again by the World Trade Centre buildings. With the new buildings arguably even more iconic than the originals this site which has experienced so much destruction will be restored to its former glory.